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El Ruso to Bring the Crispiest Tripitas This Side of the L.A. River and Sinaloa-Style Handmade Corn Tortillas to His Second Location in Boyle Heights

[dropcap size=big]B[/dropcap]efore there were handcrafted sobaquera flour tortillas stuffed with mesquite-grilled asada, there were handmade corn tortillas filled with charred Sinaloa-style adobada. Walter Soto of El Ruso in Boyle Heights may be considered the best streetside Sonoran-style operation in Los Angeles, but he left his taquero heart in Sinaloa.

Th asada upstart has announced an expansion into a second location via a new trailer that he will set up just a few blocks away on Olympic Boulevard. It will still be called El Ruso, but instead of specializing in mesquite-grilled beef and handmade flour tortillas handcrafted by his partner, Julia Silva, Soto will be going back to the roots of his taquero foundation: Sinaloan-style adobada, asada, the crispiest tripitas (beef intestine) this side of the L.A. River, and alambre-like “Sinaloan-style brochetas.” 

All charred over mesquite and made with Sinaloan-style handmade corn tortillas, which will be the base of his tacos, chorreadas (tacos smeared with the rendered chicharrón paste, aciento), and vampiros (a Sinaloan version of a gringa).  

The inside of El Ruso #2.

“Sinaloan-style tacos was the first regional variation I learned to make,” Soto tells L.A. Taco over the phone. “I use to offer handmade corn tortillas and Sinaloan-style offerings when El Ruso first started, but it got too busy and I had to streamline it to just Sonoran-style, but I knew I would come back to it one day.”

“That stage of my life was very important to me and Sinaloa is engraved in my heart. Now, it is my turn to be the head taquero of my own Sinaloan taqueria.”  

Soto announced the expansion on his Instagram account yesterday. It was signed with his signature slogan, “Pura Calidad!” A taquero philosophy that emphasizes his approach to quality over quantity that Soto has adapted since the first time he immersed himself in the Taco Arts in Culiacán, Sinaloa, in 1998 by way of La Carreta de Lichi owned by Don Alfredo Valdez. 

Soto shares his deep sense of nostalgia and gratitude associated with that time in his life, “I was only 17 years old when I started there under Don Valdez and it’s been my dream to open a second location honoring him and that style in the United States because it has opened so many doors for me.” Soto knew it was time to make this longtime Sinaloan dream of his a reality in Boyle Heights as soon as he got his original location up and running as smoothly as possible even without him being there, an achievement he recently unlocked.  

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Vampiro sinaloense , pura calidad !!!

A post shared by El Ruso (@elrusola) on

“That stage of my life was very important to me and Sinaloa is engraved in my heart. Now, it is my turn to be the head taquero of my own Sinaloan taqueria ” 

Sinaloan-style food in Los Angeles may be synonymous with plates of aguachile, but now thanks to El Ruso’s passion, the city will get a taste of that Sinaloan Taco Life.  

It is admirable that the news of his second location comes in the age of coronavirus when so many other restaurants in the city are still closed. Soto shares his inspiration.“You just have to keep going. I feel all my past experiences have led me to this new taqueria and the happiness from seeing people from all backgrounds come with their families to try my tacos is what continues to give me strength.”    

Sinaloan-style food in Los Angeles may be synonymous with plates of aguachile, but now thanks to El Ruso’s passion, the city will get a taste of that Sinaloan Taco Life.  

Walter Soto has yet to determine the approximate final location of El Ruso #2, but he says it will be on Olympic Boulevard somewhere between Lorena and Mirasol Streets. The service will start at 6 PM on Friday, May 29th. The normal operating hours will be 6 PM to midnight on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. In addition to handmade corn tortillas and the rest of the Sinaloan taco offerings, El Ruso #2 will also have fresh agua de cebada (a regional milky agua fresca made from toasted ground barley) and a new salsa verde to go with his nighttime tacos.   

L.A. Taco conducted the interview in Spanish and translated it into English for this story.  

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