Tacos Straight Outta Compton

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A photo posted by TacoMell (@tacomell_catering) on

Our friends at First We Feast are celebrating “LA WEEK”, which you know is going to include lots of tacos. One article which stands out is L.A. Taco contributor Tony Chen’s Rise of the Compton Taco. Chen takes you on a tour of the various taco stands, restaurants, and catering options in Compton that feature what he calls “organic cross-cultural pollination” between the city’s Black business owners and the city’s majority Latino population.
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Squid x ESTO ~ Downtown L.A.

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Photos by Joe Jimenez.
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We Need to Do Something About Eric Andre

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Eric André is one of the funniest people on television and regularly delights us with his absurd, sometimes straight up insane comedy. His talk show is the last talk show that ever needs to be created as he pretty much demolishes the entire genre. Literally.
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Gabriel Kahane “The Ambassador” ~ This Weekend

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“Gabriel Kahane’s lilting, lyrical, loving art songs… deserves a spot on a bookshelf dedicated to LA.” – LA Observed
In singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane’s landmark collaboration with Tony-winning director John Tiffany, time—both real and imagined— is suspended, as we are drawn into a dreamlike experience of Los Angeles that spans Hollywood’s Golden Age to a post-flood apocalypse.

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An Evening With ABSTRAKTO ~ Thursday

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ABSTRAKTO is vocalist and multi-instrumentalist of the multi-Grammy-winning group Ozomatli, and music producer / actor Balthazar Getty. Keep reading for some music videos and more info…

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What You Need to Know About Gangs in Los Angeles in 2015 ~ A Q&A With Sam Quinones

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Sam Quinones is an author and journalist who lives and works in Los Angeles. He spent many years with the Los Angeles Times, and has done some of his best work since leaving the organization, including recent pieces in the New York Times, National Geographic, and Pacific Standard magazine. The author of several books, including the forthcoming Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic, he is also the originator of the Tell Your True Tale workshop which we have featured here on L.A. Taco (here, and here). Sam is a nationally known as an expert on gangs in Los Angeles, and we wanted to get some basic information that could be useful for all Angeleños…

You recently said that the Mexican Mafia is something all Angelenos should know about. What are some basics that you can share with our readers?

That’s a big topic. Basically, the Eme is perhaps an enormously important institution in the lives of people who live in Latino barrios across Southern California. It is so because two decades ago it began organizing, from prisons and county jail, the Latino gang members on the streets, ordering them to tax drug dealers in their areas and funnel part of the profits to whatever Eme member controlled the gang’s area, or his associates or family members.

This new system was instituted by one or two, then copied by many other Mexican Mafia members. The taxation system transformed a prison gang into a mafia on the streets. It transformed local neighborhood gang members from guys who strictly were about controlling their turf into guys far more interested in making money and acquiring power.

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Above: “Boxer” Enriquez, former Mexican Mafia killer turned informant who was recently denied parole.

The local Eme member, from his cell in Pelican Bay or Corcoran maximum security, could in broad terms control things on the street, ordering a gang to kill its own members, which is something that never happened before. They also have ordered some gangs to tax certain businesses that have nothing to do with drug sales but are on the edge of legality – like ice cream and fruit vendors, cantinas and bar operators.

Some Eme members have ordered what amounts to crime waves in their areas. Many have let it be known that they didn’t want blacks operating in their territories, leading gangs to go on ethnic cleansing crusades for a several years.  (Continued)

Recap: 4th Annual L.A. Zine Fest

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Last Sunday was the 4th annual L.A. Zine Fest. The one-day-only event was very well attended, with people streaming in and out of the event site all day long. Interesting outfits and dyed hair was in abundance as were zines in every permutation imaginable. Some of our favorite tables were Freeways Collide, Adam Villacin, and Sleep Talk Press. The great people over at Influenza were on the scene, passing out hand stamped fliers to promote the 1st ever Long Beach Zine Fest.

A truly great thing about the LAZF is that it really promotes the D.I.Y. movement, and has helped inspire more and more people to create their own work and do their own thing. Within the last four years the LAZF has gained a huge following, as the event connects people from all over the world. L.A. Taco’s Desilu stopped by to support and document this very cool event that happened on a very hot February day. (Continued)

Finally, a Reliable Source for a Dodgers Hat with a Dodgers D

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Baseball season kicks off today as pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training. The Dodgers already have a nice group of players working out the team facility in Arizona, which means as a fan it’s time for you to practice drinking beer, wearing hats, and yelling at Don Mattingly’s bone-headed bullpen bloopers.

It’s been very hard to find one of the most sought-after Dodgers caps– Dodger blue with a Dodgers logo “D” instead of “LA”. The team’s new AAA affiliate in Oklahoma City has come to the rescue with this Dodgers D fitted cap. The team plans to wear these hats as alternate home caps to compliment their standard “OKC” version. We assume supplies are pretty limited so if you’ve been scouring ebay for this lid, you may want to jump on this now before word gets out.

Preview: Robert Williams “SLANG Aesthetics!” ~ Opens this Weekend

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This weekend, as part of the Juxtapoz Magazine 20th anniversary party and art show, the founder of Juxtapoz will be showing a new exhibition of work. A self-described conceptual realist, Williams is considered the godfather of the low brow art movement. This is his first show in LA for over a decade. Keep reading for a preview of some of the images that will be on display, along with more info on the show…
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The Photography of Gregory Bojorquez

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Gregory Bojorquez first came to our attention four years ago, when his photograph of a shooting in Hollywood made the front page of the L.A. Times. It was the first photograph shot on film that made the front page in over a decade. But we were late… Gregory has been making indelible images long before that, and has continued to document life in Los Angeles with a unique style, a sense of playfulness, and a depth that can only come from personal experience. His photos are remarkable because you can sense the love he has for his subjects but also feel his need to create art, to define a moment. To cast the neighborhood of his youth and his present in bronze and say that this, right here, matters. Boyle Heights is lucky to have someone like Gregory roaming her streets and meeting people, talking with friends, eating, and taking pictures. Please enjoy this selection of brand new scans from the photographer’s recent work, along with a Q&A.
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10 Essential Seafood Tacos in Baja Chosen by Bill Esparza

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Our friends at FirstWeFeast sent over this excellent article on seafood tacos in Baja, which begins thusly:

“It’s a place where a middle-class guy like me can make it rain,” says Bill Esparza, the unofficial spokesman of Baja’s food scene, and the man and mouth behind food blog Street Gourmet LA. Esparza first went to Tijuana in 1988 with college friends “to drink dollar beers, meet San Diego State girls, and eat bacon-wrapped hot dogs at 5am before stumbling back across the border.” Around 2000, he started making regular trips to the area, and he’s been leading culinary tours of Baja for the past 14 years.

FirstWeFeast is based in NYC, but they know who to ask about Baja tacos. The piece runs through 10 locations you’ll need to try in Baja and includes awe-inducing photographs like the one above. Read the full post here.