Six Upcoming Day of The Dead Events Happening in Los Angeles & A Post in Remembrance of The 6th Annual Dia de los Muertos Festival in Uptown Whittier

I didn’t realize it until I heard Lalo Alcaraz say it himself. I sat down in the dreary KPFK waiting room and listened quietly while I waited for my turn to come up on The Pocho Hour of Power, “Day of the Dead is the new Christmas, it comes earlier every year.”

He was damn right.

walking death

Three weeks before the actual Dia De Los Muertos holiday (November 2), the lovely Eastside rockabilly metropolis of Uptown Whittier held their festivities. From 11 AM to 5 PM, they blocked off Greanleaf Ave, one of Uptowns most busiest streets. It was an effort of Yolanda Garcia of Casita Del Pueblo, “a community store that hopes to provide a welcoming environment and an interesting collection of items that reflect a positive image of Latino culture” according to their website. The event was free to the public. I liked that the site also reinforced the merry connotation of the traditional Mexican holiday as being “a day of joyous remembrance, not sadness.”

I was made aware of this specific muertos event on Lalo’s show too. He was going to be there himself selling and signing some of his original prints. And on Sunday morning, I decided to get my lazy Sunday ass up and go check it out. By some miraculous muerto baby Jesus miracle, even my dear mother, father and little sister decided to come along. So, for the first time since last Christmas actually, the Cabral’s had a lovely day out on the town–as a family.

family day finall
Mom and Pops In their Sunday Best

Sure enough, the event was maaaaad cracking with the humble locals, a mix of rockabilly families and the evolved Chicano bourgeoisie. I sometimes take for granted how awesome it is to live on the east side of Los Angeles. The event held live rockabilly performances, peaceful low riders and there were lots of motorcycles parked on the road. The block must had been sprawling with over fifty artisan booths and four hundred face-painted heads, at least.

cara pintada!
little dead girl
father son lowrider

The were altars were beautiful. The traditional mediums that the faithful use to express their gratitude and love towards their loved ones who have passed on were filled with everything you can imagine. I saw one stacked high with Conchitas and toasted peanut-butter sandwiches that were cut in half perfectly, the creamy peanut butter Speleothem still shimmering between the spaced pieces of bread. I saw another one that was built on the bed of a classic custom jet-black truck and had a single unopened tall boy of PBR next to a framed portrait of La Patrona herself, the Virgin Mary.

altar #1
truck altar

Amidst the blissful ghoulishness of it all, my family and I got the monstrous munchies and decided to hit up one of the local food booths to see what was up.

red oak bbq
smokers happy
turkey leg

Red Oak BBQ was recommended to me by Lalo himself, he’s a local so whatever he says to eat, I will. The place has been open in Uptown Whittier and for a few years and specialize in Santa Maria style BBQ, a style known to BBQ trekkies for their notorious dry rubs and the gossamery use of a non-sweet BBQ sauce. They smoke all of their meats using only natural red oak wood which I found to be way lighter in smoke flavor than any smoke I’ve tasted before. For $9 you got an obscenely large smoked limb, a tiny amount of stewed Pintito beans and an even tinier scoop of dry potato salad. But the point here was the meat, smoked medium rare, mine was still juicy while my sister’s had charred a bit. I love struggling physically to eat my food so this was a winner for me, I think I got it from my mom.

mama loves turkey

The delicious L-tryptophan laced meat hit us hard and we left shortly after. Sucks too because the home grown East L.A. band favorite, Upground, started playing right after we took off.

I’ll be back next year, I think I actually liked it better than the one they hold every year in East L.A. actually.

Wanna jump on the Dia de Los Muertos celebratory death bandwagon? Here are a few other celebrations happening around town during the next couple of weeks!

If you have any more muerto events, feel free to add to the list on my comment board.

The 12th annual “Dia de Los Muertos” at Hollywood Forever Cemetary
6000 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
October 22, 2011
12pm-12am
General Admission: $10 per person, children 6 years & under free
(please bring exact change)

Dia de los Muertos at Olvera Street
Olvera Street
Los Angeles St. at Alameda St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
10/25/2009 – 11/2/2009
7:00PM

Festival de La Muerte at the Historic Santa Fe Hospital (Linda Vista)
610 S. St. Louis St.
Los Angeles
90023
Saturday Oct. 29, 2011 11 AM to 12 AM
Sunday Oct. 30, 2011 11 AM to 6 PM
Bands: Quinto Sol, Calle Placer, Guerilla Queenz + more


La Muerte Vive

Wednesday, Nov 2 3:00p
at Million Dollar Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
307 S. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Gregorio Luke Day of the Dead
Wednesday, Nov 2
8:30p to 9:30p
East Los Angeles Civic Center
4801 E. Third St.
Los Angeles, CA 90022
(323) 881-6444

DAY OF THE DEAD 2011 in Boyle Heights 38th Annual Día de Los Muertos Celebration: Revival 2011
Self Help Graphics
New Location at
1300 East 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033
November 2, 2011
5 -11 PM

MAN VS. BEER Tonight At Far Bar. 20 Japanese Craft Beers for $25. 7 PM. Augustfest!

