Events

Everything That Went Down at Taco Knockout LA

Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist

At Thrillist, we’re lovers, not fighters. Lovers of tacos, that is. But when it comes to battling, we prefer a head-to-head matchup of tortilla-wrapped delectables over actual combat. Luckily, there’s Taco Knockout, our annual battle royale of LA’s biggest heavyweights in the taco game. This year’s celebration featured 13 different tacos competing for the championship belt, with local restaurants serving up options ranging from mushroom mole to hibiscus-glazed pork and everything in between. Guests enjoyed ice-cold cervezas, a michelada bar, and tons more. But at the end of the day, there could only be one winner. Take a look at this year’s recap:

First, the tacos:

Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist

Pez Cantina

Shrimp Diablo Taco
Poblano crema, charred scallion slaw, and salsa negra served on a squid ink tortilla

Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist

Gracias Madre

Mushroom Mole Taco
Roasted mushrooms, Oaxacan mole, pico de gallo, and cashew crema on a house-made corn tortilla

Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist

Puesto

Lamb Barbacoa Taco
Cilantro jocoque, pickled red onions, and avocado

Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist

Nixo Lounge 

Chicken Tinga Taco
Braised chicken thigh with chipotle sauce, tomatoes, and roasted morita salsa on a hoja santa tortilla

Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist

Aqui es Texcoco

Lamb Barbecue Taco
Traditional Mexico City-style lamb barbecue

Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist

Coni’Seafood

Green Salsa Ceviche Taco
Raw shrimp marinated in lemon and salt with diced cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions with homemade green chili salsa

Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist

Petty Cash Taqueria

Grilled Skirt Steak Carne Asada Taco
Grilled skirt steak carne asada with refried beans and guacamole 

Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist

Tocaya Organica

Barrio-Style Taco
Red chili-braised barbacoa, salsa cascabel, red onion, cilantro, and escabeche

Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist

Balam Mexican Kitchen

Tacos de Canasta
Steamed taco with pork rind, pickled cabbage, and hot sauce

Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist

Taco Libre

Tacos de Carnitas
Slow-cooked pork with onions and cilantro salsa served on a handmade corn tortilla

Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist

Frida Mexican Cuisine

Tacos de Pollo con Mole
Chicken simmered in a black mole sauce served on a handmade corn tortilla

Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist

Padre

Sancho Panza Taco
Hibiscus morita-glazed pork belly and poblano pepper nogada slaw served on a handmade heirloom corn tortilla

Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist

Mezcalero

Birria de Marlin Taco
Avocado leaf refried beans, cueritos xni-pec salsa, and chile güero mousse served on a flour tortilla

And the winner is…

Pez Cantina!

Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist

We even had our favorite side dish:

Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist

Tackle Box

Elote
Grilled corn off the cob, Cotija lime cream, Parmesan, and chicharrón

But we didn’t forget about dessert:

Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist

Cookie Good

Flavors:
Churro
Mexican Hot Chocolate
Caramel-Pretzel-Chocolate Chunk
Cap’n Crunch Cotton Candy Crunch

Plus, our friends from Clamato hosted a michelada bar with endless crazy toppings:

Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist
Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist

There was plenty of ice-cold cerveza, courtesy of Estrella Jalisco:

Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist
Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist

Guests visited the Dine + Do Good station, sponsored by Citi: 

We got in on that giving feeling with Citi & No Kid Hungry by enrolling our Citi® credit cards in the Dine + Do Good program, where a meal out could help provide 10 meals to kids in need. Our visitors enrolled their cards or made donations of their own. Plus, Citi hosted a photo booth to capture all the memories.

Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist
Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist

There was plenty to do in between bites:

The competition went beyond just tacos, as our guests faced off in heated games of cornhole and Connect Four. Plus, a face painter provided festive looks for our taco fans.

Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist

Check out some of our favorite pics of the day:

Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist
Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist
Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist
Brian Feinzimer / Thrillist