Taste of Mexico Returns to LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes Saturday, October 15th

Humberto “The Choriman” Raygoza and uhh, the "Baserikko Pepper man" assembling a chorizo torta. (All photos by Elise Thompson for The LA Beat)

Humberto “The Choriman” Raygoza and uhh, the “Baserikko Pepper man” assembling a chorizo torta. (All photos by Elise Thompson for The LA Beat)

The 6th Annual Taste of Mexico Culinary Festival returns to LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes between 7p-11p on Saturday, October 15th, 2016. This strolling event features “tastings from Southern California’s Top Mexican Chefs and James Beard Award-Winning Mexican Restaurants, plus the city’s best taco trucks and pop-ups.” This year the event will also include a Baja Gastronomic Pavilion with visiting guest chefs from Baja California, Baja California’s wine and craft beer, and a selection of regional products.

Participating restaurants include Guerrilla Tacos, Guisados, Trejo’s Tacos, Chichén Itzá, Yuca’s, Guelaguetza, El Coraloense, Pez Cantina, Coni’Seafood, Chefs Jaime & Ramiro’s Mexicano, and the hottest restaurant of the moment, Frogtown’s Salazar. It is also a rare chance to sample pop-Ups like Ceviche Project, The ChoriMan, Caló Provisions and Macheen. At the conclusion of the event, judges will vote for the best bite at the event, awarding one restaurant two roundtrip tickets to anywhere in Mexico, courtesy of Aeromexico.

We were treated to a press preview last week with tastes from some of the participating restaurants. Anepalco made cute little baby elotes with chile de arbol, aioli, cotija and chapulines (it translates to grasshoppers, but they look like crickets to me). We loved the tortas with handcrafted chorizo and Baserikko Salsa Macha from The Choriman. Smorgasburg’s Caló Provisions’ signature Pozole Rojo was made with braised turkey in a dashi-style chicharrón-chile broth. Toppings included peanuts and various seeds along with the usual suspects like radishes. Monarca Bakery presented flaky palmiers and adorable little cakes, almost like petit-fours. The hit of the night was the Tepache Spritz cocktail from the new project by Salazar’s Bar Director, Aaron Melendrez. His Califas Tepacheria y Mixteca mixed tepache with guava, aperol, Ancho Reyes, cava and fino sherry. They make their own tepache by adding sugar to macerated pineapple and letting it ferment.

You can try the tepache yourself at the debut of Califas Tepacheria y Mixteca at The Taste of Mexico next Sunday evening, as well as drinks from Estrella Jalisco’s Beer Cantina Bar, Mezcalería Craft Cocktail bars, a Tequila Tasting Tent and the ever-popular ilovemicheladas’ Michemobil. Entertainment will be provided by cumbia collective Metralleta de Oro, the Son Jarocho band, and headliner, El Conjunto Nueva Ola, who will be playing a tribute set to Juan Gabriel.

General admission tickets are $65. VIP tickets are $85 and provide entry one hour prior to the event’s start time. Tickets are available online for pre-sale only. Tickets are currently available through Eventbrite and they do sell out every year, so don’t dawdle. The event is 21+ LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes is next to the church on the west side of Olvera Street.


Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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