This just in via the Chuy-Wire…Puro Pinche Pari!

Far Bar in Little Tokyo is hosting the last night of MAN VS. BEER. In celebration of their exclusive “Augustfest” celebration they will offer the chance to taste 20 different, unique Japanese craft beers for $25. Here is the the scoop directly from the website.


As part of the Augustfest celebration, every Thursday come to FAR BAR Lounge and get the opportunity to taste 20 differently unique Japanese craft style beers for only $25. There will be music, Japanese horror and Samurai Movies and free popcorn! Challenge yourself and if you can finish, get your photo on the “WALL OF FAME”. Come early as the fun begins from 7pm-midnight. Only at the FAR BAR Lounge!

Girls-drinking-Beer

Pues, hay que aprovechar! Not sure if this is true or not but I heard that the portions will be allotted to five oz. of each beer. Let’s see x20, that is, hmm, hold on, carry over the one….100 pinche oz. of thick, high Alcohol luxurious Japanese craft beer!

This probably isn’t a good idea, I am the spitting image of a latino-fangled Gumby at 6’3 feet tall and like 135 lbs. But fuuuuuuuuuuck it, one last hurrah before I go back to 13 units of hardcore schoolage next week.

In the words of my beloved East L.A homies, “You’re not doooooown! Ahhh, gonna be a little biiiiiitch or what?”

Haha. I’ll see you guys there at 7 PM sharp, and wish me luck.

Cheers and more beers!

Watch Me On Sundance Channel Tonight! (Ludobites America: Redondo Beach)

Give a chef some Mole Zacatecano and you feed him for a day. Teach a chef to make Mole Zacatecano and you feed him for a lifetime! Everyone remember “Mexican For A Day: Teaching Ludovic Lefebvre the Art of Mole Zacatecano”, that story I wrote two years ago telling the story of how my mama and I taught Chef Ludo how to make our ancestral mother sauce? Well, watch the next best thing to making that post into a feature-length movie tonight!

ludo and me
The French chef & I two years ago

Enjoy the debut of my dramatic acting career on Ludobites America! as I join Chef Ludo in the mean streets of East LA….nooooot!

Kidding, kidding! No but seriously, check out the episode if you have cable and get a chance. I got the opportunity to personally guide L.A’s, revered pop-up French Chef through an East Los Angeles Mexican landmark! For what? Well, watch it tonight and find out!

The episode airs on the Sundance channel tonight at 9 PM (regular cable) and 6 PM (satellite) in the west coast.

Cheers!

La Feria del Nopal 2011 Happening This Saturday at Juan’s Restaurante (Baldwin Park)

Folks, it is that time of year again! Las Ferias del Nopal is coming back to town!

Some of you might remember my announcement last year of the cactus celebration on LAist. Well, this Saturday will mark it’s second year of celebration!

feria_del_nopal_logo2011

(taken from their website)



La Feria del Nopal (Cactus Festival) is a community event hosted by Juan Mondragon, owner and executive chef of Juan’s Restaurante. The purpose of the event is to expose the community to the benefits of cactus consumption. La Feria del Nopal was held for the first time last December. The event turned out to be a success, which prompted Juan to make it an annual affair. While the event is still in its early stage, the support for it has been growing at a steady pace. This year, La Feria del Nopal will be held on Saturday, August 20th, 2011 from 12 – 8 PM.

What to expect if you come? Well, from what I could remember last year? Fresh nopal salads, nopal flavored-flan’s, nopal flavored polvorones (Mexican shortbreads), nopal-based agua frescas and of course…handmade nopal tortillas!

Also, traditional Aztec dancing and a whole evening filled with musical entertainment.

Ensalada De Nopales
Cactus Salad

Agua Fresca De Nopal Y Piña
Agua Fresca de Nopal y Piña

tortillera
Fresh Handmade Nopal Tortillas!

Did I mention that Juan Mondragon (owner of Juan’s Restaurant) is actually a personal chef for a bunch of celebrities too? So, don’t be surprised if one of his star customers decides drop by. (check out his facebook profile if you don’t believe me!)

I love nopal, it’s actually a comfort food for me that makes me feel happy. I grew up eating the stuff, and recently, enjoy it more for the sheer detoxing, anti-diabetes health benefits of the slime-tender vegetable!

So, if you have time, shoot on by to the eastern wastelands of Baldwin Park and eat some nopal to be healthy!

Hay nos vimos!

