Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mexican Street Food in Los Angeles


Just one of the things you'll find here on Weekends.

A certain blogger would prefer that this place get very little exposure, so I'm going to do just that, at his behest.

So I'm just gonna post some of the pictures I took when I went a couple of weeks before Christmas.  (Tacos de Barabacoa y Pancita pictured)

I found this place fascinating.  I love, love, loved it!

They sell all kinds of goodies.  I was tempted to buy caña for I didn't know what.  I just knew I wanted to buy it and make something with it.  A prime example of letting the market dictate what you make and not the other way around.  

The sell all kinds of Mexican candies, nuts, spices, piñatas, produce, chorizo and even parillas, trompos and charolas to set up your own roadside taco stand.  Damn, I wonder what kinda damage I could make with some of these toys.  Sooo tempting.

But make no mistake, I came for the food.  And by 11:00am, the street was already bustling with most of the vendors set up.  Everywhere you turned, someone was trying to get you to try their food.  But not in a manner that would turn you off.  This was the opposite of having people hit you up for money as you exit the supermarket, as you exit the freeway, as you pump gas, as you leave the bank.  Here, everyone was eager to have you try their food.  You could tell they were proud of their products.  So even if you don't buy anything walking up the street, you can sample a few things.  And once you sample, boy you are hooked.

For the most part, you're gonna end up having a taco or a derivative of taco here.  In other words, a filling or topping of meat or veggie with or on top of griddled masa.

I thought about getting tripas on my way back from walking up the street but by the time we got around to them again, I was already stuffed.

You can find fritangas all up and down the street so I was surprised to find some guisados thrown in the fray as well.  I passed em up only cuzz I wasn't in that kinda mood on this trip.

Just one of the many stands set up on Olympic West of Central.

I wanted a quesadilla with huitlacoche...

and that's just what I got.  Here, they gave me the quesadilla with free reign to their salsa/condiment bar.

What's to drink?  I got a spinach, pineapple cucumber agua while Yessie got a freshly squeezed orange juice.  Other options include horchata, jamaica, tamarindo, agua de melon, agua de sandia, tepache, tejuino and other soft drinks.

Here's one I became privy to by Las Perlas General Manager, Raul.

Sherry, orange juice and quail eggs.  The person who made it didn't appear to know what I was asking for.  I knew what I wanted but I didn't know the proportions.  I was hoping she would have known, but to the best of my knowledge, the lady that made it for me, was standing in for someone else.  Apparently the chilango cocktail is feshly squeezed oj with a shot of jerez and a couple of quail eggs.  What I got was halk a cup of sherry with a splash of oj and 2 eggs.  All good.  The boozier the better!

Yessie asked for a hurache or at leas that's what I think he asked for.  Heck, he doesn't even know what he asked for!  This is what he was given anyway.

Later, we met this greñudo loco.

As far as I could tell, he was the only person doing something with seafood.

The col cat fried up strips of battered tilapia and served them with a wedge of lemon and some hot sauce.  

They also sell nieves, bionicos and raspados.  

After sampling a few, I got tequila ice cream.  Good stuff.

I really dug this 3 block stretch of Mexico.  Here you'll find some of the best tacos in all of Los Angeles.  It can be a bit daunting and overwhelming at first, but once you go, you'll want to return time and time again.  From what I hear, more and more vendors are setting up on weekends so you never know what you will find.  On my visit, I tried some of the things I wanted to eat but I didn't find the bagged chapulines or the chorizo verde I had read about.  Hopefully on my next visit i will be able to track these guys down.


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