Posts Tagged ‘Guelaguetza’

Taste Los Angeles at the Taste of Mexico

Mini sea urchin tostada with chicharron and esquites (Mexican street corn) from Cacao Mexicatessen

Mini sea urchin tostada with chicharron and esquites (Mexican street corn) from Cacao Mexicatessen

People always ask me what’s the best Mexican food in Los Angeles. Well, now those people — it could be you! — can find out for themselves at the 2nd Annual Taste of Mexico on Nov. 30 at Vibiana in downtown Los Angeles. Some of the best Mexican food in the city will be represented, including Playa, La Monarca Bakery, Guelaguetza, Cacao Mexicatessen and Guisados. I was recently invited to try some of these eateries’ offerings, and every single bite of food I had was delicious, especially the sea urchin tostada with chicharron and esquites (Mexican street corn off the cob) from Cacao Mexicatessen (above) and the Oaxacan mole negro pollo tamal from Guelaguetza (below). You won’t go wrong at Taste of Mexico.

Mole negro tamal from Guelaguetza

Mole negro chicken tamal from Guelaguetza

The event, which promises to be a veritable party judging by the hosts, will also feature Mexican beer, Baja wines, mezcal and tequila in addition to unlimited samplings from the participating restaurants. For even more fun, you’ll also find live music, mariachi and DJs. A portion of every ticket sold will benefit Los Angeles’ Downtown Art Walk.

Tickets cost $50 for general admission and $70 for VIP, which includes the uber-pricey Casa Dragones tequila and early admission to the event.


11 2012

L.A. Street Food Fest returns to Pasadena

Fire-roasted tomatoes with burrata and black mint pesto. Fire-roasted sweet potato, honey and serrano chili sauce. Both from the Picca menu by Ricardo Zarate.

Los Angeles’ biggest and most epic food festival, the L.A. Street Food Fest’s Summer Tasting Event, pops back up at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on July 16. This year’s event will feature a curated selection of street-inspired food from all kinds of vendors, including gourmet food trucks, old-school carts and stands, celebrity chefs, and restaurants, serving up everything from tacos to ice cream sandwiches. You’ll taste favorites from the Naan Stop, Grilled Cheese and Flying Pig trucks, Starry Kitchen and Guelaguetza restaurants, Food & Wine‘s Best New Chef Ricardo Zarate of Mo-Chica and Picca fame (who is creating something special just for this festival), and many, many more. There will also be a group of Baja chefs, including Javier Plascencia and Diego Hernandez, who will be cooking together for the first time. This feat was accomplished by none other than L.A.’s most-knowledgeable Mexican food aficionado, Bill Esparza of Street Gourmet L.A. There will also be ice cream, cocktails, beer and a special tequila tasting tent. It’s too much to list; here’s a list of L.A. Street Food Fest’s participants.

Naan Stop truck's samosa, which will be served at the L.A. Street Food Fest

Festival vendor Beachy Cream's Ginger Wipe Out with candied ginger ice cream and molasses spice cookie (left), Key Lime Cowabunga with key lime ice cream and coconut oatmeal cookie.

A portion of every ticket sold will benefit a local cause. This year it’s the Downtown Womens Center, which works to end homelessness among women.

To avoid long lines and overall craziness that has plagued the festival in the past, this year’s event is only offering a set amount of tickets. All tickets will be sold on a pre-sale basis only; tickets will not be available to purchase at the door. A $60 ticket gets you everything — food, drinks, cocktails, beer, music and parking.

For those of your concerned about Carmageddon, AKA the complete shutdown of the 405 freeway from late July 15 to early July 18, the Street Food Fest folks have come up with a whole staycation plan, with a free shuttle to the Gold Line, bicycle parking and hotel deals.


07 2011

Oaxacan me crazy: Guelaguetza

I’ve been into Oaxacan Mexican food lately, so when I was invited to dinner at Guelaguetza with owner Bricia Lopez, who also owns the uber-tasty Cemitas y Clayudas Pal Cabron, I jumped at the chance. I had been to Guelaguetza once before, and mostly what I remembered was the awesome band that played that night in the restaurant. So I was glad to have someone who knew her way around the menu to guide me through dinner.

Oaxacan-style Mexican food is different from the kind of Mexican food most people are used to, i.e., tacos and burritos served with salsa and refried beans. Oaxacan food is all about the mole, that thick sauce made from chilis, bread, chocolate and all kinds of other good stuff, and Guelaguetza serves all kinds. My favorite was a lighter one made with almonds (sorry, didn’t catch the name).

There are three locations of the restaurant, the original on 8th Street in Koreatown, one on Olympic Boulevard also in K-Town and one in Lynwood. We ate at the one on Olympic, which is a large space complete with larder area up front, a fountain in the middle and two areas for live music. Your meals here start with an appetizer of tortilla chips topped with mole and queso fresco.

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