Juan’s Restaurante
4291 Maine Avenue
Baldwin Park, CA 91706
Reservations
P. 626.337.8686
JuansRestaurante@JuansRestauranteInc.com

Addendum!

This just in from a returned phone call by Juan Mondragon of Juan’s Restaurante!

Aztec and Mayan dancers are being flown in from Mexico, yes, folks, there will be free limpias, cleansing and dancing!

Tonight! My Eastside O.G Graffiti Older Brother at Pasadena Museum of California Art’s “Street Cred” Exhibition

So after an international 16-year hiatus, my brother–and first ever role model in life–Rojelio Cabral has decided to give the L.A art world another whirl. He started last week at Crewest’s “No Biters Allowed” show, and now, he has two installations on display at Pasadena Museum of California Art’s “Street Cred” exhibition.

For this presentation, he has collaborated with his fellow L.A graf. legends TEMPT, PRIME, DEFER, SLICK, EYE ONE as well, as one of his custom pieces that he constructed while at his residency in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

eb235d927955cb7bd47124d1c8393081
Some Spain Street Sculptures

Like me, much of his work is directly inspired by the rawness and bedlam that is punk-rock, specifically the 80’s L.A Hardcore scene. The opening will be tonight from 7-10 PM. Check out this teaser video he made for today’s show in the meantime, can anyone guess the song and band he used for it? He he. Hint: “What We Do is Secret!”

If you see me at the show, say what’s up yo!

(taken from the Pasadena Show of California Art Website)

Street Cred: Graffiti Art From Concrete To Canvas
May 15-Sept. 4, 2011

Internationally renowned as one of the most fertile grounds for graffiti art, the City of Angels has its own idiosyncratic graffiti styles created from filtering the innovative New York “wildstyle” through local influences such as gang writing styles. The Los Angeles artists featured in Street Cred currently represent a broad range of genres through their fine art production, from letter-based formalism to Surrealism. Co-curated by Steve Grody and PMCA Exhibition Manager Shirlae Cheng-Lifshin, this exhibition will also include Grody’s photographs from the crucial years of the graffiti scene, providing key insights into the visual “language” of graffiti, its development in Los Angeles, the ways in which the street work informs the canvas work, and how the two worlds interact.

Artists featured in the exhibition include Michael Alvarez, ANGST, AXIS, Chaz Bojórquez, CODAK, CRAOLA, DASH 2000, Ekundayo, EYEONE, HASTE, Paul SKEPT Kanemitsu, Alex Kizu, KOFIE, MAN ONE, MEAR ONE, Juan Carlos Muñoz Hernandez, Jose Lopez, Erick Montenegro, Nicnak, PUSH, RISK, Jeff Soto, Evan Skrederstu, RETNA, REVOK, SABER, SHANDU, Jesse Simon, SINER, and ZES.

This exhibition is curated by PMCA Exhibition Manager Shirlae Cheng-Lifshin and graffiti historian Steve Grody.

Made possible in part by the Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division.

Additional support has been provided by 33third / Mid-City Arts and Brandy and Ed Sweeney.


KCRW DJ Garth Trinidad

Live Painting By The Mobile Mural Lab

Cash Bar

$5 Admission/ Free for PMCA Members

Pasadena Museum of California Art
490 East Union Street
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 568-3665

…Just A Couple Of Upcoming Ways To Carpe Diem In L.A Through Food

On the quickness!

Here are just a couple of ways to go out and enjoy our beautiful city during the next few days 🙂

Food GPS Progressive Eating Tour of Beverly Boulevard
(This Sunday 3PM July 25th; $45 Per Person; 4 Restaurants)

Food-GPS-Beverly-Boulevard-Walking-Tour

Join the Food GPS himself on a progressive walking tour as he “spotlights four great restaurants located on (or just off) Beverly Boulevard. Eva, BLD, MILK and The Golden State as each chef-owner will introduce a plate, treat or drink.”

Buy your bargain tickets for this event at Amuse L.A.

For Questions contact Josh Lurie at joshua@foodgps.com

Street Food Series At Angeli Caffe (Ricky’s Fish Tacos)
(This Monday July 26th, 6 to 10 PM; Fish and Shrimp Tacos For $3 Each; Beer Will Be Sold)

rickys fish taco champion
Ricky’s Fish Taco: Deemed The Best In L.A

In an effort “to help spread the news that street food is a good thing, and is a vital part of LA’s restaurant community and culture”, Bill Esparza of Street Gourmet L.A (fellow L.A Mexican food blood brother and my all around mentor) will be partnering up with Evan Kleiman (of the radio show Good Food and Angeli owner) to do a series of street food pop ups “to bring traditional street food closer to the West Side and Mid-City areas.” It should be known that Ricky’s Fish Taco was deemed the best fish taco in Los Angeles by the Taco Task Force of Los Angeles.

Support the Cause(s)!!!