I think streetgourmetla wrote about this new joint serving North African Tacos earlier this year, and I had bookmarked it to give it a try when I had time. I kept putting it off, but finally got around to checking out this unique-sounding spot.
I’ve been burnt out on “fusion tacos” since the very first trendy fusion taco blew up the LA landscape (Kogi Tacos). Never been a fan; too much hype and 2 hour lines back in the day turned me off. So I wasn’t really looking forward to checking out Revolutionario, which sounded like another in the line of fusion tacos, mixing different cuisines’ flavor profiles with the traditional taco.
But I’m so glad I finally tried it.
Walking into Revolutionario, it’s literally a mom&pop establishment, as I overheard what turned out to be Chef-Owner Farid Zadi introducing his wife and son (who were helping out the front of the house) to some customers.
First group of interesting tacos arrive:
Before starting, Chef Zadi comes out and encourages us to definitely try his lineup of Algerian “Salsas” with the tacos. These included 3 bottles labeled Green Harissa, Tomatillo Cherimoya, Red Harissa (along with a small condiments bar including his version of Pico de Gallo, which looked nothing like the traditional type (but this is a good thing).
Roasted Cauliflower Taco:
The Roasted Cauliflower is soft, and well-seasoned. Some type of Algerian spice blend makes it stand out from a typical Cauliflower prep. But add in a dash of that Green Harissa Salsa he recommended, and it really brings out this beautiful balance o’ flavors. It’s earthy and really standout that’s all I can say, LOL.
Black Eyed Pea Falafel Taco:
This didn’t look too appetizing when I first saw it, LOL, but taking that first bite, holy cow! talk about flavor explosion! Seriously LEGIT! It’s crunchy, crispy and I didn’t think Black Eyed Peas could taste this good. Really liked it with the Green Harissa Salsa, but the Tomatillo Cherimoya had an even better matching flavor IMHO.
Chickpea Tagine (Spinach, Sweet Potatoes) Taco:
Another nice flavor mashup! Really interesting and not greasy or heavy like most taco fillings.
Smoked Lamb Taco:
Was really looking forward to this one, but it was a bit dry. Really intense, stellar smokiness, but the lamb was really more like a Lamb Jerky than anything. It was good, especially with the Red Harissa Salsa and a bit of his Pico de Gallo (that is da’ BOMB! so so good).
Shakshouka (sweet peppers, tomatoes, and egg) Taco:
At first glance it looked more like scrambled eggs with some peppers (I was thinking it’d be more like a poached egg with harissa, etc. like the traditional dish with the egg yolk that you can break open). But forget those stupid misgivings I had LOL the Shakshouka Taco was pretty effin’ ama-zing! One of my favs of the night. Really warm, beautiful flavors. Umami and just hit the spot.
Finally, the Duck Hash Taco:
EPIC!!! Best Taco of the night. Soft, tender duck with potatoes and a light spice blend (not spicy). I could’ve had this duck hash with some eggs and a side o’ toast and be so happy!
Chef Zadi’s Pico de Gallo and some of the Green Harissa really made it sing.
Oh and be sure to check out their Mint Ice Tea - OMG! Pure, fresh ground Mint with a chilled Ice Tea and only lightly sweet! Perfect anti-heatwave defense LOL.
Revolutionario really blew away my expectations. Just a nice little mom&pop shop. Great North African Tacos that were influenced by Chef Zadi’s parents’ cooking from Algeria. Much respect! It’s in my regular rotation now.
Update: Check out my 2nd visit with more pics here below.
1436 West Jefferson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90007
I couldn’t wait to go back and try more of Revolutionario’s menu!
Started with their amazing Mint Tea (fresh ground Mint):
Just like the last time, super refreshing, only lightly sweet, perfect!
First up was a daily special: Goat & Pumpkin Tagine Taco -
While I love goat, I’m not really a big fan of pumpkin, but Chef Zadi continues to blow away expectations. The goat is tender, juicy and the pumpkin is really just a subtle back note. Absolutely DELICIOUS!
Next up was the Pozole Tagine (Vegetables, Hominy, Lamb, Beef, Chicken) Taco:
This was pretty interesting: Like Chef Zadi’s Algerian take on a traditional Pozole. The corn and hominy and spices had the familiarity of Pozole, but then the lamb, beef and chicken along with some exotic (North African?) seasonings made it taste like a new version of what “Pozole” is all about. I liked it, but it was the least favorite thing we had.
Duck Hash Taco:
Had to get the Duck Hash Taco again since it was our favorite from last time. This time was a touch saltier than last time, but still so good. Really wonderful poultry flavor, like this great alternate version of a breakfast style “corned beef hash,” just made with duck!
Then, Beef Brisket Barbacoa Taco:
I have to share with you that when I first read about “Barbacoa” on the menu, only to find out it was made with Beef and not Lamb or Goat like my favorite Mexican Barbacoa dishes, I was bummed. That’s one of the reasons I didn’t order it on my first visit. But Chef Zadi recommended this, so I gave it a try.
