Los Angeles Times restaurant critic Bill Addison heads to Silver Lake for Simón, a blue truck parked along Sunset Triangle Plaza. Inside, Francisco Aguilar serves mariscos and asada with a twist. Born in the United States and raised in Oaxaca City, Mexico, Aguilar worked at high-end restaurants in Mexico before returning to Los Angeles with plans to open his own place. In the face of the pandemic, he launched the food truck with his cousin, Alexis Chacon.
In his review, Addison, who orders his tacos in pairs, says, "Eating [Aguilar's] coupled tacos is as satisfying as considering a duo of paintings by the same artist made in two very different moods."
Playing with tradition and innovation, Aguilar's style fits perfectly into Los Angeles food culture. Fish stands in for pork in the al pastor taco, which offers classic pineapple sweetness with achiote that stains the seafood and a slick of guacamole. With the queso taco craze still rippling through Southern California, Simón's gobernador features queso Oaxaca griddled into a bronzed circle and rolled into a tube stuffed with grilled shrimp and bell peppers, then set on a corn tortilla and crowned with pickled onions.
Aguilar buys masa from El Mexicano in South LA and experiments with visuals, melding blue and yellow corn into abstract art that serves as a canvas for colorful ingredients.