[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Eat as much avocado as I do and eventually you'll be struck by the urge to cook it. Sure, the pebbly-skinned fruit is incredible raw, but you begin to wonder whether there is some kind of equally amazing world of cooked avocado. What no one tells you is that if you cook avocado too long it'll start smelling like rotten eggs, and I don't know about you personally, but that exercise scarred me for life. This explains why I was initially extremely skeptical of Masa Azul's latest creation, agaucate tacos ($9 for there), which feature hunks of tempura fried avocado.

But what I didn't realize is that if you cook it quickly and delicately, the batter will crisp up, while still leaving the avocado its usual creamy and cool self. Basically, it's like getting your chips and guacamole all in one go: the tempura shatters on contact, while the avocado mixes with the pickled watermelon radish and serrano to make a guac I wouldn't hesitate to serve at a party. Of course, it only helps that the housemade corn tortillas are light and fragrant.

Masa Azul

2901 West Diversey Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647 (map)

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