Ask the Glutster: Where are them non-holiday season tamales hook ups???

Hey Javier,

How are things going?

I’m looking for some recommendations for food for a house party of 35-40 people. Who would you suggest makes good platters of tamales? I know it’s typically a Christmas thing, but they’re an easy party dish.
If you have any other ideas, I’ve already done taco research. Any good churros?
Thanks and I hope you’re well.
Best,
Neil

Yooo!

I know it’s kind of overdone and you’ve probably heard this before but Guelaguetza always has  a steady supply of them banana leafed bad boys. Also, the most central location for most Angelenos.

But if you want to get some truly awesome shit and go out of your way a little, let’s go eat at Rocio’s Mole de Los Dioses and I’ll introduce you to Rocio. She’ll whip you up however much you want of them steamy, corn love nuggets with extra Oaxacan TLC.

And lastly, my top recommendation of all: LAS BRISAS DE APATZINGAN in Santa Ana.

Gustavo Arellano brought me here for dinner when he asked me to give a lecture at his Cal State Fullerton class and they proved to be the best damn tamales I’ve ever had, almost like them more than my moms! Well, they are different. The thing is that these are “Uchepos,” those  freshly shucked corn (no masa here homie) based sweet tamales from the underestimated state of Michoacan. The texture is like hot pudding and you top each one with tart tomatillo salsa, a dollop of Mexican Crema and imported stinky, salty Cotija cheese for a sweet and salty nutritious dessert/dinner. My girlfriend and I religiously come here on the first Saturday of every month just to buy a dozen to take back home, we freeze them and ration them out through out the month, haha.

As for churros, hmm, I’ll get back to you on that shizz, last time I saw Salinas Churro truck was at a random backyard, probably getting some mecanico work done. But its too hot for fried dough anyway man!

Lemme knowwwwww.

-Javi Lokes

changed sides tamale

(Header photo taken by Paola Briseño (Research and Kitchen).)

Guelaguetza
3014 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90006

Rocio’s Mole de Los Dioses
6242 Maywood Ave., Bell.

Las Brisas de Apatzingan
1524 South Flower Street
Santa Ana, CA 92707
(714) 545-5584

My review of Astrid Hadad and Hoppo’s Dia de Los Muertos show at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on LA Weekly Music

This last Saturday I checked out the Dia de Los Muertos celebration that takes place atop Hollywood Forever cemetery every year. The headliners were Astrid Hadad and Hoppo (singer of Cafe Tacvba’s newish side project). My verdict?

Well…read my review on LA Weekly Music and pay especially close attention to my “Critical bias” confession at the end of the piece!

Click on any of the text underneath to read the whole thing on LA Weekly Music!)

Astrid Hadad
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
10-22-11

Better than…Halloween!

Traffic along Santa Monica Boulevard was a hell of a lot more congested than usual on Saturday afternoon, as Hollywood Forever Cemetery hosted the 12th annual Dia de Los Muertos festival. The traditional Mexican holiday honoring dead loved ones gaining on the other American holidays, in terms of popularity. Angelenos and foreign tourists showed up by the thousands to the unique theme-park-like event taking place atop an, of course, actual cemetery.

This year’s headliners included Rubén Albarrán — the notorious singer for famed Mexico City rock en Español band, Café Tacvba — with his newish spiritual slanted side project, Hoppo. Also on the bill was Astrid Hadad, a Mexican performance artist known by millions for her eccentric and progressive sound.

This cemetery party was mad crackin’ yo. There must have been more than three thousand inside, easily. Altars to popular dead artists were set up along…

Mariscos Las Islitas in Stockton, California: Rocksteady Dining while On Tour with The Delirians II

It was the second day of the tour and we found ourselves in the middle of “Buttfuck Egypt” as Angel Salgado, The Delirians singer called it. Its true, the lonely streets of Stockton may not be the premiere central California destination but at least you can find some semi-decent Nayarit style Mexican seafood.

Delirians Brunch Picnic
Picnic Brunch with The Delirians!

