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Bee Taqueria to Open Next Week in West Adams with ‘Beet Tinga’ and L.A.’s First Taco Omakase

[dropcap size=big]L.A.[/dropcap] Taco has confirmed that Bee Taqueria, a new taqueria opening in West Adams on Tuesday, will bring Los Angeles’ first official taco omakase menu. 

The chef is 33-year-old industry veteran Alex Carrasco, a proud line cook born and raised in Mexico City who learned the ropes at some of L.A.’s most notable kitchens in the last 15 years, including Westside Tavern, Mo-chica, Waterloo & City, Red Medicine, Bouchon, Scratch Bar, Joe's, and Osteria Mozza.

“As a line cook and a human being, I’ve had this dream for a long time while working for other people, and finally my dream is coming true,” Carrasco confirms over a phone interview. “I came to the U.S. in 2001 to work and learn how to cook and this moment has been a very long time coming,” he adds. 

He reveals a bit of the menu that he is working on, mostly traditional yet still demonstrating the years he’s spent working in high-technique driven restaurants. Like a $4 vegan tinga sauced with salsa verde and made from beets instead of chicken, smoked fish ceviche, and a “Ceviche Frito” tostada with sweet potato and rocoto-based leche de tigre that showcases his time working under L.A. chef Ricardo Zarate. Other items that he is excited about is a shrimp and scallop taquito fortified with the powerful herbaceous punch of pipicha herb and served with a “six-chile soup,” pork belly carnitas, and Hidalgo-style roasted goat barbacoa. He is sourcing his nixtamal from El Mercado de Los Angeles in Boyle Heights and will be doing flavor-infused tortillas.      

“I was known for making the best guisados and tacos with our leftovers for family meal everywhere I went,” he jokes. “Your roots are your roots, you can cook Italian or French but I carry my palate on my heart and I always returned to it. I knew I had to represent it as best as I can one day.” He reveals that in a past life in Mexico, he was a taco-loving punk rocker who dropped out of high school to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a professional skater, but after a ligament injury, he fell in love with food.

The taco omakase menu is something that Carrasco will be rolling out as soon as the taqueria portion of the restaurant is running smoothly. It is undoubtedly inspired by Enrique Olvera’s taco omakase at Pujol in Mexico City, but still, a taco format that had not yet been seen Los Angeles until now. “Expect insect tacos, bone marrow-mole tacos, Camembert cheese and guanabana honey tacos, and other flavors like that,” Carrasco teases. 

He is excited to officially open next week after hiring a curandero shaman from Mexico to rid the new space of any negative energy. Regarding the name Bee Taqueria, he named it after a beehive that he found in the space while remodeling. In the process of figuring out how to deal with the beehive, he realized the important roles that bees play in our food system and decided to name his first taqueria in their honor. 

Carrasco also built the community tables that will surely be the background for many new taco porn posts on Instagram. “I want the vibe to be like hanging out in your friend’s back yard.”

Bee Taqueria is located at 5754 W. Adams Los Angeles ca 90016. No beer or wine yet, so BYOB for now. Follow them on Instagram for more information. 

Editor's note: The interview with Carrasco was conducted in Spanish and translated into English for the article. 

Update at 9:36 AM: L.A. Taco has been tipped off that Guerrilla Tacos has been quietly offering a non-advertised "super low key" taco omakase menu since June under the name "Mikasa Just Trust Us." 

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