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Free Michelada, Free Oysters, and Free Al Pastor: Your L.A. TACO Members-Only Weekend Taco Crawl

[dropcap size=big]W[/dropcap]e’re about to wrap up the second week of our grueling Member Drive, and you are all slowly but surely coming through for us. Thanks to this generous tweet by our staff investigative reporter Lexis-Olivier Ray and us being straight-up listing a handful of stories that have changed L.A.’s civic and taco life.

That being said, we are still 170 members behind the goal (250 new sign-ups), and we’re not giving up yet. 

Of all possible scenarios for the fate of independent local journalism, we would have never, ever in our absolutely wildest dreams imagined that the secret to funding BIPOC-led local journalism was in free tacos and drinks. But there it is in all its glory. Thanks to our hardworking Director of Partnerships/Writer/Video Editor/General “Juan-of-all-Trades,” Memo Torres, our list of super generous taquerías and other spots around the city giving our members free perks is over 65 strong. That means that for supporting us for $10 a month, not only will you get some L.A. TACO swag like a Dodger-blue hat or a t-shirt ($30 value each) that non-members do not have access to, but you can eat and drink your way to supporting local journalism.

And these aren’t whatever member perks, either. They’re delicious things like free oysters, free cochinita pibil, a free michelada, and free al pastor. We’ve gone ahead and curated this taco crawl to maximize your member perks—perfect for doing on any given afternoon, weekend, or anytime. 

¡Provecho! And gracias for your continued support in our little literary trompo that somehow continues to chug along in these wild journalism times. 

Pre-Game with a free michelada upgrade at Guelaguetza 

Guelaguetza is L.A.s’ Oaxacan consulate and it’s a whole vibe. On any given afternoon, it is the best place to post up with a shot of mezcal or brew to decompress after a day of work and let the absolutely brutal Koreatown rush hour traffic die down a bit, or just meet up with a person to connect and connect. Fernando Lopez, one of the co-proprietors, has taken the restaurant’s legendary Oaxacan-style michelada to the next level by bottling it and selling it at supermarkets and liquor stores around the city. If you’re an active L.A. TACO member, you can automatically get a michelada upgrade upon purchasing any of their beer. On a hot day, something their oversized frozen mug filled with their spices and tart juices hits the spot. 

3014 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006

Two free oysters when you buy two tacos at Holbox

It’s hard to argue that Holbox is not the best Mexican seafood restaurant in the city. Chef Gil Cetina is the first-generation prodigal son of the legendary family behind Chichen Itza and to say that he has a passion for quality mariscos is an understatement. It’s refined mariscos that take inspiration from the beautiful island located in Yucatán’s neighboring Quintana Roo state but with the liberties of only being about three hours from Mexico’s seafood capital of Baja. The result is some legendary pulpo and fish tacos...with two free refreshing oysters because L.A. TACO members deserve this baller treatment and more. 

3655 S Grand Ave #C9

Free cochinita taco at Chichen Itza

When you’re done filling your bellies with some amazing seafood, walk a couple of food stands over inside the Mercado La Paloma complex and brace yourself to taste the first cochinita pibil that started it all in Los Angeles. Cooked by Cetina’s family, it’s just something about those pickled red onions that hit differently. Make sure to douse in their bottled habanero salsa.   

3655 S Grand Ave #C6 

Tacos Los Güichos. Photo from the L.A. TACO archives.

More free tacos at Tacos Los Güichos with the purchase of $8 or more

The massive trompo is scorched by an overactive gas burner that is more high-octane than a Michael Bay movie or an Elon Musk flamethrower. The sound of the roaring flame mirrors the burning hunger in your belly. Once you give your ticket to the trompo swordsmen, they’ll thinly slice sizzling portions of pork from the giant trompo. The charred crispy edges of the pork combined with the al-pastor-tailored salsa and lime make me want to write a Shakespearean sonnet. Shall I compare thee to an al pastor taco? I should note that Los Guichos doesn’t include pineapple with their tacos, but their al pastor excels nonetheless. - Cesar Hernandez

320 W Slauson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90003

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