Earlier that day, we partook in an extremely delightful picnic brunch in front of our lovely Motel 6, courtesy of governor Arnie himself. I oversaw and planned the menu, it included entrees like Laura Schudder’s peanut butter and raw blueberries on whole wheat bread with Almond Milk, veggie tray, baked Tostito’s and black bean salsa. “Hey, you down to be The Delirians official chef or what?” said Jo Quiñones, the the smokin’ bassist of the band, haha. But now it was time for a hot dinner before the show.

bienvenidos a su vitamina
Bienvenidos A Su Vitamina

While the majority of the band members drank 32’s and recuperated before the set, Cuca, Carlos and I went out and explored the city a bit. Unfortunately everything was pretty dead, even on a Saturday afternoon! Luckily though, our randomly chosen motel for the night happened to be next to this attractive mariscos joint. “There are more than six cars in the parking lot, it can’t be that bad, trust” I explained to Cuca and Carlos.

Sooner than we knew it, we were sat and pounding Modelo’s as we waited for our Pescado Sarandeado. “Awh dude, I LOVE ostiones, let’s just get it, its on me!” said an excited Carlos when he saw the attractive “Ostiones Preparados” on the menu. Something about ordering raw oysters in the middle of Nor. Cal. didn’t sound good to me, especially with the huge disclaimer on the menu basically saying if we die, it is not their fault. It didn’t help that half a dozen went for $20+ on the menu. But like I said in my earlier post…sometimes you just gotta say fuck it!

ostiones preparados
Ostiones Preparados at Mariscos Las Islitas in Stockton

The oysters came in their full briny, glory, topped with a tablespoon of gunpowdery, chile-de-arbol salsa, cubed pepino, a couple of chewy, chopped octopus fragments and one butterflied shrimp. It looked expecially plump and pink atop the black and chalky oyster. I like to think the jet-black liquid that seeped out into the plate and stained your fingers worse than a leaky pen was natural for an oyster. And with a squeeze of lime, I engulfed it whole. Salud! “You all know that oysters make you wanna do it, right?” said Carlos. Luckily, we did not share the same bed that night….

pescado sarandeado
Pescado Sarandeado at Mariscos Las Islitas

Almost an hour later, our main course had arrived. Pescado Sarandeado is a whole, grilled fish that is marinated in a red chile sauce. I’ve tried some in the beaches of Ensenada, Vallarta and even found an astonishingly delicious version in L.A. Suffice to say, the version at Mariscos Las Islitas was good, definitely not the best, but awesome for Stockton standards I’m sure. We got three pounds worth of the fish, it was slightly charred but didn’t really taste of wood and smoke. The flesh was mealy but when combined with the chunky salsas and fresh pepinos, it was pretty bomb. I was just grateful to eat some hot food and seafood.

The meal turned out to be pretty expensive actually, more than $60 if I remember correctly, so that sucked. But if that is the premium to pay for semi-fresh seafood in Stockton so be it.

Later on that night, the Delirians played at the Plea For Peace Center along side the swaying east coast ska sounds of The Forth Right. No one really showed up but better for us, we all left early and had a midnight snack of In-N-Out where I had my first ever animal style fries (extra crispy of course)!

DSC_0090
Role Call Group Shot at The Plea For Peace Center in Stockton

Anthony tearing it up
Anthony Medina (Keys) Devouring a 3×3 Right Before Going to Bed

post show snack
You Never Forget Your First: My Extra-Crispy Animal-Style Fries at the In-N-Out in Stockton.

Mariscos Las Islitas
319 S Wilson Way
Stockton, CA 95205
(209) 938-0939

In-N-Out Burger
2727 West March Lane
Stockton, CA 95219-6572
(800) 786-1000

The Tables Have Turned! A Collection of Reviews on My “Glutster” Burger at Biergarten From Fellow Bloggers

So, as you all may have heard, I recently had a burger named after me at Biergarten, an awesome Korean-German Gastropub in Koreatown L.A. Now, If you hadn’t had the chance to go try it, you are lagging it, go try it now! Seriously, Eddie Hah must had done something right because I haven’t heard one single complaint yet! Well, except having “too much Guacamole” from my ex-brother-in-law, haha.

