At the Friday night opening of The L.A. Times food event, The Taste, Juan’s Restaurante offered armadillo tacos in a red guajillo chile sauce. The Baldwin Park restaurant, known for its pre-Columbian recipes, paired the taco with corn tortillas, prickly pear cactus, and combas, or pre-Hispanic beans. The armadillo meat, which was consumed along with meats from deer, tapirs, iguanas, and monkeys back in the early Americas, reminded us a little of pork, with a slight funk to the flavor and the chefs had the critter’s shell on display.
Elsewhere, our friends at Mexicali Taco & Co. had another cool creation in a long line of great tacos, offering the asada taco you see below with a brutal ghost pepper sauce. The bhut jolokia, or ghost chili, is considered one of the world’s hottest, coming between 800,000 and 1,041,000 on the Scoville scale, compare with the habanero’s 150,000-320,000.