Skip to Content

L.A.’s Best Sonoran-Style Taquería to Serve Rare Mesquite-Grilled ‘Tacos de Aguja’ Straight From Mexico At Our Live Event This Saturday

The unique cut of beef is insanely delicious and bacon-like, with pearls of fat that get rendered over mesquite fire. It is impossible to find anywhere in the States. But for one night only, Sonoratown will be serving it at our live event, from a stash they brought from Mexico themselves.

2:39 PM PDT on May 4, 2023

Frontrunners Sonoratown are the team to beat once more in the 2019 final.

TACO MADNESS, Presented by Bud Light Chelada, is L.A.'s first and biggest taco festival. All of L.A.'s heaviest hitting taquerías will be in one place for one day only! The 21 + event is happening from 6 to 11:59 PM on Saturday, May 6, at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in downtown Los Angeles. Ticket sales proceeds will support L.A. TACO's award-winning street-level journalism.

Meet Teodoro Diaz-Rodriguez, Jr. and Jennifer Feltham, the powerhouse couple behind Sonoratown, the restaurant where you can find the flavor of Sonora, Mexico, wrapped in a handmade flour tortilla in Downtown Los Angeles.

Both Rodriguez and Feltham had a history of working in the food industry before deciding to open up a restaurant of their own. The two-time TACO MADNESS champions chose to open up Sonaratown after multiple visits to San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora, where Rodriguez was born. 

Every time they visited family, they dug deep into Sonora's taco scene, and realized that there was just something different about the tacos made in Rodriguez 's hometown. There wasn't anything quite like it in Los Angeles.

“We were already bringing food from Sonora back to L.A. for the family who lives here, who missed the food over there,” Feltham said as she sat outside the restaurant in Downtown. “So we were already betting in every way, that if his family was dying to taste that flavor again and couldn't find it here, that if we opened a place that maybe others would feel the same.”

Aguja from Sonoratown. Photo by Jenn Feltham.

And people have since the couple opened their restaurant in Downtown in 2018. They recently opened a second location in Mid-City. 

Photo: L.A. TACO Archives

As for their food, it speaks for itself.

“Our tacos are based on our family taquería in San Luis Rio Colorado,” said Feltham. “My brother-in-law is the one who trained us and coached us and made sure that we were doing things the same way that you would find it in their taqueria.”

Their food is a labor of love. Their flour tortillas are handmade and made fresh every day. Their meats, which consist of quality costilla and leaner cuts, are salted and fired up over mesquite. No marinade—just the way it is done in Mexico.

The taco that started it all for Díaz and Feltham is a unique beef cut they only serve along the northern Mexican region of Sonora and Mexicali called "Aguja." It has no English translation and can be best described as a horizontal, inverted short rib cut, sliced so that the bone looks like a sharp needle (aguja means needle in English). It is wonderfully fatty and bacon-like, with pearls of fat that get rendered over the mesquite fire.

However, it is virtually impossible to find anywhere in the States, so Sonoratown engineered its aguja using two different cuts.

“To replicate aguja, the type of meat they serve in Mexico, we take two different cuts of meat and mix them, said Feltham. "It's not exactly the same, but it has the perfect amount of fat and beef. And fat is good, because when you're cooking meat over the fire, it stores all that smoke flavor and it's delicious.”

The assembly of their taco is simple: a taco-sized flour tortilla, carne asada grilled over mesquite, shredded cabbage for crunch, and a really spicy red salsa that has onion and cilantro and, to finish it off, a runny avocado salsa. Every plate comes with grilled onions.

Experience Sonoratown in all its glory taco at this year's Taco Madness presented by Bud Light Chelada, as they return with a special treat for all attendees this Saturday, May 6 at LA Plaza de Arte y Culturas. They will be selling mini tacos caramelos made with aguja meat brought straight from Sonora, Mexico. 

Join us for all the tacos, music, and fun at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes starting at 4 PM this Saturday. Tickets are still available here.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from L.A. TACO

The Secret Motorcycle Gang History of Tijuana’s Best Fish Tacos

Open since 1991 and operated by one of the daughters of Tijuana's famous fish taco gem, Las 4 Hermanas. The fish tacos at Alicia's are so delicious that they are charged to a running tab since most people always order more than they thought they wanted. But the portraits of old bikers on the restaurant's walls tell a deeper story.

June 8, 2023

Tasting Your Way Through Tijuana’s Vastly Underrated Local Cheese Scene and Where to Find It to Bring Back Home 

Great cheeses do not only come from Europe. It's time to shine a light on the history and wide variety of cheeses made locally with raw milk in Baja and available in Tijuana, from a jocoque reminiscent of labneh to hard, chipotle-infused Real del Castillo.

June 8, 2023

Spot Check: A Chilled 40 Oz. With Caviar-Topped Tamales at a Fine-Dining Restaurant In Downtown

Also, high school students get $2 Baja tacos all summer at a local chain and a thinly sliced al pastor is making its way down the 110 Freeway.

June 8, 2023

Social Distortion Frontman and Orange County Punk Icon Mike Ness Diagnosed with Stage One Cancer

Notes of support immediately started to pour in from fans, including positive words from L.A.'s Bad Religion and Mexico's División Minuscula.

June 8, 2023

How the Caesar Salad’s Tijuana Origins Became the Border City’s Secret Legacy

The Caesar salad, created in Tijuana by an Italian immigrant during Prohibition in the United States, represents hope that a day’s work could eventually result in your own legacy. As Javier Plascencia, the chef and owner of Caesar's Hotel, tells L.A. TACO, the Caesar salad became an icon of Tijuana "by accident." To this day, the restaurant makes an average of 550 tableside salads every day.

June 7, 2023
See all posts