In the meantime, here are a few honest reviews from fellow blogger homies to hold you over…

5682550038_e9b691d30b_z
Caroline On Crack Ate Me

Caroline on Crack called my burger “great”, [liking] [the] “spiciness and the creamy guac… accompanied with a bit of tang from the pickled onion and even char on the pork! She even goes as far as saying [it] “almost tasted homemade.” Although, she doesn’t recommend eating me “on a first date.” haha.

biergarten4theglutster
The Minty Ate Me

The Minty ate me as well. Although she was a bit skeptical at first due to the excessive use of high-calorie toppings of it all, she admitted “It was…good. Great, even! Yummy! I was surprised. And people eating the Glutster around me were also happy with their burgers.”

05042011-150291-biergarten-glutster
The Glutster Deconstructed on A Hamburger Today

The hamburger foodblog by Serious Eats, “A Hamburger Today“, indulged in me as well. Calling it a burger with a “delicious melange of Mexican flavors.”

And last but not least, my close friend and now successful ice cream entrepreneur Mattatouille featured my burger in his blog post titled “Good Things I’ve Eaten Lately.” Calling Biergarten’s new menu “the most exciting thing happening in Koreatown at the moment.”

Well, there you have it! If you get a chance to try it, please let me know what you think in the comment board.

Cheers!

Arriba El Tequila Festival Happening Tomorrow at A Mi Hacienda Vieja (Featuring 15+ Tequilas; Pico Rivera; PURO PINCHE PARI)

For Immediate PURO PINCHE PARI Release:


TEQUILA FLYER

I will be there assisting el Tequilero homie Chuy Tovar at the Real De Mexico Tequila booth. So, you all know what that means! Yup, we will be hand muddling spicy, agave sweetened Real Mexican’s made with fresh Cilantro and fresh squeezed lime all night long!


The Real Mexican
The Real Mexican: Cilantro, Jalapeño, Lime Juice, Agave

So come by and say hi, the list of Tequilas will cover all 8 regions of Jalisco so you will be able to personally experience the “pepperiness” of the lowlands and the smoothness of the highlands. There will also be some of the “middlelands” stuff as well that combine a little bit of both characteristics.

There will be free house appetizers to get your drunk munchies on while you imbibe Mexico’s ancestral national spirit.

Tickets are available pre-sale for $15 by calling the number on the flier (323) 515-4713 and for $20 the day of at the door.

Salud!

Doors open at 6 PM

Tickets available by calling (323) 515-4713 for $15 Pre-Sale and $20 At The Door
(Presidents Weekend)

A Mi Hacienda Restaurant
9613 Whittier Boulevard,
Pico Rivera,
CA 90660
(562) 699-2500 ?

A Taco For Your Valentine: A List of Mexican Restaurants in L.A with Special Menus and Live Music To Serenade Them With


Cactus_Heart_by_DawnFrostDG
Photo by DawnFrostDG

Its almost Valentines Day. A day to celebrate with the one you love, or the one you “really, really like”, or the one you have been trying to make yours for the last year but is still not over her ex etc. If any of these still do not apply, fear not! A taco soothes not only an empty stomach but also an empty heart, I can attest for this.

I now present a list I have gathered of a few Mexican restaurants that will feature live music and/or special menus to help you make her yours…after all, they don’t call us Latin Lovers for nothing eyyy.

La Casita Mexicana (City Of Bell)

Humble chefs Jaime Del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu have prepared an exclusive tasting menu just for “El Dia De Los Enamorados” It will be running from 11 AM all the way until 11 PM (the restaurant will be open an hour later than usual just for that day). There will be no live music in attempts to keep it as affordable as possible ($25 + tax per person), but trust me…the food that these two guys prepare is all you will need to win her over. If all else fails, La Casita will be allowing you to bring your own bottle of liquid courage aka Wine.

Here is Dia De San Valentin Menu for La Casita Mexicana:

SOPA (soup)

* CREMA DE CHILE POBLANO

PLATOS FUERTES (Entrees)

* MOLE ALMENDRADO (Almond Base Mole)
* MOLE BLANCO (White Mole)
* CHAMORROS DE RES EN ADOBO DE CHILE GUAJILLO CON FRIJOLES Y SALSA DE CHILE DE ARBOL
(Braised Beef Shank in Chile Guajillo Adobo. Served with Rice, Beans and Chile De Arbol Salsa)
* COHINITA PIBIL (CON SALSA DE CHILE HABANERO Y FRIJOLES NEGROS)
(Roasted Yucatan Style Pork, served with black beans and Habanero Salsa_

