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Meet the Hardworking Family From Michoacán Behind One of the Valley’s Best Birria Trucks

4:39 PM PDT on June 9, 2021

    [dropcap size=big]W[/dropcap]rapped in every taco and handmade tortilla lies the story of a family of nine who started a food business from the ground up. 

    Jaime Arana Soria, 23, the youngest of seven children, started working in his family business, “La Autentica Birrieria,” about a year ago, and it’s booming. 

    The restaurant is located in North Hollywood and is now opening up its second location in Mission Hills. “La Autentica Birrieria” is known for its consomé, a soup that customers buy to dip their tacos in to add flavor. “Quesatacos de birria de res highly recommend, y que no se te olvide tu consomé,” customer Cesar De La Garza said. 

    The Arana family came to the United States from Michoacán, Mexico, to make a better life for themselves via the food industry. 

    “The American Dream to us means coming to the United States when I was 14 years old, without knowing a word of English, and being able to work hard in many jobs to build a family business,” Soria said. 

    Jaime Arana Soria posing in front of his taco truck.
    Jaime Arana Soria. Photo by Lilian Gonzalez for L.A. TACO.

    He dropped out of his freshman year of college to focus solely on his family business. Soria learned everything about the food industry, from managing a food truck business to learning how to cook at home with his mom.  

    Before working full-time on the business, Soria attended school at Cerritos College, worked weekend shifts at Ashley Homestore, Baja Fresh, and worked as a Lyft driver. “I had to help my family with the bills and also help myself with my bills to survive,” he said.

    Although Soria did not plan to be a college dropout of college, he was passionate about helping his family grow La Autentica Birrieria. “Being afraid of starting the business and not being able to know if it’s going to hit or not is a challenge, especially not knowing if it is going to do well or bad.” 

    When starting the family business, Soria and his family had to invest $50,000 for a down payment and finance the balance with the bank. 

    Despite the odds, the restaurant has run smoothly in the time of COVID-19. “Thank God, we have not been struggling in any way, everything has been running smoothly, and it’s growing fast,” he said. 

    Soria and his family treat their customers in the same way they treat their family members. “We make sure the quality of the product we give is always in great condition. You know, we put a lot of love into the business.” 

    The Arana family business includes a plethora of different food plates. “You can mix them up as well like you can do half and half… birria de chivo or birria de res as well,” he said.

    The family’s most famous dish is “El Plato Mixto,” meaning “mixed plate” in English, said Soria. It also comes with the most well-known foods on the menu, including two soft tacos, Vampiro, taco dorado, and consomé with either meat. 

    Although the “Plato Mixto” is one of the most popular orders, Soria’s personal favorites are the “Quesatacos.” 

    A “Quesataco” includes a  choice of meat, topped with onion and cilantro, served on a handmade tortilla. “And it comes with Birria de chivo!” Soria said. “Birria de chivo,” is an original sauce made by the Arana family. 

    Soria and his family incorporate as much of their culture from Michoacán into their food, including birria de chivo, birria de res, and so much more. “Introducing our food and culture to different people from different cultures in Los Angeles is what motivates us to continue doing what we love,” he said. 

    Food vlogger and customer, Twaydabae, posted on Instagram a video of herself eating a Birria de res tacos con consomé from “La Autentica Birrieria.” “Everything is delicious… oh my god… best combination ever,” she said.

    Because of Soria’s hard work and commitment, his family’s taco business has become one of the most popular in Southern California. Largely due to Lakers big man Anthony Davis being a regular at the taquería. 

    Soria hopes to continue inspiring future generations with his story. “That’s always been one of my goals…I always thank God, my family, the customers, and the team. The support means everything in my business,” he said.  

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