More people would eat tripa if tripa was (aptly) described as “fried sausage casings,” or if it was better known how magnificent the tripa is at Santa Cecilia Mexican Restaurant.
Santa Cecilia’s glorious Taco Grande de Tripa consists of cow intestines chopped into lean ribbons that, depending on how long they are griddled, can provide varying textures ranging from fibrous to crunchy. As with bacon, the best tripa is mostly crispy on the outside with just the faintest amount of chew inside. When you order tripa at Santa Cecilia, you’re always asked how you want it prepared. While the resplendent results of ordering “extra crispy” is perhaps what I’d recommend to tripa novices, you could order “regular” and be rewarded at Santa Cecilia with an arguably more interesting taco. You really ought to try it both ways — a reasonable excuse to order more tacos here, not that you need one.
Regardless of how long the tripas are cooked, the flavor is straightforward: beefy, a bit salty, and a little earthy. This pairs well with the handmade corn tortilla and the house’s green salsa habanera, a zippy and tart sauce that tastes like it was purpose-built for this specific taco.
Food/Décor/Service: 4.5/NA/NA (take-out only)
Taco Scores: Taco de Tripa (98)
Jay Recommends: Taco Grande de Tripa, extra crispy
Santa Cecilia Restaurant; 1707 Mariachi Plz, Los Angeles, CA 90033; Monday through Friday from 9:00am-6:00pm, Sunday 10:00am-10:00pm; (323) 980-0716