POSTRES (Desserts)

* FLAN DE ELOTE (Corn Flan)
* BUÑUELOS BAÑADOS CON CHOCOLATE MEXICANO

AGUA FRESCA

* PAPAYA CON LIMON Y CHILE
* JAMAICA CON FRESA


Jaime and Ramiro
Chef’s Jaime Del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu

$25+ Tax Per Person
BYOB

La Casita Mexicana
4030 East Gage Avenue
Bell, CA 90201-1127
(323) 773-1898

La Huasteca (Lynwood)

Chef Rocio Camacho will feature a 4 Course prix-fixe menu with a complimentary glass of Champagne. There will be live Bohemia Show and a Live Mariachi for $39 a person. They have a full bar and will be open until 2 AM.

Appetizer:
Baked Venison wrapped in puff pastry,

Salad:
Frutas Del Mar: Little [potato] boat” filled with shrimp, octopus, scallop, romaine heart topped with a Lemon Foam

Platos Fuertes: (choice of 3)
1) Chilean Corvina A La Plancha, Cilantro Rice in a Vino Tinto (Red Wine) Sauce, Beet Chips

2) Chicken “Airplane” (breast with wing attached). Served in a Huazontle herb Sauce, served with white rice tempura vegetables (eggplant, asparagus)

3) Veal Fillet in a Black Mole Sauce. Served with a potato-corn puree and whole cactus heart.

Dessert:

Chocolate Cake with a Cranberry Sauce, served with House Made Rose Petal Ice Cream

Complimentary glass of champagne.

$39.99 A Person

Will be available the through out the Valentines Weekend (Saturday, Sunday and Monday)

La Huasteca
3150 E. Imperial Hwy.
Lynwood

(310) 537-8800.

Juan’s Restaurante (Baldwin Park)

Chef Juan Mondaragon will be offering 4 courses (with a choice of one glass of Margarita or glass of wine per diner) for TWO PEOPLE and he is only charging $30, jeez talk about a thrifty Valentine! The night will be made magical by live music. The Mexican [hopeless] romantic classics of choice will be performed by an in-house trio.


Beso De Angel
House Made Rose Petal Ice Cream For Your Valentine at La Huasteca

Here is the menu:

Appetizer:
“Camarones Al Coco”
Shrimp with coconut. Served with a cranberry sauce

Salad:
“Libre Passion”
Baby Mixed Greens with a mango-chipotle dressing

Plato Fuerte: (Choose any of the following)

“El Amor Sobre La Mesa”
Salmon, Veal, Chicken fillet, Whiskey sauce, spinach-cactus-potatoe puree, asparagus, baby carrots
or
“Solo en Mi Pensamiento”
Veal Fillet, Cactus Heart, Black Mole sauce
or
“Amor A La Azteca”
Chicken Breast “a la plancha”, White Rice, Huitlacoche sauce, Assorted Vegetables

Dessert:
Rose Petal Ice Cream

Additional glasses of Wine or Margaritas will be available for $5

$30 For a Full Dinner for two people
Live Music


Flanes
House Made Desserts At Juan’s

Juan’s Restaurante
4291 Maine Avevue
Baldwin Park, CA 91706
Reservations 626.337.8686

Yxta Cocina Mexicana


Tacos At Yxta
A Pair Of Tacos At Yxta

Jesse Gomez will open up the doors of Yxta and will feature no fancy-shmancy menus but instead a live performance by a special up and coming artist. The bar is nice too.

Yxta Cocina Mexicana
601 South Central Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(213) 596-5579

Guelaguetza will be having live music through out the evening as well.


barbacoa
Barbacoa Plate At Guelaguetza

Guelaguetza
3014 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90006

tel: 213.427.0608

La Serenata De Garibaldi will be featuring a special menu, although I couldn’t get them to release it to me, I am pretty sure it will be good.

La Serenata De Garibaldi
1842 East 1st Street,
Los Angeles
(323) 265-2887

So there you have it, no excuses now!

good luck!

ADDENDUM:

Juan’s Restaurante has increased his price from $30 to $40. But just mention my Taco Valentine’s post and you will still get the original (now) discounted price of $30 for two people.