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East Los Angeles

My Favorite Taco ~ Ask A Mexican’s Gustavo Arellano

10:05 AM PDT on May 15, 2007


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Your Black Friend Nashieqa Washington first turned us on to Gustavo Arellano's column Ask a Mexican in the OC Weekly, and it wasn't long before LA Weekly picked it up too, saving precious driving time searching out the hard copy and providing even more precious porno time on the internet. Gustavo's straight-forward answers to befuddled gabachos and other Mex-impaired or curious citizens of So. Cal are not only hilarious, they are also illuminating towards the feelings, lives, and conflicts of Los Angeles' majority culture. More than just comedy, Arellano's snappy answers to honest questions are a refreshing shot in the arm for Southern Cali race relations.


Why do Mexicans wear their clothes in the ocean? Can you trust a Mexican to make your sushi? Huitlacoche? The Raiders? Machismo? Arellano has just published his first collection of Ask a Mexican columns, and the dead-on and funny answers lie therein!

Of course, TACO hits hard with the most probing questions...

"Hey Gustavo, what is your favorite taco in Los Angeles? "

"Like any true Naranjero (Orange County resident), I largely eschew Mexican food in Los Angeles since Orange County Mexican is SO much better. But I do swallow my pride and enjoy the occasional taco. I'm sure they're not the best in the city, but I'm an Orange County resident --I wouldn't know better.

My choices are King Taco, the original location (close to sixth, I believe, off some freeway). More out of nostalgia than taste, although the salsa they use is still one of the few that makes me sweat. Burrito King in Echo Park/Silverlake where gabachos are intruding into barrios area of Los Angeles. Cute, vintage logo, and a greasy breakfast chorizo burrito that sops up any hangover. I'm not sure if it's still there, but there was once a taco truck in East Los Angeles that sold two tacos for a buck and gave away free salsa. It was on the parking lot of those auto shops that have a giant, laughing bear as its logo (sorry for being so damned vague with locations--but again, OC boy).

But for cheap eats, nothing beats Ruen Pair in Thai Town. I always get the same bastardized dish: rice topped with onions, pepper slices, bamboo shoots, more pepper, garlic and meat: heaven through hell. 5257 Hollywood Blvd."


Thanks G! We know Gustavo is also a big seeker-outer of racist signage depicting such things on taco stands as sleeping fat Mexican men in giant sombreros next to donkeys and the like...such images and of course probing questions, can be directed to Gustavo at

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