Skip to Content
Cheap Eats

A Look Back At The First Annual Tacolandia ~ Hollywood

IMG_7496

"Yo-ho, yo-ho, a taco life for me." The benefits of the taco lifestyle were on naked display to everyone at Tacolandia, Saturday's celebration of the city's favorite staple. These convictions were doubly confirmed spying the event's culinary curator, Bill Esparza, strutting through the massive with Miss Los Angeles on one arm and Dita Von Teese on the other. Direct benefits of the man's dedication to this here taco life. In fact, everyone at Hollywood's Palladium that afternoon reaped the rewards of Esparza's epicurean experience and deep connections to gifted chefs as various and voracious members of L.A.'s many taco tribes joined up under the sun in the parking lot of the Palladium to sip drinks and shoot the breeze, all while eating very well. The L.A. TACO crew amped up our own appetites by biking up from a ride across Wilshire during CicLAvia and offering crucial product testing to a new hand-held doohickey called The PAX (it gets four and twenty thumbs up!). Arriving at the L.A. Weekly-sponsored event around 2:00 P.M., it only took stops to three of the included 30 taqueros to overstand that this taco event was playing on the highest level, the assembled restaurants rich with heavy-hitters of the Mexican food scene both in L.A. and below the border. Each brought their best creations or else pushed their own boundaries with inspired new combinations and ingredients. Come along and take a look at some of the highlights in our look back at the first (and surely the start of many) Tacolandia festivals from L.A.'s own trusted Street Gourmet.

IMG_7476

Jimmy Shaw's D.F.-style L.A. taqueria, Loteria, had one of our favorite tacos of the day. Called "Bilingua," it featured beef tongue in a red salsa on half of the torilla, pork tongue with tomatillo on the other. They had another one on hand called "Tres Cochinitios" with bacon, carnitas, and chicharrones.

IMG_7475

Hey look, it's Taco Man, who made his first appearance in these here pages before becoming way too famous to talk to us. He was there in some kind of endorsement deal for Second City.

IMG_7479

Javier Plascencia, the Tijuana superstar behind Mision 19, among his many places, prepared an awesome fried taco dorado with tripe and fideo.

IMG_7480

This cured snapper taco from George's at the Cove was topped with crunchy chicharrones made from the skin of the fish.

IMG_7485

Tijuana's Tacos Kokopelli grilled up a version of their infamous "octopus" Kraken tacos.

IMG_7486

Another highlight from Baja was Sabina Bandera's La Guerrerense. Behind a row of eight colorful salsas, Sabina and crew topped their uni and yellowtail tostada (above) and incredible, smoky fish and Pismo clam pate tostadas with an incredible array of distinct sauces, each lending their own clear notes to the experience.

IMG_7490

Ricardo Zarate's Mo-Chica presented this irresistibly delicious tacu-tacu taco with pork belly.

IMG_7491

Tacos Leo remains one of our favorite taco spots in Los Angeles. Even among the presence of so many creative and full-flavored tacos on Saturday, something about the simple pleasures of their perfect pastor made it again one of our favorites of the day, its resident pastor artist never ceasing to be a wonder to behold as he gracefully nicks pineapple and pig from the spit. Check out this video we took of him in action.

IMG_7494

Bravo to this passionate taco fanatic and her home-made costume.

IMG_7495

Miss Los Angeles has a good head on her shoulders and is our clear frontrunner for Miss America. Look at how she handles herself with such composure even as she's harassed by boozy giants in dorky caps.

IMG_7496

Celebrating the conclusion of a successful tour, Dita Von Teese proved to be super cool. We recently interviewed the siren about what she likes to eat and when she's not digging into some uni, she's a huge taco fan. She has really cool friends, too, and was an incredible sport about taking pictures with people and hanging out all day in her home city.

IMG_7477

We'd like to blame/thank our friends at Tacos Punta Cabra, Guerilla Tacos, and Mexicali Tacos for offering us some extra refreshment throughout the day, which unfortunately helped us to forget who made these awesome tacos you see here. What you see in this post is really just the tip of the taco, in fact, as the day was full of hits like Bistro LQ's rabbit liver tacos, Spirit House's chasu tacos, birria tacos from Gish Bac, moles from Rocio's Moles del Dioses, tacos arabes from Tacos Arabes de Puebla, smoked marlin tacos from Coni'Seafood, beef cheek from Cacao Mexicatessen, the super-duper popular lobster tacos from Soho Taco, y mucho, mucho mas.

IMG_7487

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from L.A. TACO

Announcing the TACO MADNESS 2024 ‘Best in Show’ Champion, Plus All the Tacos and Good Times You Missed Out On!

Thank you to every single of you who came out to support us in our quinceañera edition of TACO MADNESS 2024! This year's winner was a shocker and first-in-its class! See if you spot yourself and your TACO MADNESS crew in our photo recap!

June 18, 2024

‘Tacos With a Side of Dope Music:’ A Preview of the DJs Gracing The Stage at TACO MADNESS

Attendees of this weekend have much to look forward to—from behind the turntables to behind the grills, TACO MADNESS promises to bring something for everybody, and the L.A. TACO looks forward to bringing all of the energy, excitement, and culture to La Plaza De Culturas y Artes this Saturday.

What To Eat In L.A. This Weekend: L.A.’s Best Tacos, Tequila, and Stuffed Churros at Our 15th TACO MADNESS

McSatan cheeseburgers, suadero on house-nixtamalized tortillas from one of Mexico's biggest chefs, steak banh mi tacos, and so much more, in one place!

June 14, 2024

The Five Best Tacos in South Gate

From a spot that uses a unique Michoacán-style "salsa agridulce" to a fish taquería where the batter stays crispy, next time you're in SELA, now you know! Southeast Los Angeles, presente!

June 13, 2024

Black Music Month: Five California-Based Baddies Taking Over The Music Industry

From Sacramento to Slauson Hills and Pasadena, these emerging California-raised artists are representing the state's current hip-hop and R&B scenes.

See all posts