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Family Behind Celebrated East L.A. Taco Stand Raising Money After ‘Reckless Driver’ Burns Down Their Kitchen

In addition to Asadero Chikali's prep-kitchen being destroyed, Melva Perez, the owner's wife, also lost her hair salon to the fire. According to the family, insurance won't cover either loss because their policy only covers their taco truck.

2:44 PM PDT on July 18, 2023

    Jose Perez (Asadero Chikali)|

    A driver in a Chevy pickup truck crashes into Asadero Chikali’s prep-kitchen before starting a fire and fleeing the scene.

    The family behind Asadero Chikali, an East L.A. taco stand known for its hand-rolled flour tortillas and Mexicali-style guisados, is recovering after losing its commissary kitchen to a large fire over the weekend.

    At 12:50 on Saturday morning, owner Jose Perez received an unexpected call from a relative.

    "They were driving by, heading home, and saw the building on fire," Perez said during an interview with L.A. TACO on Tuesday afternoon.

    When he arrived at 1321 Atlantic Boulevard, Perez found a crashed Chevy Silverado pickup truck sticking out of his business. The interior of the building was completely charred; the driver of the truck nowhere to be found.

    Perez tells L.A. TACO that "the rear of the building was being used for storage and preparation." Due to the damage caused by the fire, they're no longer able to access the area and, as a result, will be closed this weekend.

    "We are looking into cooking at home while we figure out a solution," Perez said.

    In addition to the family's kitchen getting destroyed, Melva Perez, Jose's wife, also lost her hair salon to the fire. According to the family, insurance won't cover either loss because their policy only covers the taco truck they use to sell

    "We are at a loss for words about yesterday's news," Asadero Chikali wrote on IG Sunday morning. "We give thanks to god for allowing us to all be safe and healthy, and we cannot express how thankful we are for everyone who has helped out by donating or spreading the word. For those who have reached out personally and have offered help, THANK YOU!!!"

    The Perez family hopes to raise up to $40,000 through GoFundMe to rebuild their business.

    "God willing we will be back as soon as this all gets sorted out!"

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