Your guide to the best Mexican restaurants from The Times’ 101

Elvia Huerta and Alex Garcia of the ride-or-die “metal taco” duo named Evil Cooks drive around Los Angeles in a black 1989 Dodge van that looks like the touring wheels of a metal-punk band. They cook in rock T-shirts and bandannas, stamping their fresh-pressed corn tortillas with their sello, or imprint: a smirking, goateed cartoon devil logo that Garcia designed himself. Following their canceled residency at Smorgasburg L.A. this spring, the duo have been cooking under the cover of face masks and a plastic tent they erect every weekend on a quiet street in El Sereno. There they marinate stacks of pork in recado negro chile paste until the flesh turns dark blue on the rotating “goth” trompo, which was inspired in part by a similar “black” al pastor made by Mexican chef Roberto Solis. The spice-rubbed meat, shaved over fresh-pressed corn tortillas, is distinctly earthy and succulent. Lately the Cooks have been making enormous burritos filled with things like chilaquiles and carnitas, and the emerald-green vegan chorizo that Garcia spent all summer perfecting. I’ve grown mildly obsessed with the nopal dish that involves breading and deep-frying a grilled cactus pad until it starts to resemble a pounded-thin chicken fried steak — they call it “nopales a la milanesa.” The menu is always subject to change, but you can count on one or two desserts, including Huerta’s citrus-tinged flan taco made with thin, crepe-like tortillas. Together, Huerta (born and raised in El Sereno) and Garcia (a proud son of Querétaro in central Mexico) cook food that bridges Chicano and Mexican culinary tropes and traditions while also gently rebelling against them with verve, humor and rock music. Theirs is some of the most interesting and exciting cooking in Los Angeles.