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An Actual ‘Taco Gobernador:’ Make Wes Avila’s Soft Scramble Lobster Burrito That He Served to Governor Newsom on Election Week

11:10 AM PDT on September 8, 2021

    [dropcap size=big]S[/dropcap]ometimes tacos and politics go together like aguachile and ice-cold beer. 

    Contrary to what the mostly anonymous or private commentators think while commenting “stick to tacos” on our Instagram account when L.A. TACO publishes stories having to do with racist behavior, gentrification, or the police getting caught in a lie, you can only write about food so much before it gets political. In the case of Wes Avila last weekend, sometimes politics walks right into your restaurant. 

    During Gavin Newsom’s final week of campaigning in Los Angeles against his recall, the governor stopped at Angry Egret Diner in Chinatown for lunch. The object of his desire? Wes Avila’s $30 soft-scrambled egg and lobster burrito. And just like that, perhaps for the first time in L.A.’s Taco Life, Wes Avila served an actual Taco Gobernador-esque taco to a real serving governor. 

    Background: A “Taco Gobernador” is a regional shrimp taco out of Sinaloa filled with melted cheese and seared shrimp. Taco lore says that it was a taco created in the 90s by Los Arcos, a famous mariscos restaurant in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, to impress Sinaloa’s governor at the time. The regional seafood taco has since blown up to be a menu staple at mariscos restaurants all over the U.S. and Mexico. 

    “He genuinely wanted to know more about our business, our plans, and he was very stoked to have his lobster burrito.” 

    “I thought it was going to be a photo opp like most politicians, but no, he introduced himself to me, my wife Tanya, and the staff and hung out with us,” Avila tells L.A. TACO. He only knew he was coming the day before and was happy to host him. Newsom commended Avila for his courageous move to open up Angry Egret Diner in the middle of the pandemic, “He genuinely wanted to know more about our business, our plans, and he was very stoked to have his lobster burrito.” 

    According to Avila, he took the opportunity to also educate California’s progressive Governor on the double-standard against Mexican food and the perception that it should always be cheap. “He said, ‘hey, I heard you have a $30 burrito!’” 

    Lobster sitting in butter. Photo by Wes Avila.
    Lobster sitting in butter. Photo by Wes Avila.

    “I told him it’s a whole lobster tail and soft-scrambled eggs. If I were to put it on a plate, you’d pay $45 for it!” To which Newsom responded with a, “Ha! You’re right.” Avila says he was surprised at how genuine Newsom was, “I figured politicians are very busy and just want to take a picture and dip, but nah.”

    When asked if food and politics go together, Avila sometimes believes yes. 

    “The coverage of where food comes from is definitely political, but it’s on the individual business if they want to speak out on certain subjects.” 

    Avila says that everyone, except racists, is welcome at his restaurant. 

    And for inquiring minds, L.A. TACO confirmed that California’s Governor did indeed tip on his order. 

    Gavin Newsom's receipt. Photo by Wes Avila.
    Gavin Newsom's receipt. Photo by Wes Avila.

    Here’s how to make Wes Avila’s lobster burrito that is the breakfast of anti-recall champions. 

    Wes Avila’s Soft Scramble Lobster Burrito 

    Serves 2 

    For the lobster

    1⁄2 cup kosher salt

    1 white onion, rough chopped

    4 medium carrots, peeled and rough chopped

    2 celery stalks, trimmed and rough chopped

    1 bay leaf

    6 peppercorns

    Juice of 2 lemons

    1 1⁄2 -  to 2- pound live Maine lobster

    1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, torn from stems, washed and patted dry

    1⁄4 cup unsalted butter

    Four 5- inch flour tortillas, warmed

    3 limes, halved

    For the soft-scrambled eggs

    4 tablespoons unsalted butter

    3 eggs

    1 tablespoon micro chives, minced 

    Finishing salt, such as fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt

    To make the lobster:

    Fill an 8- quart stockpot with water, bring to a boil, and add the 1⁄2 cup salt. When the water is boiling and the salt is dissolved, add the onion, carrots, celery, bay leaf, peppercorns, and lemon juice.

    Bring back to a boil.

    Meanwhile, using two kitchen towels, one in each hand, grab the lobster’s body with your left hand (and towel) and grab the tail with your right, and twist until it breaks from the body. Pierce the small opening at the base of the tail with a 10- inch wooden or metal skewer and run it up the length of the tail. Set aside.

    Return to the lobster with the kitchen towels. Hold the body down and twist at the base of the left knuckle— where it connects to the body to rip off the knuckle and claw as a piece. Repeat with the right knuckle/claw. Discard the body or reserve for another use.

    Place all the lobster pieces on a wire rack set over a baking sheet to drain excess fluid. Prepare an ice-water bath in the larges mixing bowl you have by stirring together water and a tray of ice.

    Set a timer for 6 minutes and drop the knuckles and claws into the boiling water. After 2 minutes, drop in the tail. 

    When the timer goes off, using tongs, pull out all the lobster and dump it into the ice-water bath. When cooled, remove from the bath and set aside.

    Using a kitchen towel, place the lobster in the palm of your hand with the flesh side facing up, and squeeze the sides until the shell cracks. Use both your thumbs to split the tail shell apart and remove the meat to a cutting board. Twist the knuckles away from the claws. Hold the hilt of your knife to the seam of the knuckle and tap it onto a cutting board. Don’t chop it off— wedge the knife into the seam, then move the blade side to side until the shell separates. 

    Pull the claw meat out with your hands. Last, use kitchen shears to cut through the knuckle shell. Remove the knuckle meat and set it aside.

    In a large pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and sauté until aromatic, 15 seconds or so. Add the lobster and poach in the warm garlic butter for 2 to 3 minutes, until well-coated and slightly browned in places.

    To make the eggs:

    In a nonstick pan over medium-low heat, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter until it starts to bubble. Crack the eggs into the pan and, using a wooden spoon or silicone whisk, whisk to mix. (You don’t want to break down the eggs entirely.) 

    Turn up the heat as you go. Just keep whisking, and pull the eggs off the heat if you have to before they set entirely so that you don’t overcook them, about 2 minutes. You want to make it almost like a custard. 

    Add the chives and season with salt.

    Add a tablespoon of eggs to each of the warmed tortillas, then add the lobster pieces. Squeeze some lime juice over and top with salsa.

    Serve immediately.

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