Tacos at 7am at the historic Mariachi Plaza? Why not?
When we were invited to the press preview of the Fourth Annual LA Taco Festival, we seriously thought there was a typo when it called for a 7am appearance in Boyle Heights. But no, it was a 7am event. (The real deal was the next day and we were already committed.)
Like a tightly-knit family, the festival brought the community together with youth musicians, professional artists and crafters, community based organizations, and food vendors. It was a talent showcase paired with the tastiest tacos that Boyle Heights and East LA has to offer!
The best part: it was for a youth based charity Jovenes, Inc. (Youth, Inc.), a non-profit group that provides housing and supportive services to homeless youth.
We usually do the glam thing and report on the Beverly Hills and Hollywood scene. This was so charming! We do get around and although having spent time all over L.A., we have never been to Boyle Heights. But we do love the Downtown area and all the cultural things it has to offer. The Metro took us directly to our destination with a nice surprise at the end of the tunnel. Although two local restaurants participated in this event, 11 were set for the following day.
While displays of tacos were being held for film crews, we wandered to Primera Tea, a local coffee shop, to grab some iced coffee, as it was a scorcher. How lucky were we? We met the in-house artist, Ray Vargas, whose unusual artwork graced the walls.
While we walked back to the fest preview, we had a wonderful view of downtown. Music was in full swing led by Kotolan Band. Tequila provided by Don Fermin. Too early in the day for us but we did try the iced cold Hibiscus juice, perfect for an already sizzling summer day.
We chatted with Carlos Ortez from Un Solo Sol Kitchen about his veggie tacos. Restaurante Yeya’s tacos were presented at an adjoining table.
The event itself was free to the public. Special taco packages were available, all you can eat for $20. Guests were able to taste samples from Zingo Tacos al Carbon, Penaloza’s Chicharrones & Carnitas, Mama Chabela’s Mole Tacos, Mi Ranchito Tacos, Tacos La Mexicana, YJ’s Tacos, and Tacos Al Galito. Arts and crafts vendors were available on day of the event, which was a family day for all.