When you chow down on this taco… OMG! Are you kidding me?! The HIGHLIGHT OF MY WEEKEND!
Chef Zadi’s Beef Brisket Barbacoa Taco is like this intensely BEEFY shot of flavor - tasting like REAL BEEF (not like the generic “bland mystery meat” that “Beef” dishes in most chain restaurants taste like. The only times I’ve recently tasted something that was really truly seriously beefy was with Dry Aged Steaks, or Golden State & Belcampo’s Burgers.
Revolutionario’s Beef Brisket Barbacoa is wonderful and full of flavor, a real true beef flavor, and add to it, Chef Zadi’s North African twist and this is like “MUST TRY” for anyone visiting! I so regret not ordering this on my first visit.
Don’t forget to visit the condiment bar up front to add what you want. I’ve found I love his Algerian twist on “Pico de Gallo” along with a dash of his Green Harissa Salsa. It makes all the difference.
Lastly, the Sweet Pepper & Poached Egg Brik:
From the menu, “a Brik is a North African savory pastry that is stuffed and fried, the shell is thin and crispy.”
It’s like a filo dough type of thinness, and splitting it open, wow! Lovely egg yolk, delicate and balanced with a natural sweetness from the red peppers (it’s not spicy). I could eat this for breakfast / brunch every day if I could.
Revolutionario continues to amaze me. Chef Zadi’s North African twist on tacos isn’t some stupid “fusion taco gimmick” that hit LA after the Kogi Taco craze. This is legit, OG cooking, and I seriously can’t wait to go back again and again and again.
1436 West Jefferson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Kicked off the New Year with a return visit to Revolutionario.
Cilantro Yogurt Chicken Taco:
This Cilantro Chicken Taco has been on my radar since @Dommy recommended it way back when. This time it was back on the menu.
It is fantastic! The Chicken is tender, juicy, and has this great herbal note. Really great flavors and yet another hit with Chef Zadi! Thanks @Dommy!
Lamb Tagine Taco (Chickpeas, Collard Greens, Preserved Lemon):
There’s an awesome bold herb & spice note that is perfect with the Lamb, which is tender as well.
Goat Tagine Taco (Green Lentils, Lemon, Roasted Tomatoes):
Just awesome! It’s got this deep Goat funk, moist, soft & tender, and the Green Lentils really match well with it.
BTW, their Beef Brisket Barbacoa Taco was just another total WIN again! SO good! We devoured it in seconds and I forgot to take another picture.
Chef Zadi has started doing Algerian Mechoui Whole Roasted Chicken and Lamb on Weekends now! I couldn’t wait to see what this was like so we rushed over.
Started with a few specials of the day.
Shrimp Taco (Shrimp, Pesto, Ras el Hanout, Garlic, Lemon):
Really delicious flavors! It’s slightly tart from the Lemon, but then the spice mixture and Pesto really bring it back around. Nice.
Fish Taco (Cod, Sweet Peppers, Parsley, Jalapeno, Lime):
Probably the only disappointing dish I’ve had from Chef Zadi so far. The flavors are pretty solid, but the Cod wasn’t fresh. It tasted rather like tough frozen Cod, but at these prices it’s understandable. If it was fresh Cod this would be an amazing taco based on the flavors otherwise.
Algerian Boreks (Samosas) (Winter Greens, Feta Cheese, String Cheese):
This was slightly oily, but otherwise, the filo dough made the Boreks really crispy and appealing. The Feta Cheese was a salty burst, but the Winter Greens really balanced it out.
Algerian Mechoui Roasted Chicken (Pitman Farms Roasted Chicken served on Arugula and Bread Salad with Tortillas and Charcoal Roasted Potatoes with Garlic, Parsley, and Parmesan Cheese):
The Roast Chicken was juicy and moist. But sadly the skin wasn’t crisped. The white meat was perfectly cooked (not overcooked), and the dark meat was also fine. The major weakness was that there just wasn’t a lot of deep smoky flavor. It tasted like, a nice Roasted Chicken, but nothing more.
The Potatoes were fantastic, though! Crisped, tender on the inside. Delicious.
Algerian Mechoui Whole Roasted Lamb:
The star of the menu was the Algerian Whole Roasted Lamb. Wow! Fragrant, wonderfully gamy, real flavorful Lamb (not the bland, barely taste anything type of Lamb found in a lot of places these days). Really amazing!
Tender, fantastic Lamb! You can order by the pound, or a Medium or Large Plate with sides. Chef Zadi said you can call ahead and reserve certain portions of the Lamb if you want (we didn’t know). Next time for sure.
I can’t wait to go back for more of this Alergian Whole Roasted Lamb.
Note: Whole Roasted Chicken on Saturday and Sunday only, from 12 Noon and on.
Note: Whole Roasted Lamb (order by the pound if you want) on Sat / Sun only, from 4:00 p.m. and on.
1436 West Jefferson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90007