DEANSKII INTERVIEW

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DEANSKII is L.A. born and raised, and uses his film photography and ‘zines to give the world an insight into his life in the city. We got a chance to discuss photography and tacos with a man who loves his family, his crew, and documenting the art, triumphs, and tragedies of underground Los Angeles…

What’s your favorite taco?
I have to save my dad makes the best beef and potato tacos. I add some sweet chili sauce to it and it’s fire. But place-wise, I like the carnitas tacos at Diana’s in Carson, plus they’re open 24/7 can’t go wrong with that.
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Tacología #4 ~ Tacos Leo

Our friends from Mexico at We Are Not Zombies just published the latest in their Tacología series, starring Leo’s Tacos of Mid City.

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My Favorite Taco with Fei-Fei, Host of Feided ~ TONIGHT at the Lash in Downtown Los Angeles

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What can people expect at your monthly night at the Lash in DTLA?
Lots of tequila and lots of fun. And a ton of dope music. I have a pretty diverse style myself so I’m looking forward to bringing a different flavor to DTLA. A mix of all my favorite artists, friends and of course the Feided crew. It’s all about the vibe for me, whether it’s bass-house-future-indie-trap-hop-electronica. I just want people to have fun.

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Guisados Opens in Downtown Los Angeles

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The original Guisados opened a few years ago in the beating heart of L.A.’s taco scene, Boyle Heights, where it earned rave reviews and a share of the Taco Madness title in 2012. The first expansion was to Echo Park, and now there is one roughly in the middle of the first two locations– Downtown Los Angeles. There is no doubt in our minds that this location, like the others, will be extremely popular. All photos by Chris Hei, who you can visit on his blog or his instagram. Guidados DTLA is located at 541 S. Spring St. # 101 Los Angeles CA, 90013. More info at Guisados.co.

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Bill Esparza Brings the Taco Knowledge

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L.A.’s Bill Esparza, who wrote our seminal “Tacos 101″ series, has now etched his name at the top of the highly competitive world of taco scholarship. What vaulted him to the highest echelon? An incredible article published last week on LA Magazine’s website called “Tacopedia: A Complete Taco Encyclopedia of L.A.” The subhead is “45 reasons why Los Angeles is the taco capital of America”, but it could easily have been “Mess with the Bill, get the horns,” because the ostensible inspiration for the piece was a somewhat douchey post on Eater LA entitled: A New York City Tacopedia: L.A.’s Got Nuttin’ on Us!

The Eater story could’ve been a list of good NYC tacos, but instead they took the position that it was time to school L.A. on taco knowledge and diversity, which is just silly. Frankly, most people in L.A. simply shrugged, but Bill isn’t like most people. Hes a man on a mission and doesn’t suffer fools. We’re pretty sure he’s been working on his own Tacopedia for some time now, so this presented the perfect chance to both present some solid regional research, and put a serious body blow on ill-informed Mexican food articles originating from New York, of which there have been far too many. We have a feeling there won’t be many more after New York writers realize there’s someone who’s ready to deliver a digital beatdown if they make wild exaggerations or attempt to diss L.A.’s taco scene.

Check out some samples from Esparza’s piece below and then read the entire 45 item Tacopedia, which we hope becomes a book at some point…

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Newest Craze in Downtown L.A. is Pizza Taco Tuesday

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Instagram sensation @IMHUNGRYTHO has a unique tuesday ritual in DTLA that he wants to invite you to check out. This mad food scientist combines pizza, tacos, and booze into a food lovers orgy of meaty delights in DTLA. When reached for comment, he sent us the above photo of one of his creations and some more information…

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Interview With Shanks Rajendran, Filmmaker Behind the “Los Scandalous” Skid Row Documentary

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Shanks Rajendran is an Australian filmmaker who has made waves in the United States for his searing look at forgotten and ignored areas within big cities. His first documentary here, Liberty City: Miami explored South Florida’s toughest neighborhood from the inside, and was hailed as raw and searing by online reviewers. Now he’s come to Los Angeles to bring the same outsider-yet-insider point of view to our most deprived part of town- Skid Row.

What brought you to skid row?

When I first came to Los Angeles for a holiday two years ago I was sight seeing. I went to Rodeo Drive, the Hollywood Hills, Staples Center and then my friend said: “Look I know you love doing documentaries so I want you to see something.”

Two blocks down he drove and there it was.  Something I’ve never heard of or seen.  SKID ROW. It was night time so there were just tents and tents and more tents. I saw people hanging around…saw a fight, saw a fire truck pulling someone out of a public bathroom, all that stuff. It was all happening right before my eyes within the period of a good 15-20 minutes.

