Guerrilla Tacos by Wesley Avila

Guerrilla Tacos: Recipes from the Streets of L.A. by Wes Avila draws on his Mexican heritage as well as his time in the kitchens of some of the world’s best restaurants to create taco perfection in this his debut book.

Los Angeles is known for its wealth of taco trucks and somehow Avila’s Guerrilla Tacos has managed to win almost every accolade there is, from being crowned Best Taco Truck by LA Weekly to being called one of the best things to eat in Los Angeles by LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold.

The native Angeleno’s approach stands out in a crowded field because it’s unique; the 50 base recipes in this book are grounded in authenticity but never tied down to tradition. He uses ingredients like kurobata sausage and sea urchin, but his bestselling taco is made from the humble sweet potato. From basic building blocks to how to balance flavor and texture, with comic-inspired illustrations and stories throughout, Guerrilla Tacos is the final word on tacos from the streets of L.A.

Special thanks to Ten Speed Press for sharing the Fried potato taquito with our members today and for providing one copy of this book in our contest below (US only). Eat Your Books is providing an additional copy to members worldwide. 

Fried potato taquito
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I can eat, like, six of these. You can make these and leave them in the fridge and eat them the next day. Just like a party snack-my version of the Cielito Lindo fried beef taquito. Probably my oldest memory of eating taquitos in my life is from Cielito Lindo. It’s an L.A. institution, on the corner of Cesar Chavez and Alameda at the entrance to Olvera Street. I love that place. They still make my favorite taquito. If somebody asked me what my favorite taco in L.A. is, I’d say that.

Avocado-tomatillo salsa

  • 1 pound tomatillos (preferably tomatillos milperos, the small purple-colored ones about the size of a quarter), husked and rinsed
  • 2 avocados, pitted and peeled
  • 4 serrano chiles, stemmed
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 bunch of cilantro (reserve a few sprigs for garnishing the tacos), ends torn off (grab the bunch about 3 inches above the end of the stem and twist like you’re ringing a towel, and discard the ends)
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 to 6 limes


  • 4 pounds any starchy potato, such as Yukon golds or russets
  • 11⁄2 pounds unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 large (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed (see page 29)
  • 1⁄4 cup lard
  • Sea salt
  • 2 cups rough-cut or grated aged cheddar cheese

To make the avocado-tomatillo salsa: In a food processor, combine the tomatillos, avocados, serranos, garlic, and cilantro and season with salt. Juice the limes on top. Cover the processor and hit it three or four times-pop, pop, pop-then let it blend a while. You’ll start to see the seeds but keep it chunky. Taste it and season with more salt. Set aside.

Bring a big pot of salty water to a simmer. Throw in the potatoes and cook them thoroughly, about 17 minutes. Actually, you kind of want to overcook them. When they’re super-soft, drain the potatoes in a colander. When the potatoes are cool, use a paring knife to peel them. Place the peeled potatoes in a big bowl and mash them roughly-you want to keep some of that texture and chunkiness. Add the butter and season with kosher salt and pepper.

Add 3 tablespoons potatoes to each of the tortillas and roll them into taquitos about 11⁄2 inches in diameter.

In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, melt the lard. Add the taquitos and cook until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Place the taquitos on a wire rack to cool and immediately season with sea salt. When the taquitos are cool enough to eat, garnish them with a good portion of salsa and cheddar on top. Serve immediately.

Reprinted with permission from Guerrilla Tacos, copyright © 2017 by Wes Avila, with Richard Parks III. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.  Photographs copyright © 2017 by Dylan James Ho and Jeni Afuso Illustrations copyright © 2017 by Michael Hirshon

The publisher is offering one copy of this book to EYB Members in the US and EYB is providing one copy worldwide. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won’t be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on April 25th, 2018.

Post a comment


  • MadMom  on  March 19, 2018

    Those taquitos sound wonderful! Combining two of my favorite things – avocados and potatoes – I'm in heaven!

