The best nachos I ever ate can be found at Taco Nazo in Los Angeles. Taco Nazo has been around since 1978 and has six locations BUT, to get the best nachos in the world, YOU MUST GO TO THE TACO NAZO IN BELLFLOWER. I can’t stress this enough. You won’t get them at any other location. And you MUST make sure that Omar is doing the cooking, or they just won’t be the same. So if you go to the Bellflower Taco Nazo and if you ask very nicely, Omar will make you “Nachos Especiales” made not with cups of goopy cheese, but with freshly made ceviche, people. Homemade tortilla chips are layered with three kinds of ceviche: fish, shrimp and crab, then topped with Ensenada-style cocktail shrimp, abalone, octopus, diced avocado and pico-de-gallo. That’s right, I said abalone. The nachos are then topped with Taco Nazo’s signature cream sauce.
Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is!
I begged Omar and his wife, Cindy, for the recipe. Sorry, it’s a closely guarded family secret—even Cindy doesn’t know the whole recipe! “But what about all of the wonderful Mamiverse readers who live far away from Bellflower?” I asked. They thought about it and sent me the following recipe for the shrimp ceviche, which is as close as any of us will get to making the nachos without marrying into Omar’s family:
TACO NAZO SHRIMP CEVICHE
Bring salted water to a boil. Add peeled shrimp (size 51/60). Turn off the heat and let the boiling water cook the shrimp thoroughly until tender and a little “crispy.” Add a little more salt to liking.
After shrimp is tender and an orangey-pink, remove from pot. You can either reserve the juices to make shrimp cocktails or toss out. Let shrimp cool, then dice. Marinate diced shrimp in fresh lime juice for about an hour. Add diced red onion, diced cucumber, diced pieces of mango, cilantro, and diced tomatoes. Add more salt, some pepper and oregano. Add ketchup to your liking. Stir everything together.
Serve on top of tostadas (OR NACHOS!!!) and top with fresh avocado slices. (The recipe doesn’t include exact measurements because it’s usually made in army-sized quantities, but you get the idea.)
THANK YOU OMAR AND CINDY!! If you can’t wait to try Omar’s nachos for yourself, then visit him at the Bellflower Taco Nazo, 10316 Alondra Blvd., Bellflower CA, 90706 (562)866-3306.
So there you have it, almost everything I know about nachos! Do you have your own recipe for “Nachos Especiales”? Do they make your Capitan forget his troubles and feel romantic? Do tell!
Wishing you love with extra cheese—