The Offalo’s Top 5 Tacos of Tacolandia

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Another year, another Tacolandia, the food festival curated by Bill “Street Gourmet LA” Esparza and hosted by LA Weekly.

This was the third and biggest year, with 80+ vendors and 4,000+ attendees.  With so many to choose from, how could one possibly pick and rank the top five tacos of the entire event?

Well, first off, I “only” sampled 25 dishes, so I can only name my favorites out of that pool, which included a record number of participants from Mexico, like Corazon de Tierra, La Embajada, La Guerrerense, Manzanilla, Tacos Kokopelli, and chef Eloy Aluri Taller.  I also tried tacos by establishments from across Los Angeles and Southern California including B.S. Taqueria, Bistro LQ, Bizarra Capital, Cacao Mexicatessen, Coni’Seafood, El Cristalazo, chef Priscilla Curiel, Flautas, Guerrilla Tacos, Home State, The Hungry Cat, Moles La Tia, Petty Cash Taqueria, Soho Taco, Taco Maria, and Tacos Punta Cabras.  Honestly, there was not a bad taco/tostada/flautas/vegetarian Frito pie (really) in the bunch!

So, what were my Top 5 of Tacolandia 2015?
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L.A. Taco Interview with Benjie Escobar

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We recently had the chance to sit down with Benjie Escobar at a bomb new ramen spot in Little Tokyo to discuss his current projects, what he’s been into lately, and what he has in store for POW! WOW! Long Beach. A true kid at heart (like most of us) Benjie stays in touch with his roots and aspirations through his multifarious artistic explorations. Benjie is involved in so many art forms it’s hard to keep up– he’s into restoring low rider bikes, illustration, photography, collecting odd stuff, and the ever so delicious musubi.

If you haven’t already heard about POW! WOW!which will be taking place all next week, Benjie will be there painting a huge wall that will be his largest project to date. Even if you don’t know Benjie’s name, you’ve probably seen one of his designs on the internet or on someone’s t-shirt. Most recently one of his designs was copied and reposted all over the internet like Kim Kardashian nudes.  The only downside was that he didn’t get much credit for his witty Venn diagram. Benjie being the humble and funny artist he is made a parody of his original design. Hopefully that one gets ripped off too and makes it to Juxtapoz’s instagram again. 

What are some of your past and current influences?

In no order, going off of stuff I screen shotted on my phone: Horrible internet memes, self embellished clothing, iron on letters, Nintendo, my cat, pizza, burgers, musubi, gremlins 2: the new batch, people who can surf better than I ever will, UFOs, fairy kei, reformed Cholas with old photo albums, margaritas, luchadores, vintage local anything, American gladiators, pointy boots, multi colored hair, dragon ball z, pink or teal sweaters, flaming hot Cheetos, SGV dive bars, street fighter 2 endings, Japan, pastel cyber goths, the original point break, spaghetti, risograph, micheladas, tribal tattoos, and old Schwinns.
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The Photography of Hussein Katz

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Hussein Katz is a native Angeleño who has built an impressive photography career working in multiple genres and for many publications. His personal work is intimate yet mysterious and will be on display at Trencher starting tonight at 7pm. 1305 Portia Street.

What’s your favorite taco?
Mariela’s on 3rd & Catalina. It’s the best Carne Asada in my opinion & the hot sauce is incredible.

How does the city of Los Angeles play into your work?
I’m a native of this city & it’s a strong influence in who I am. I’ve always loved L.A. & have gained inspiration from all of it’s aspects. The light, the people, the concrete streets, the skyline, the trees, the mountains, & beaches are all so varied & beautiful. There have been so many distinct styles that were born out of this city which are also woven into my work I think.