  • rchesser  on  March 19, 2018

    Fried potato taquito

  • heyjude  on  March 19, 2018

    Lobster Taco

  • BridgetL  on  March 19, 2018

    Golden Beet Poke Tostada

  • lgroom  on  March 19, 2018


  • ejsimpson  on  March 19, 2018

    Shrimp and chorizo taco

  • lauriesk  on  March 19, 2018

    I would try the sweet potato taco recipe.

  • Puguppy  on  March 19, 2018

    Shrimp and chorizo tacos

  • lcomer  on  March 19, 2018

    Breakfast burrito. Always looking for something to go for the husband.

  • bettinab  on  March 19, 2018

    Eggplant taco

  • cjross  on  March 19, 2018

    Roasted pumpkin taco!

  • Joyceeong  on  March 20, 2018

    Eggplant taco

  • Angryyew  on  March 20, 2018

    roasted pumpkin taco

  • vickster  on  March 20, 2018

    pork sparerib taco

  • ravensfan  on  March 20, 2018

    Pork cracklings

  • lapsapchung  on  March 20, 2018

    Green bean and egg tacos

  • sarahawker  on  March 20, 2018

    Shrimp and chorizo taco

  • Maefleur  on  March 20, 2018

    Yep! Shrimp and chorizo tacos!

  • kmn4  on  March 20, 2018


  • lean1  on  March 20, 2018

    Eggplant Taco sounds terrific!

  • shandrap  on  March 20, 2018

    The green bean and egg tacos recipe sounds like a healthy and money saving option

  • jmay42066  on  March 20, 2018


  • kitchen_chick  on  March 20, 2018

    Shrimp and chorizo tacos

  • Steben  on  March 20, 2018

    Oxtail taco

  • DarcyVaughn  on  March 21, 2018


  • antpantsii  on  March 21, 2018

    Oxtail taco

  • Singleta417  on  March 21, 2018

    Baja taco – Little Saigon version

  • robynsanyal  on  March 21, 2018


  • infotrop  on  March 21, 2018

    Cauliflower taco: cauliflower, dates, olives, pine nuts all in a taco? gotta try that.

  • EmilyR  on  March 21, 2018

    eggplant taco

  • amandabeck  on  March 22, 2018

    chile colorado!

  • sgump  on  March 22, 2018

    Always seems to be a lot of work (chopping, mainly), but I'd try the pozole.

  • munki  on  March 22, 2018

    Crab and spigarello tostada

  • Siegal  on  March 23, 2018

    Roasted pumpkin taco sounds great

  • RachLFinn  on  March 23, 2018

    Calamari taco for sure.

  • trudys_person  on  March 23, 2018

    Roasted Pumpkin Taco!

  • sugo  on  March 24, 2018

    Sweet potato taco (Tacos de papa dorados)

  • mpdeb98  on  March 24, 2018

    Pork sparerib taco

  • JenJoLa  on  March 24, 2018

    Roasted pumpkin taco

  • Karla123  on  March 24, 2018

    Cauliflower taco… love the idea of using cauliflower as "taco meat."

  • Ishtar  on  March 24, 2018

    Grilled shrimp taco

  • choppergirl  on  March 25, 2018

    Fried potato taquito

  • Uhmandanicole  on  March 26, 2018

    Razor clams à la plancha

  • LaurenE  on  March 26, 2018

    Breakfast burrito

  • shaz4  on  March 28, 2018

    Golden beet poke tostada – so unusual!

  • AnnaZed  on  March 28, 2018

    Fried Baja taco

  • t.t  on  March 29, 2018


  • Dannausc  on  March 30, 2018

    breakfast burrito!

  • circ2000  on  March 30, 2018

    Pork Sparerib Tacos!!

  • lindaeatsherbooks  on  March 30, 2018

    I want to try make the Sunchoke taco.

