7 Flautas You’ll Want to Try at Flautas, Now Open at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza

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Jaime Martin Del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu, the talented chefs behind what may be LA’s most important Mexican restaurant, La Casita Mexicana in Bell, today debut their fast-casual ode to a traditional Western Mexican dish with Flautas. For an in-depth discussion of the concept, check out this interview with Jaime and Ramiro from last year on Food GPS.

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Located in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw food court adjacent to their full-service restaurant Mexicano (which opens next month), Flautas is a quick option with a pretty impressive sounding menu. Keep reading for the full description of some of the 14 different flautas offered…

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Taco of the Year 2014: Taco de Carnitas y Cueritos from Carnitas El Momo

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When L.A.’s master of emerging cuisine, Bill Esparza, invited us to an early morning chow session in East L.A. along with luminaries in the taco community, we knew something special was going to be on offer. That crisp and clear winter morning we were introduced to a true master of authentic Mexican cooking, Romulo Acosta, whose small kitchen held the traditional massive copper pots used to make carnitas for his two food trailers that had begun feed people across Los Angeles. Growing out of a backyard restaurant into a food truck, Carnitas El Momo had captured Bill’s attention and he immediately proclaimed them the best in the city, and perhaps the nation. Considering how much we and most everyone else in the taco lifestyle loves carnitas, this was an earth-shaking pronouncement.

A visit to the Vermont / Melrose location with a small team of L.A. Taco photographers confirmed that this was the real deal in all aspects, and a clear “best carnitas in L.A.” had been discovered. A few months later, we convinced Carnitas El Momo to make their first food festival appearance at Taco Madness 2014, confidant they could handle the pressure and deliver a top contender for the judge’s choice panel.

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The Upcoming Taco Emoji Should be Modeled on an Authentic Taco

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For years now we’ve been besieging the unicode foundation, the non-profit group that handles emoji, and asking them to include a taco emoji. Periodically, different emoji proposals would spring up and they would never include a taco. It appears that finally they have woken up to the fact that world wants, nay demands, a taco emoji. What we’ll actually do with this particular emoji, who cares? Not having the taco emoji has made us desperately want the taco emoji.

Now that the taco emoji appears imminent (It was listed in a table of “most popularly requested emoji”, see below), we should perhaps find a new thing to request. So we’ll start with this– to the artists who will create the Apple / Android / etc. emoji, please try to make your taco emoji as authentic as possible. The image above, which is what the Unicode Foundation used in their announcement of all the new possible emoji, is not what we’d like to see.

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Tune of the Day: “José Got Dem Tacos” (Ft. Jeezy) by Kap G

We’re very disappointed none of you told us about this tune when it came out last year.

Beau Patrick Coulon Interview and Preview of “Marginal Transience”

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Beau Patrick Coulon is a Los Angeles based visual artist specializing in photography, videography, and print making. His photography has been centered around his life of traveling by train and thumb, with a focus on portraits of the people he has met on his way. When viewing his photographs, you get to admire the adventurousness  of someone who can just pick up and go. He’s traveled from coast to coast by train and continues to journey around the globe documenting what he sees.  Coulon has his first Los Angeles solo show, “Marginal Transience” and new zine release this Thursday at Nomad Art Studio and it’s definitely a show you do not want to miss. We recently had the chance to do an interview with Coulon and his answers left us feeling like we almost knew him and wanted to be there with him traveling around the world.

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Q&A with Randy Wyner, Founder of Chronic Tacos

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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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El Tacoache Solitario ~ East Los Angeles

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This East L.A. Taco Trailer has a Beef Birria Taco You Need To Try This Weekend…

Arnulfo Guerrero has a wicked, if not under-appreciated, sense of humor. He named his truck the “lonely possum” even though he came from a huge family which he says reminds him of possum families. He says his tacos are $0.75 “just because”. He is also the man who has been stewing and chopping taco meats in a random corner of East Los Angeles for nearly 18 years. I say nearly because Guerrero simply can not recall whether he has hustled tacos for 17 or 18 years. It seems the origin is no longer important at the moment– Arnulfo, his wife, and his daughter Yadira, are rushing a monstrous single order of 18 tacos at 1.A.M., when the crowd from the Latin club around the corner is exhausted from being drunk and ready to eat.

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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.

Sean Norvet Interview and Preview of “All You Can Eat”, Opening Friday at Stay Gallery

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Sean Norvet is an Artist/Illustrator hailing from the wonderful land of Los Angeles. Norvet’s paintings are executed with oils on panels, his unique approach to expressing his thoughts on the media-saturated, commercialized environment we inhabit today has an interesting twist most wouldn’t think to illustrate. His paintings and sculptures are  distinct with detail and vibrancy.

L.A. Taco’s Desilu had a chance to get to know Sean Norvet and to ask him a few questions about his work and living in Los Angeles, including (of course) his favorite taco spot. Sean has been an artist for years and has been in several group shows,  his first upcoming solo show “All You Can Eat” opens this Friday at Stay Gallery. Keep reading for the full interview and a show preview…

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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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Taco Research Department: 1980’s Mass Market Taco Making Kit From Minnesota

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Images and text Via The National Museum of American History.

Nordic Ware, a family-owned manufacturing firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was founded in 1946 by brothers Dave and Mark Dalquist, as “Plastics for Industry.” In 1950, the brothers bought Northland Aluminum Products, a small firm with a line of “Nordic Ware” products including griddles and steak platters. The same year, Dave Dalquist created a cast aluminum, fluted cake pan and trademarked it as the “Bundt” pan. The company continued to grow its product line to include specialty baking and cookware items, including the microwave turntable.

Nordic Ware is notable due to its history of product innovation through engineering, and its continued production of cookware in the United States. Sadly, it does not appear that Nordic Ware currently offers any taco-related cooking equipment. Keep reading for historical images and descriptions of the product, which we believe was the first mass market taco related cookware kit produced in the United States. If anyone has examples of earlier, complete taco kits, please drop us a line.

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