Coming fresh from a place like Melbourne, Australia – I’ve never seen anything like this. It was one of the most confusing moments in my life… I remember asking myself  “What is this?”

As a documentarian, I live and breathe issues concerning poverty, deprivation and failures. At that point, I knew Skid Row was something I wanted to look into.

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Interview with Sam Sweet, Author of the Forthcoming “All Night Menu,” A Secret History of Los Angeles

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Sam Sweet lives in Highland Park and has written about surfing, music, and Los Angeles culture for the New Yorker and the Paris Review. His latest project is All Night Menu, a 64-page book that is the first in a five-volume series about the lost heroes and miniature histories of Los Angeles. The writing takes to you places you didn’t know were real but are right in your backyard and introduces you to people who shaped this city in unseen ways. Created wholly in Los Angeles, the booklet is only available locally, in stores like South Willard, Mollusk Surf Shop, and Anzen Hardware. More info at the end of this interview.

How long have you lived in Los Angeles, and what neighborhoods do you like best?

I moved here in 2007. I like the usual stuff. How can you not? No amount of overexposure can diminish the greatness of driving on Mulholland, or loitering on the rim of the Venice Skate Park, or being on the top floor of the Arclight parking garage. Even so, I think you get the best of Los Angeles in places undefined by any particular attractions. I’m happiest when I’m doing nothing much in Lincoln Heights, Chatsworth, El Segundo. I love Sun Valley because it’s so fiercely unattractive but within that labyrinth of auto recyclers is a living culture that is unique to LA. In a more conventional sense, I think San Pedro is one of the prettiest towns in America.

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Lego Taco Kit

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A couple years ago we told you about Bruce Lowell, a lego artist who made a cool lego taco. Due to the success of that item, Bruce is now selling his own Lego Taco Kit, which includes all the real Legos you need to build your own. The kits cost $13 in the USA and $17 internationally. Buy here.

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DJ Yella And Lil Eazy ~ Live at Amor Y Tacos ~ Cerritos

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Photos by Andrew Bangs and Carl Larsen

 Amor Y Tacos ~ 13333 South Street Cerritos, CA 90703 ~ 562-860-2667

We love tacos and we love N.W.A. So when we learned that the group’s OG producer DJ Yella and Eazy E’s son, Lil Eazy, were coming together to play at Amor y Tacos in Cerritos, we had to come for what might be the closest thing to an N.W.A. reunion as the world may see. Amor y Tacos comes from Tommy Ortega, a Cerritos-bred chef with a fine dining background and the owner of Ortega 120 in Redondo Beach. We knew good things were afoot when we laid our eyes on a woman making tortillas in the restaurant’s front and a painting of El Chapulin Colorado on the back wall.

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Amor y Tacos’ chef and owner Tommy Ortega (center), with Eazy E 3, Yella and Lil Eazy

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Mexico City’s DJ SMURPHY Lands in Los Angeles

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THIS WEEK MEXICO CITY’S DJ SMURPHY STOMPS OVER THE BORDER AND OUT OF TIJUANA’S ALL MY FRIENDS FEST TO PLAY AN ONSLAUGHT OF SHOWS IN LA. DJ SMURPHY PART OF SPIRTUAL REGGAETONERO LABEL N.A.F.F.I. PLAYS #TRIPMENTAL MUSIC- THINK CUMBIATON RAVE MUSIC PLAYED OUT OF A LOWRIDER ICE CREAM TRUCK ON A SATURDAY MORNING CARTOON.

The electronic music scene in Mexico that exploded in the last few years is beginning to mature.. How has that sound developed? What’s the party/music scene in DF like these days?

I think music scene in Mexico has grown just by the need of young people to party. Is relatively easy to make it, and so fun to spread it around and get people response. Mexican people love to party, its our nature!!! and we do it well!!! DF is such a wild place, we have like certain different music movements around, formed by very different people -socially and economically – with very different backgrounds. You can be in a neighborhood in DF and move a few miles and find a total new place, also in the last years must people from other parts from the country moved here, and the vibe of the city however have changed a lot. It could seems that scene in DF is just at cool neighborhoods like Roma or Condesa – our “soho” (lol) – but thats not true. The city has a huge variety of ghetto places, with their own music movements – cumbias, huarachas, salsa, reggaeton, hardstyle, punk, tribal, house, electro, even hippies!!! – there are a lot of young people starved to party, but unfortunately, we have just a few clubs, and not much money! As well, to party in DF is quite expensive, most for young people. We all just wanna have some fun, tho.

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