  • Scotsman61  on  March 30, 2018

    Fried potato taquito

  • finnsmom64  on  March 31, 2018

    shishito taco w poached egg

  • kennethjohngilmour  on  March 31, 2018

    would like to try pozole so would start with the recipe found on page 94

  • amyjay  on  April 1, 2018

    fried potato taquito

  • Shelley.b  on  April 1, 2018

    Eggplant tacos

  • janv  on  April 1, 2018

    Chilaquiles torta

  • Laura1  on  April 1, 2018

    Sweet potato tacos

  • lisatrev  on  April 1, 2018


  • stitchan  on  April 2, 2018

    Mushroom escabeche taco

  • Jenamarie  on  April 2, 2018

    Pig head taco with lentils and fried quail egg – YUM

  • love2chow  on  April 2, 2018

    Sweet potato taco (Tacos de papa dorados)
    Baja taco – Little Saigon version
    Eggplant taco (page 114)

  • ennsee  on  April 2, 2018

    I would make the Brisket taco first. Sounds so good!

  • sdg8trgrl  on  April 2, 2018


  • amferrer  on  April 3, 2018

    Fried Baja taco

  • artthecat  on  April 3, 2018

    Chili Colorado

  • verorenee  on  April 3, 2018


  • Teruska  on  April 3, 2018

    The breakfast burrito grabbed me first. I will continue through the index, because, so far, YUM!

  • FireRunner2379  on  April 4, 2018

    The Sweet Potato Taco and Lobster Taco sound really good!

  • GillB  on  April 4, 2018

    Cauliflower tacos sound interesting

  • topdawg11  on  April 5, 2018

    Oxtail taco

  • SheilaS  on  April 6, 2018

    I borrowed this book from the library and would love to own it! I'd try the lobster taco for sure!

  • ktwalla  on  April 7, 2018

    Shrimp and Chorizo Tacos

  • Alanr  on  April 7, 2018

    Razor clam tostadas. Razor clam recipes are always welcome!

  • Werepanda  on  April 8, 2018

    Eggplant taco, because I just adore eggplants and never have enough 😀

  • luccio  on  April 8, 2018

    Tacos de papa dorados sound good to me!

  • tamt  on  April 8, 2018

    Mushroom taco

  • Carolyn99  on  April 8, 2018

    Octopus and chorizo taco.

  • jc214a  on  April 8, 2018

    Breakfast Burrito.

  • PeavineBlues  on  April 8, 2018

    Fried Oyster Taco

  • RickPearson54  on  April 8, 2018


  • bnnk  on  April 8, 2018

    I would love to make the brisket tacos!

  • jd5761  on  April 8, 2018

    Roasted pumpkin taco for me

  • prairieschooner1  on  April 9, 2018

    potato taquitto

  • Agatha  on  April 9, 2018


  • GregH  on  April 10, 2018

    Chubbs taco

  • TheNoviceLife  on  April 11, 2018

    Would love to try the taquitos recipe!

  • shellee  on  April 15, 2018

    Ajo blanco

  • lisambb  on  April 15, 2018

    Probably the taquitos but I bet I’ll want to make everything.

  • rachael_mc  on  April 15, 2018

    Razor clams à la plancha

  • nesshawk  on  April 16, 2018

    Razor clam ANYTHING would be my first choice, but since impossible to come by in my neck of the woods, I would go with Oxtail Tacos.

  • Julia  on  April 17, 2018

    Brisket taco

  • VeryVigario  on  April 17, 2018

    Grouper taco!

  • cake17uk  on  April 18, 2018

    I'd try Chicken adobo taco ,

  • orchidlady01  on  April 21, 2018

    Grilled shrimp taco

  • littleminxgirl  on  April 23, 2018

    I've made a few of these as I'm from southern California.. but the grouper taco sounds interesting

  • lebarron2001  on  April 25, 2018

    Grilled Shrimp Tacos

  • emmpower  on  April 25, 2018

    Definitely the octopus and chorizo tacos, they sound delicious!

  • Armibakes  on  December 28, 2019

    Sweet potato taco

  • fairyduff  on  April 2, 2021

    Pocho taco – taking the classic taco to another level

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