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Tune of the Day: “Free” by Dam Funk

It’s a free country, and this track is a free download, bump it in your car and it will make you feel free…

Teen Angel “LEGENDS NEVER DIE” ~ Opens this Saturday

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This Saturday night “LEGENDS NEVER DIE”, and art show curated by the ongoing members of Teen Angels Magazine opens at shop Mi Vida in Highland Park. In honor of Teen Angel himself there will be over 32 different artists paying homage and respect to one of the most iconic Chicano Artists of our time. Some of the artists included are: CHUCO MORENO, RICHARD SANCHEZ, BENJIE ESCOBAR, MATT McCORMICK, JASON McCAFEE, LEANE “ELROD” RODRIGUEZ, JAMES SOLANO, VALERIE J. BOWER and more.

Put together by editor of the latest three issues of TEEN ANGELS MAGAZINE, RICHARD CASTOR, with the help of store/gallery owner NOELLE REYES, this show is sure to be a mix of different styles, but all within the “TEEN ANGEL STYLE” Covering such topics as Lowriding, Cholos, Cholas, Chicano culture, and just life in the Varrio. We’re extremely excited to see what everyone will have in store. Follow the link for a full press release and a preview images.
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We Are L.A. ~ Lee, Larry, & Max

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Welcome We Are L.A., a regular column by contributor Meet Frankie C. This column’s purpose is to introduce you to interesting people living in our city through photography. Frankie C. roams Los Angeles with his camera, looking for stories to tell and visions to share…

I met these guys at Starbucks about 6 months ago, and now we meet there almost every day. The gentleman who owns the 1971 Corvette Stingray is named Lee, he’s had the car for about 10 years. His homies are Larry (with the hat) and Max (sitting in the car). I really enjoy talking to them, they’re the funniest guys I’ve probably ever met. They talk shit to each other and are just so full of life.

Although they’ve surprisingly only been friends for about a year, I really feel their brotherly bond. It seems like they all grew up together, which is really refreshing to me to find in this city. We sit and talk for hours, sometimes about their grandchildren, or about the way life was in the 1950s and 60s, to their last years on this earth until God calls for them. Our conversations really put things in perspective, and can cause real emotions to surface. Sometimes the topics are way before my time, or I’m talking to them about what’s going on now, but we always feel connected.

Lee once told me: “I feel good when I drive the car, I love the attention. I’ve been offered cash for this thing too many times. But I can’t let it go, there’s days I get in the car and I feel 50 again.”
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Video of the Day: Dumbfoundead’s “Coachella” Takes You on a SnapChat Tour of Koreatown

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” a film about Calder Greenwood

“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.

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GTA in Real Life on the Streets of Los Angeles

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.

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Preview: Sacred Body Art Show ~ Opens Tonight at Exact Science

Luckysova Studios | www.PhotoStudioSD.com

Luckysova Studios | www.PhotoStudioSD.com

A new photography gallery showcasing modern body painting opens June 5 from 7-10pm at the Exact Science Gallery (7565 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, CA). The photos on display through July 5 showcase the work of 10 local photographers, who photographed live the night of the sold out Body Fine Art Competition May 16th, the work of seasoned body painters who traveled from all over the world to use the body as a living canvas.

Guests will be entertained with live body painting artists including Skin Wars’ season two star Lana Chromium, and Dewayne Flowers of Flesh and Colors. More info here, keep reading for preview images…

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Preview: Ferris Plock “The Fake History of The World” ~ Opens June 12th at Daniel Rolnik Gallery

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Ferris Plock is a San Francisco-based artist who will travel south on June 12th to show new work at Daniel Rolnik Gallery. The new show, “The Fake History of the World” caught our eye right off the bat because one of the series of illustrations is “taco vs. pizza,” one of the truly pressing conundrums of modern urban life. Plock uses acrylic, watercolor, spray paint, India ink, and collage to create detailed characters that have ranged from animals to people to food to anatomically incorrect human figures. This show is light-hearted and includes pizzas, tacos, tacos vs. pizza, and two characters named Richard and Peter who look like they love to have fun but are actually total dicks.

Q: Yo, Ferris, one quick question before we preview your new show. What’s your favorite taco?
A: Seaside Metal in Guernville has my favorite fish tacos.

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