Every month, Andrew Ti, the guy behind Yo, Is This Racist?, will be bringing his advice dispensing talents to the pages of L.A. Taco. Send your questions to email@example.com.
Alright, everyone, welcome to the advice place. For this inaugural edition of Stop Being An LA Asshole (and, let’s face it, every subsequent edition), I’m going to be helping you people to break from your natural LA instincts and consider, maybe, not being total assholes. Let’s take a goddamn question.
my girl lives in Studio City, I live in Culver City. I drive a vintage Trans Am and I don’t like to put too many miles on it. She basically drives to me, even if we go out in Downtown. She said I’m an asshole for making her drive to me… but she just has a car that is better for long trips, plus I drink a lot. Who is right here?
Molly Lambert is a genius writer from the Valley whose appeal seems to cut across borders and boundaries in Los Angeles. If you need a concrete example, check our Gmail inbox or our Twitter mentions– people from East L.A. and Brentwood, Long Beach and Culver City, Boyle Heights and Encino forward us her columns in Grantland, usually without comment. People just want us to be aware of what she’s written, which is a nice thought but FYI we’ve usually already read the column…
Just this year Lambert has written about Clueless, Janet Jackson, Mad Men, Noah Baumbach, Rihanna, Van Morrison, Robert Durst, the Glendale Cat Show, and (perhaps most memorably) the AVN Awards in Las Vegas. It would be easy to look at one’s own pop-culture diet and for a moment not be overly impressed by that list until you remember that Molly is not just watching and thinking about those shows/movies/people, she’s illuminating them like a diligent monastic scribe. Presumably working by MacBook light in an Echo Park area cloister, Lambert paints the margins of today’s cultural artifacts with trenchant references to other works of art, while also giving us often hilarious insights and an opinion that is both unmistakably her own and resonant with a lot of people in this city.
Farley Elliott has been writing about food in Los Angeles for the last five years, and is the author of the forthcoming book Los Angeles Street Food: A History from Tamaleros to Taco Trucks, (Amazon) which investigates the current street food scene along with the long and varied history of street food in L.A. The book functions as both a coffee-table book, a history, and a guide to what’s happening right now. We got the chance to interview Farley about the book and his personal faves on the street, tacos and otherwise. You can buy the book and meet the author in person at Skylight Books this weekend.
L.A. TACO: What surprised you most about L.A. Street Food when writing the book?
Farley Elliott: It’s a really endless tunnel to start traveling down. You get into cuisines, then regional versions of certain dishes, then you can start to look at the ways in which L.A. itself has shaped those regional versions. It’s honestly endless. All you can do is keep learning — about the history, the people, the families responsible for bringing certain things here.
The following story comes from the forthcoming Tell Your True Tale Volume 3. These compilations, created by Sam Quinones, have become an increasingly rich mix of stories out of the ELA area. Volume 1 and Volume 2 are also available on Amazon. The county library has created a dedicated site for the project, and the authors along with Sam will periodically do live readings and workshops. Additional information available at the end of the story.
As we walked toward the corner of Juniper and 108th, the bright glow of the streetlight made it even harder for us to keep from swaying. There were three of us, Jose Varela, Jose Villalobos, and myself, Jose Nunez, trying to decide which way to go.
Varela, the oldest, swayed and yelled, “Ya fools are drunk as hell!”
Villalobos giggled and stomped toward Varela and scolded him.
“What you expect? We just drank a 40 of Old E.”
Varela pushed him away.
“Shut your ass up before I knock you out.”
Villalobos put his hands up and threw a couple of punches.
“What’s up? You want some? Come get some, homes. What, you scared? Chabala. Ranker. Leva. That’s what I thought, punk.”
He may be old, he may drive a first generation Prius, but this dude in Pasadena kicks out the jams harder than pretty much anyone these days. His Prius is literally rocking in time with his movements as he improvises over ZZ Top’s “La Grange”, which we like to think just came on the radio (probably 93.1).
Bobby Crosby is one of the very few (only?) fans to ever have his name mentioned during a game by Vin Scully. Why? Because the season-ticket holder not only catches a ton of homeruns in the front row of the Left Field Pavillion, but films himself doing it. His YouTube channel, Dodgerfilms, recently broke 100,000 subscribers and is the most popular non-official Dodger channel in the world. His infectious fandom, impressive editing skills, cast of left field pavilion regulars, and star-making homerun catches have made him a celebrity in the world of hardcore Dodger fans. We count ourselves among his fans, so wanted to bring you this interview touching his past, future, and present as Mr. Dodgerfilms.
How long have you been attending Dodger games, and when did you first start filming the games?
I’ve attended games since I was a little kid. Got season tickets in ’97, the same ones I have now, front row in the left field pavilion. I first brought a video camera to games in the mid ’90s just for home movies, but I didn’t start bringing one consistently or sharing my footage with others until May of 2008 when I started up the Dodgerfilms YouTube channel. (Continued)
A brand new track from Dumbfoundead dropped yesterday and today we have the video. Directed by Jay Ahn, and told mostly through SnapChat stories, we see the rapper and his girls (played by Francis Lola and Ellen V. Lora) on a night out in K-Town, including stops at Beer Belly, the Line Hotel (with a cameo from Roy Choi) and a luxury apartment rooftop pool. Pause it in various parts and you may see people you recognize, if you like to get turnt up in K-Town with any regularity. You can download “Coachella” for free here.
“The Cardboard Artist” is a work in progress film directed by Matthew Kaundart and produced by Luka Fisher about Calder Greenwood, who you know from his cardboard installations that pop up all over Los Angeles. The DTLA ART WALK will be screening the film this Thursday as part of its first annual film series at the Regent Theater.
Everyone knows that the wizards at Rockstar Games did an incredible job with their version of Los Angeles (Los Santos) GTA V, but now the people at Corridor Digital have returned the favor. Using just the right physics, camera work, and locations, they’ve recreated GTA in real life. Shot at iconic locations in Los Angeles like Venice Beach, Griffith Park Observatory, and the Arts District, any fan of the game will be blown away by this 3:22 experience.
Eli Braden is a musician turned comedy writer who is best known for his song parodies on the Howard Stern Show. His ribald tunes explore every inch of co-host Robin Quivers’ anatomy in graphic and hilarious detail, all set to the top hits of the day. His work on Stern has caught the attention of the comedy world, and he’s written for Television since moving to Los Angeles. Please enjoy this Q&A where Braden discusses family life, his favorite taco spot, and how he get his start in the lucrative world of parody songs…
Favorite taco spot in LA?
I live in Pasadena and like to go to Taco Lita in Arcadia. It’s really not that great, but supposedly Van Halen ate there back in the day so that’s kinda cool. My favorite tacos in L.A. are always from random food trucks I never remember the names of.
Please introduce yourself to the L.A. TACO readers. Who you are and what you do?
My name is Jasper Wong and I’m the founder of POW! WOW! Primarily a mural festival that has become an art and music school, creative community centers, and more. It’s currently held in Hawaii, Texas, California, Taiwan and Japan.
This year is Pow!Wow!’s fifth anniversary. Congratulations. Please describe what Pow!Wow! was when you first started and what it has now become in 2015.
POW! WOW! originally started as an excuse to bring my friends together and paint. A very simple idea that became much larger in scale over the years. What began as a gallery exhibit became a mural festival with 100+ artists painting 70 murals over a period of a week. We’re now expanding globally and creating related programming with our free art and music schools for the youth.