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Tacos and Love: The L.A. Taco Team Muses on the Meaning of Valentine’s Day and Taco Trucks

4:57 AM PST on February 14, 2019

    [dropcap size=big]A[/dropcap]t L.A. Taco, we love tacos. But are we in love with tacos? Yes. Obviously. At least I am, which prompted me to ask one of our stellar Team Taco contributors, Melanie Gonzalez, in all seriousness, “Should we do a Most Romantic Taco Truck story for Valentine’s Day?” Melanie responded with a simple word: “Chale.”

    Chale isn’t just a no, it’s a “get the hello out of here with that nonsense.” So this naturally led to a fun debate in our little digital newsroom about whether tacos on a first date are acceptable.

    These are the official responses from the L.A. Taco staff.

    Tacos De Birria De Res. Photo by Cesar Hernandez.
    Photo by Cesar Hernandez.

    Mariah Castañeda

    [dropcap size=big]T[/dropcap]aco love is someone driving you to Tacos El Pecas late at night because you’re sad, depressed, broke, and desperately need something familiar and warm. It’s when you show your best friend that taco spot you just discovered and their face lights up as they devour every last morsel and wash it down with an agua de jamaica. Moments with tacos are laughing with your friends and talking shit about your dm’s or heartbreak. Tacos and memories around them are so special to me, I don’t know if I want to share that with someone on the first minute of a first date.

    Erick Huerta

    [dropcap size=big]T[/dropcap]hat's like a break it or make it situation for some folks, a.k.a me. If you can't get down on some juicy tacos at some random stand after drinking and dancing, then it ain't gonna work out.

    Courtesy of Taqueria La Venganza.
    Courtesy of Taqueria La Venganza.

    Jessica Flores

    [dropcap size=big]I[/dropcap]’d prefer to eat at a taco truck or some hole in the wall than a fancy restaurant on a first date. Tacos can break the awkwardness of a first date and they’re affordable! If your date doesn’t like tacos, that should tell you a lot.


    [dropcap size=big]I[/dropcap]t has always been a fantasy of mine for someone to walk in a room with a heart shaped platter of tacos waiting to be devoured. Perhaps this wouldn’t happen on a first date, but rather when things became more serious. Either way, I think tacos would be the perfect first date. Everyone loves tacos! People should view a taco date as the new coffee date for how casual and cost efficient they are. I give it a 10 out of 10.

    Tacos La Guera
    Tacos La Guera

    Melanie Gonzalez

    [dropcap size=big]M[/dropcap]y fondest taco memories involve late-night work sessions and my closest friends. We order, bring them back to the house and have a chisme session. Honestly, there's no one else I'd imagine spending my Valentine's Day than with friends. When one of my friends lived in MacArthur Park, we'd hit the various trucks parked around Alvarado. If we're in my neighborhood, we'll be eating some fried potato tacos from Nato's, a taco stand that opens after last-call on weekends on York in Highland Park. A taco truck as the first spot on a date doesn't work for me, but it can be the second meal of the night if things go well. Yes, I require two meals on a date. I enjoy being spoiled with good food.

    Cesar Hernandez

    [dropcap size=big]I[/dropcap] don’t think there’s anything more romantic or intimate than sharing a meal. I think that is one of the purest, and one of the last forms of connections. In L.A., it is almost a rite of passage to share a paper plate full of tacos. For me, tacos are (and should be) the connective tissue for any close relationship. I think I’ve learned more about love or romance from sharing tacos with someone than any of the shit that Hollywood tries to pass off as romance.

    Courtesy of Rio Yanez.
    Courtesy of Rio Yanez.

    Melissa Mora Hidalgo

    [dropcap size=big]L[/dropcap]ove is finding the best taco-truck bean and cheese burritos in town with my then-crush after MorrisseyOke at Eastside Luv. Starving at 1 am and buzzed from red wine one night, we ducked out of the bar and headed up the street to the only taco truck around, Tacos El Ciprian, parked in front of White Memorial Hospital. I ordered one bean and cheese burrito to share – we weren’t sure how good they would be at this truck. But after just one bite of the warm, gooey goodness of creamy mashed Peruano beans and jack cheese wrapped in a soft flour tortilla, we knew we were in love ... with the burrito, of course.

    Javier Cabral

    hh, the things us romantic fools do for love and tacos.

    Having a "date night taco spot" was the sheer driving force behind Jimmy Shaw and the No. 1 reason he opened his Loteria empire. Let's face it: Yes, any taqueria can be considered one at the end of the night – especially when you and your lady or foo have been pounding a little and need to "sober up," a.k.a. buy extra time with them before whatever happens at the end of the night. But ayee ... having an actual destination to chill a bit with some nice booze to wash it all down and comfy lounges so you can look at each other's eyes is pretty tight too.
    And for that moment there is literally no better place in the city than Guerrilla Tacos. It's got $10 classy-ass cocktails, a taco for anyone's eating habits, and street art so you can brag to your date about that one time "you were a tagger."
    Tacos from Tacos 1986. Photo by Erwin Recinos.
    Tacos from Tacos 1986. Photo by Erwin Recinos for L.A. TACO.

    Daniel Hernandez

    [dropcap size=big]W[/dropcap]hen I lived in Echo Park during my early-to-mid twenties I had one taco truck that I could always count on — on Alvarado by the Ralphs — whenever I was feeling dark, alone, or broke. I wonder how many Valentine’s I spent there actually lol ... The tacos weren't spectacular but they always delivered and I found comfort in the coolness of the cucumber and rábano sides on a chilly night. Today, whenever someone new is down to link up for a quick bite, whether as friend or romantic interest, at a taco spot, I know already we're off to a great start. Tacos are a great first date! Whenever I'm talking (I mean "talking") to a non-Mexican or non-Latin person and he or she knows a thing or two beyond the basics about salsas, tortillas, carnitas, birria, or al pastor, the chemistry is instant. Facts.

    Courtesy of Rio Yanez.
    Courtesy of Rio Yanez.

    Erick Galindo

    [dropcap size=big]T[/dropcap]acos are really the only way I’m going to leave the house. And any questions that include eating tacos should always be answered in the affirmative. I’ve had some of my favorite dates start and end with tacos. I used to love going to the Grand Central Market on a first date, hit one of the four to 100 taqueros in there, then a museum, then back to one of the other taqueros, and repeat all over again. One time, after having several tacos de carnitas at Villa Moreliana, I fell flat on my ass in front of a woman I liked and the entire Central Market. I got right back up, ate some more tacos. That’s true love.

    RELATED: Fall in Love with Yesika Salgado: Silver Lake’s Fat, Fly, Salvadoran Poet

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