December 02, 1999
1710 E. Charleston Blvd.
LYLE LOVETT ONCE SAID THAT THE HARDEST THING ABOUT TOURING WAS HAVING TO EAT WHAT MOST OF AMERICANS THINK OF AS MEXICAN FOOD.
SO WITH THIS IN MIND, AND AFTER YEARS OF INTENSE STUDY IVE DEVELOPED A THEORY. IT GOES LIKE THIS: IF YOU WANT A GOOD MEXICAN RESTAURANT, TRY EATING IN A PLACE THATS FILLED WITH MEXICANS. AM I A GENIUS OR WHAT??? IF THE GQ (THATS GRINGO QUOTIENT) EXCEEDS TWENTY PERCENT--YOURE HEADED FOR LOVETT-LAND. ONE PLACE THAT LYLE MIGHT APPROVE OF IS LA TAQUERIA ON EAST CHARLESTON. WHEN I TOOK MY FIRST BITE THERE OVER TWO YEARS AGO, I WAS TRANSPORTED BACK TO THOSE WONDERFUL FOOD STALLS AT THE GRAND CENTRAL MARKET IN DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES. BUT BEFORE I GET TOO CARRIED AWAY--I SHOULD FIRST EXPLAIN WHAT A TAQUERIA IS. DESPITE MY COMPLETE LACK OF SPANISH OR KNOWLEDGE OF MEXICAN CULTURE, I HAVE DISCERNED THROUGH STUDIOUS OBSERVATION THAT A TAQUERIA IS A TACO STAND WHERE FOOD IS FRESHLY MADE IN AN OPEN KITCHEN BY FOLKS WHO BARELY SPEAK ENGLISH WHILE A JUKEBOX PLAYS LOTS OF CATCHY SONGS THAT I DONT UNDERSTAND SUNG BY SINGERS IVE NEVER HEARD OF. IT ALSO HELPS TO HAVE A GREAT BIG MURAL ON THE WALL THATS HARDLY BY DIEGO RIVERA--BUT THAT HELPS TO SET THE FESTIVE MOOD HIGHLIGHTING THE SHARP FLAVORS OF REAL BEEF TACOS, MARINATED PORK BURRITOS, AND CHILI INFUSED SHRIMP AND SEAFOOD TOSDADAS. THESE PERFECTLY SEASONED STAPLES OF MEXICAN STREET FOOD ARE MADE WITH TOP SHELF INGREDIENTS AND TREATED WITH RESPECT AT LA TAQUERIA.
THEY PROVE THAT WHAT MOST OF US THINK OF AS MEXICAN FOOD IS NOTHING MORE THAN A BAD JOKE FOISTED UPON US BY CORPORATE AMERICA. SO, I SAY LIVE A LITTLE, TAKE A RISK AND GO WHERE GRINGOS NEED NOT FEAR TO TREAD. TAKE THYSELF TO LA TAQUERIA PILGRIM--AND SEE WHAT MADE THIS FOOD FAMOUS IN THE FIRST PLACE. BUT BEWARE OF THE GREEN CHILI HOT SAUCE ON ALL THE TABLES, IT WILL HAVE YOUR TONGUE DOING THE MACARENA IF YOURE NOT CAREFUL.
THIS IS JOHN CURTAS
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