LA’s Taco Madness 2013 is this Saturday, 4/20, and we’re profiling the food trucks that will be present! Our mouths are watering already…
In the six years since its opening, Frida Mexican Cuisine has stayed true to its mission to bring authentic, high-quality Mexican cuisine to Southern California. Named for Frida Kahlo, one of the most celebrated personalities in Mexican culture, and a culinarian in her own right, Frida’s four locations provide diners with pan-Mexican cuisine as it is enjoyed today-a blend of modern regional specialties and ancient flavors dating back to the Maya. From the Sopa de Tortilla to the Flan Napolitano, all of Frida’s food is prepared from scratch and features ingredients sourced from Mexico, with a complexity and fine caliber rarely encountered stateside. The brainchild of Vicente Del Rio, each of Frida’s locations provides diners with an elegant and festive experience evocative of the real Mexico, in Southern California. (Source) (Photo credit)
Mexicali Taco & Co.
Mexicali Taco & Co. is about good food. They don’t have burritos or enchiladas. What they have are simple, well-made items that represent the Baja region of Mexicali, Mexico.
Mexicali is the border city in northern Baja, Mexico that is the hometown of Mexicali Taco & Co. founders Esdras Ochoa & Javier Fregoso. Although they later grew up on the U.S. side in Calexico, the lively culture of Mexicali, especially its street food, made Esdras & Javi spend most of their weekends across the border. These culinary memories combined with the comfort foods of home created Mexicali Taco & Co. in 2009.
The guys first opened up at 1st & Beaudry with mild success. Taco trucks and stands are a dime a dozen in L.A. However, the flavors were there from the beginning, and it was only a matter of time before Angelinos started to hear about the two taqueros whose purpose was to bring the Mexicali taco experience to the City of Angels. After winning “Taco Madness” in 2011, the guys opened their flagship location on Figueroa just north of Sunset. (Source) (Photo cred)
Mariscos Jalisco is a seafood truck serving up ceviche, seafood cocktails, oysters ,and shrimp tacos. The shrimp tacos are made in the style of “San Juan de Los Lagos” with a crispy outer shell, savoriy shrimp inside, and topped with savory salsa and avocado.
Mariscos Jalisco is captained by Raul Ortega, 49, who sold tacos de cabeza in his hometown, San Juan de los Lagos, Mexico, before moving to the United States 29 years ago. The tacos dorados de camaron are based on a secret recipe developed by the family of a friend from his hometown, which is in the northeast corner of the state of Jalisco. The friend works on the truck alongside Ortega, his daughter and nephew, and a few others. Mariscos Jalisco was the co-winner of Taco Madness in 2012, and has garnered acclaim on Food TV, the Travel Channel and many other media outlets. (Source 1, Source 2) (Photo cred)
Leo’s Taco Truck
Leo’s originally began serving the Mid-City community on the corner of Venice & La Brea. By popular demand, the addition of Trucks #2 and #3 took place shortly thereafter.
Leo’s Taco Truck is one of LA Weekly’s “99 Essential Restaurants in Los Angeles”, is ranked #4 in “Top 10 Los Angeles Best Tacos” and is ranked #36 in “100 Best Dishes in Los Angeles”. Leo’s is best known for their Al Pastor tacos and their huge and beautiful trompa (vertical grill) that gets setup outside the truck every weekend. (Source) (Photo cred)
Known for their Cochinita pibil, Yuca’s has been around since 1976 when it was started by the Herrera family. Jaime and Socorro Herrera, natvies of Merida, Yucatan, opened their tiny hut in a parking lot in 1976 and started selling cochinita pibil. Their daughter, Dora, was put through Brown University with the proceeds from the establishment, and today she, Socorro, and longtime coworker Manuel Rodriguez staff the restaurant’s capsule-size kitchen. The fall apart pork chochinita pibil is servied in soft tacos and burritos and makes unimaginably good sandwiches on French rolls. (Source) (Photo cred)
What sets Mexikosher apart from the competition is its chef. Chef Katsuji Tanabe, a Mexico-raised, half-Japanese former sous at Mastro’s, and until recently, the exec chef at Shiloh’s steakhouse, has combined his Kosher cooking skills with the Mexican recipes he grew up on. Specializing in healthy-leaning Mexican food, Tanabe graces Mexikosher with fourteen handmade salsas, will have a different daily special and isn’t afraid to take on kosher birria, chimichangas, steak milanesa, and Baja fish tacos, in addition to tacos and burritos. (Source) (Photo cred)
Tacos Puntas Cabras
Known as the best taqueria on the Westside, Tacos Punta Cabras serves a short menu of seafood tacos and tostadas. Their tostadas and fish and shrimp tacos are inspired by the legendary taco shacks in Ensenada as well as Baja’s contemporary culinary movement. Chef Joshua Gil has roots in Sonora, Mexico and spends much time in Baja, California so he understands the most fundamental principles of making tacos and tostadas: moisture that melts in your mouth. Every part of their tacos from the tortilla to the garnish is handmade, and you can tell the minute you take a bite. (Source 1, Source 2) (Photo cred)
At Guerrilla Tacos, chef-owner Wes Avila brings two of California’s greatest edible assets together, fusing exceptional local ingredients with killer tacos. After training under Alain Ducasse and working with Walter Manzke, the Pico-Rivera local set up his own taco stand last year in between stints with Gary Menes’ acclaimed Le Comptoir. Now you can find Avila every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday outside of Downtown’s Handsome Coffee Roasters, serving an ever-shifting selection of handmade tortillas and salsas with vital ingredients like artichoke, oxtail, spiagarello, red snapper sashimi, maitake mushrooms, and sweet potato. Endlessly inventive, Avila is pushing the boundaries on what a chef-driven taco cart can accomplish. (Source) (Photo cred)