The short version: knowing I am an absolute cheap bastard, knowing there’s $12 lobsters down the street, knowing how much I despise “gourmet” food trucks… Cuyutlan is a great, historical place in LA to eat seafood.

Prelude: lobsters are obviously expensive, but as a dog palate Serious Eats commenter snarked not too long ago: is the higher ingredient cost worth the higher product price? Depends. I will pay $9 for a grass-fed beef burger in a sit-down counter-order restaurant. But to stand for a rather unfilling $12 lobster roll?


Battle Environs.
Cuyutlan: Boyle Heights. No one but obese low-income earners walk by. The truck is parked by the sidewalk in front of a coin-up laundry. There’s another generic quesadilla truck across the street. This isn’t too far away from Breed St.

Lobsta Truck: wherever there are “cool gatherings”, or on Wilshire’s falsely named Miracle Mile.

Winner: Lobster Truck when you don’t have any laundry.

Battle Food.
Cuyutlan: simply prepped ceviche, cocteles, seafood tacos. Unfortunately, jaiva is always imitation crab/surimi, so SKIP THAT, unless you’re in Baja. But we don’t like to go to Baja, so SKIP the jaiba/jaiva.

Lobsta Truck: all things faux-Maine. Lobsta, chowda, and rolls. Lobsta roll just went up another $1 in May.

Winner: Cuyutlan, they have crackers (for the cocteles). Lobsta doesn’t (for the chowda)

Battle Satisfaction.
Cuyutlan: $12 yielded lunch for 2 (3 ceviches on tostado, 2 fish taco, 1 bottle of soda. The fish tacos were solid, and on par with the best of Ensenada styles in LA. They were here in NINETEEN SEVENTY FIVE, and they survived in one of the most Mexican neighborhoods in LA without Twitter, without appearances on La Taco’s Taco Madness, without a blogging sister-in-law. The ceviches were not extraordinary. But it served 2 generations of Latinas as Friday night treats. We can argue Baja authencity to death, but the sense of satisfaction after eating here, and … , is as if the community kitchen reached out and touched the soul.

Lobsta Truck: $12 got 1 sandwich. After said 4-5″ sandwich crossed the pass, a sense of disgust washed over me, and I left without procuring accompanying sides. Chowda is $6, so soup & sandwich would be $18. The sandwich itself was adept at straddling the mayo vs. butter debate after I asked for both mayo & butter. Seriously, how can one not love butter, how can one not enjoy mayo? The debaters are stupid. Get both. Regardless, eating this sandwich outside of a wine shop renders the experience absolutely soulless and gutless. They are the nicest people, no doubt.

Winner: Cuyutlan, by the length of 4 Lobsta Truck rolls.

Overall winner: Does it matter? No one except I (and 7 yelpers?) visit Boyle Heights to eat what some may consider an ordinary ceviches from a ratty shack. Maybe if the truck’s in East Los, it’ll blow the hell up. Y’all keep going downtown for those hip-hoppy grilled arrachera. Cuyutlan, even without this post, will churn along just fine; its 1 stainless steel bench will probably survive another 37 years.

Marisco Cuyutlan Colima
2238 E 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Lobsta Truck
Lobsta Truck on Urbanspoon



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  • bangersnmash12

    Don’t like Boyle Heights? If you’re willing to relegate it to nothing but a bunch of “obese low-income earners”, then gtfo and don’t use our community as some token on your blog to show how ‘interesting’ or ‘adventurous’ you think you are. This food, and this community, is made by honest, hard-working people who each have more drive and determination, and more to be proud of, than a bland, boring-ass food blogger like yourself ever will.
    The folks you speak about so condescendingly don’t *need* an iPhone to upload cute little pictures of food on Instagram. Because we’re the ones making it.


  • sinosoul

    “Don’t like Boyle Heights? ” — No such claim was made. I thoroughly enjoyed Cuyutlan, and no one walking around carrying an iphone in Boyle Heights. Boyle Height is what it is. People live there, and there’s good Mexican food to be had. There’s no like, nor dislike. 

    Believe you missed the irony in the post, and an edit was made for clarification. Thanks for commenting.

  • Tony,
    Let’s meet up there for lunch this week.

  • sinosoul

    I can do Tuesday this week, LMK. To be honest tho, el Jato & 4 Viento’s ceviche just kills Cuyutlan’s. Granted, they’re almost thrice as expensive…

  • Been wanting to try El Jato. Let’s go there.

  •  I’ll eating at El Jato around noon.

  • sinosoul

    Derek, I don’t quite have your email, but my schedule changed suddenly this morning, and I won’t be free today, but tomorrow. Shoot me an email, it’s in the about: page.

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