Q&A with Randy Wyner, Founder of Chronic Tacos

Randy Wyner

In our long-running quest to give you, our dear readers, insight into the grand pageant that is the taco lifestyle, we seek out individuals who can teach us about their business success in the taco game. One such person is Randy Wyner. At age 26 he founded Chronic Tacos, which now has 30 locations in North America, with a plan to get to 100. He has brought the taco lifestyle to Canada in a big way, with several locations in British Columbia. Let’s chat with Randy about what makes a great taco and what the taco life means to him…

What’s your all-time favorite taco that isn’t served at Chronic Tacos?
I’ve had some amazing Lobster tacos in Mexico.

What do you order at Chronic Tacos?
I always order the beer-battered fish taco, Baja style and the Al Pastor taco with a side of rice and beans.

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Obese Darth Vader Eating a Taco

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Artist Alex Solis created a series of cartoon pop culture figures (check them all out here) in super plus sizes. Most of them are eating burgers, but one lucky ‘toon, the former Anakin Skywalker, has a taco. Happy Friday.

The Story of Karlos “OG BUMPS” Marquez

A reader recently sent us this fascinating four minute mini-documentary by John Wikstrom about L.A. graffiti pioneer Karlos “BUMPS” Marquez, and the strange path his artistic life has taken. Once one of LA’s O.G. writers, Marquez had his life go off the rails due to drugs and alcohol. Entering corporate life to make a living, he put his artistic ambitions behind him, only to have them resurface in an unexpected way. Watch the video above for the full story, and keep reading for a gallery of BUMPS’ work…

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Master of Fermentation: An Interview with David Ehreth of Sonoma Brinery

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Sonoma Brinery makes the best pickles we’ve ever bought from a supermarket. We’ve wanted to interview founder and master fermenter Dave Ehreth, a former engineer, for a long time just based on his kosher pickles, but were surprised and thrilled to find out he’s also interested in Mexican and Central American foods. Here we discuss the art of pickling, and his new products which include a curtido and Jalapeños en Escabeche…

Do you remember the first great pickle you ever had?
Yes. My father took me to a restaurant in San Francisco when I was young, Tommy’s Joint. He wanted to show me what a true kosher pickle was like; fermented, no vinegar, completely fresh. He was from New York and knew what a great kosher should be like. From that moment, when I was about 10 years old, I have been in love with real kosher pickles. I mean, really in love with these pickles. I used to drive 40 miles to San Francisco just to get a few of these pickles. Later in life, when I traveled on business to New York, I would round up kosher pickles and bring them home on the plane.

What got you into the pickling business?
After 30 years in the tech business, I decided to launch a second career; I was going to bring this great pickle to the West Coast. I saw the food revolution change our bread from white bread to baguette, iceberg lettuce to arugula. But our pickles were still vinegar and chemical soaked imitations of the real kosher. The true kosher is a harder pickle to make and manage, but just like the white-bread-to-baguett transition, worth every bit of the effort.

What, in your mind, makes a truly great pickle?
Great pickles begin as great cucumbers. A truly great pickle should be fresh, crisp, lightly acidic, mildly salty and have all the character of the cucumber it was made from. When you eat a great pickle, it should feel light on the pallet and should not leave you feeling like you just drank a cup of battery acid.

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New Mural: “Trigz Forever”, Painted by Jonas Never and Ruger ~ North Hollywood

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Jonas Never and Ruger painted this mural at La Vida Tattoo and Body Piercing 6342 Laural Canyon Bl. North Hollywood. The mural was inspired by the photo of Trigz by Pep Williams, which Pep posted here shortly after the news of his tragic death.

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Every Taco Reference on the Simpsons Ever

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There’s an amazing new website on the interwebs called SimpsonsWorld.com, which collects every Simpsons episode from the past 26 seasons and allows you to watch them online. It also allows keyword search, so you know what that means– in-depth taconalysis from your friends at L.A. Taco! We discovered 22 references to tacos in the history of the Simpsons. One of those was a reference to Dutch “Putting on the Ritz” singer but the rest were bonafide Mexican food references.

The most common use of “taco” or “tacos” on the Simpsons over the past 20+ years has been when the writers reference taco day at school or taco night at home, but there are also references to “Korean tacos” (in the service of a pretty good Judd Apatow burn) and Mexican wrestling “Taco Belly”. Two fictional taco places are mentioned, “Taco Joe’s” and “Taco Bueno,” which reminds us that Springfield needs some authentic Mexican food to come to town. Probably the best use of the word taco comes in Season One, when Selma and Patty show slides from their Mexican vacation, including “a Mexican delicacy called a Taco Platter.”

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Video Interview with RAKAA from DILATED PEOPLES

RYO1 (Ghetto Dojo Crew) sat down with the legendary RAKAA from Dilated Peoples for a discussion of his music, graffiti, jiu-jitsu, and what the future holds for him and his crew. Oh and yeah of course we asked him about his favorite taco spot…

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DEANSKII INTERVIEW

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DEANSKII is L.A. born and raised, and uses his film photography and ‘zines to give the world an insight into his life in the city. We got a chance to discuss photography and tacos with a man who loves his family, his crew, and documenting the art, triumphs, and tragedies of underground Los Angeles…

What’s your favorite taco?
I have to save my dad makes the best beef and potato tacos. I add some sweet chili sauce to it and it’s fire. But place-wise, I like the carnitas tacos at Diana’s in Carson, plus they’re open 24/7 can’t go wrong with that.
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Mr. VOID RE-SCORING “PIECES” + DYSTOPIAN INDOOR SWAP MEET ~ This Friday in DTLA

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This Friday 7:30 at Superchief Gallery in Downtown L.A. Mr VOID (Ruidoson, Tijuana) of Los Macuanos (currently being celebrated as the Mexican Kraftwerk) is doing a special performance / re-score of the 1980s Spanish slasher film PIECES.

The event will also feature some dystopian swap meet style tabling…
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8 New Murals by David Flores ~ Pomona

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These murals were painted by David Flores in his instantly recognizable signature style. The portraits are of Billie Holiday, Amelia Earhart, Grace Kelly, and Frida Kahlo, and adorn the walls of a new residential development in Pomona called Monterey Station. All photos by our new contributor, The Graffiti Hunter. You can view more photos in the Graffiti Hunter’s extensive archive on Instagram: www.instagram.com/TheGraffitiHunter. The Graffiti Hunter’s goal is to document artists working in public art, and create unique content to build awareness of their work. Every few months he produces art cards that are hidden on the streets and in the shops of the LA Arts District.

Keep reading for the full set of new murals…

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Video: Street Gospel “Know The Story” ~ Cale One K2S

Learn all LA artist Cale One K2S, in the first installment of video series “Street Gospel”. More at StreetGospelTV.Com