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Spot Check! Chinese Soul Food, A New Taco Omakase, Wagyu Sloppy Joes, and Street Boba Teas Made From Scratch

3:45 PM PDT on April 10, 2023

Colibri's Ricardo Zarate with a dish of charred snap peas, aji amarillo labneh, and spicy garlic

Chef Ricardo Zarate is opening a new Italian-Peruvian-inspired location of his Colibri Pop-Up with Love & Salt/Olivetta chef Michael Fiorelli this Tuesday, April 11 in West Hollywood. The concept will explore a style of cuisine that has been developing in Peru since large migrations of Italians began appearing in the South American country back in the late 1700s. Menu items may include yellowtail tiradito with dragonfruit, coconut and olive oils, tallarines rojos with a handmade tagliatelle, tomato ragu, chicken thigh, and huancaina, and seafood pasta with aji verde and tobiko. Meanwhile, a concept called Tacos on the Alley from El Zarape owner Alberto Mendez will operate in the space simultaneously, offering tacos specific to various parts of Mexico and a full bar with cocktails.

514 N. La Cienega Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90048. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Line 105 - “La Cienega/Rosewood” or Bus Line 10 - "Melrose/La Cienega."

A Chinese/Soul food pop-up called Rush Hour will take over Goodboy Bob in Santa Monica this weekend. Every order centers on a -low-and-slow sous vide chicken with housemade barbecue sauce, available with two sides, which include four cheese mac, "chow chow mein mein," garlic green beans, and Nueske's bacon collards. Sour cream pound cake will be available for dessert, while drinks include jasmine tea lattes and Chinese 5-spice lattes.

Sat-Sun. 11 am-4 pm, 2058 Broadway Santa Monica, CA 90404. Closest Metro lines and stop: Metro E Line - "26th/Bergamot Station" or Bus Line 4 - “Santa Monica/20th.”

A Sonoran-style stand called Tacos de Sonora is serving on Saturdays in Compton. Options include burritos, quesabirrias, vampiros, mulitas, and tacos on flour tortillas handmade with butter, with asada and birria, and various burritos de guisados, including machaca, carne with cactus, papa con chorizo, chiltepin with meat, and chicharrón, among others.  For dessert, buñuelos are made on the spot.

Saturdays 8:30a-4pm, 1012 E. Poppy Ave. Compton, CA 90221. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Line 60 - “Long Beach/Peck” or Bus Line 125 - "Rosecrans/Mayo."

Still not enough Sonoran cooking for you? Then you'll want to know about Tacos La Rueda, which just opened in Bellflower and sells burritos, tortas, tacos, quesadillas, lorenzas, and caramelos with charcoal-grilled, chopped-on-the-spot asada in flour tortillas, along with chicken and tripitas, plus menudo and papas locas. The restaurant is located at 16900 Lakewood Blvd Ste 104, Bellflower, CA 90706. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 266 - “Lakewood/Flower.”

Gardena Salvadoran restaurant Los Cheros Pupusería is now offering torrejas, French toast in panela syrup, as well as nuegados (buñuelos/fritters), for breakfast. 16502 S. Main St. Gardena, CA 90248. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 246 - “Albertoni/Main.”

Catch Cali Tea Co. out on the streets of Northridge every Friday and Sunday, slanging milk teas with the option of Muscovado brown sugar boba made daily from scratch. The imported, premium loose-leaf teas are brewed in Moka pots, as the business tells us it is dedicated to making milk teas that taste like tea, not sugar, sweetener, or creamer. The company also offers samples of their milk teas, so you can taste them before committing, and offers them with adjustable sweetness levels. Flavors include java honey oolong milk tea, spring green milk tea, strawberry matcha milk tea, and golden elephant black milk tea. Cali Tea Co. also offers Oreo, Nutella, and plain taiyaki with an optional house-pureed strawberry drizzle.

Fri. and Sun. 2-8pm, 9167 Reseda Blvd. Northridge CA 91324. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 166, 167 or 240 - “Reseda/Nordhoff.”

You're in the San Fernando Valley when the most random craving for a Sloppy Joe washes over you. Without attempting to explain your urges to anyone, you pull over at Sun Valley's Sloppy Buns. Soon you're scarfing down the object you desire, only one made with 100% U.S. Wagyu with a side of tater-tots, mac-and-cheese, or "sloppy fries." Your inner child is now fulfilled for the first time in a long time.

Weds-Fri. 7654 N. Clybourn Ave. Sun Valley, CA 91352. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 90 or 169 - “Vineland/Saticoy.”

Murdered Out continues its bimonthly pop-ups at Barrio Cantina in Long Beach on April 16th. This weeks menu, based on "growing up broke," includes chorizo with hummus, salsa bandera, and bone marrow; French toast with cafe de olla syrup, lavender berries, and cardamom; and miso biscuits with "barbie bumps" and honey butter; and potato waffles with beef cheek milanesa. 1731 E. 4th St., Long Beach, CA 90802

Hooked on Chronic's?

Chronic Tacos is officially opening on Wednesday in Pasadena from the same franchisees who opened Monrovia's location. To celebrate, they're offering one free small burrito to everyone who shows up on Tuesday, April 11, from 11:30 am-1 pm. On Saturday, April 15, the first 100 attendees will get a free breakfast dish. Be it a burrito, bowl, or taco plate. All guests will get 20% off their orders. 345 S. Lake Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Lines 177, 267 or 662 - “Lake/Del Mar.”

Commerce's Il Saggio Italian Restaurant recently debuted a sequel in Echo Park called Il Saggio 2. Among the many menu options, you'll find linguine with clams, chicken or steak panini with fries, wedge salads, pizza, risotto, and osso buco.

1630 W. Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 4 - “Sunset/Echo Park.”

Viaje opened earlier this year in Long Beach for modern upscale Mexican cuisine. Dishes include filet mignon tlayudas, shrimp-huitlacoche tetelas, lamb shank barbacoa with garbanzo puree, chile morita, and cactus, branzino zarandeado, and enchiladas Oaxaqueñas with duck confit, mole negro, and plantain puree. 5224 E. 2nd St. Long Beach, CA 90803

Burbank's The Green Room is launching an Alice In Wonderland-inspired "Through the Looking Glass" pop-up this Thursday, April 13, with a secret garden full of bright flowers and twisted trees. Interactive elements and characters include The Mad Hatter cocktail welcome, playing cards, teacups, and the Cheshire Cat. In contrast, menu items include Down the Rabbit hole ube crepe with white chocolate ube mousse, and pistachio gelato, and Buzz Off cocktails with Tequila, Sichuan flower, cognac, yuzu, and ginger. The event will last through mid-May.

Need a caterer who makes Cuban food in L.A., O.C., and the I.E.? Look no further than Lela's Kitchen, where these blue cheese-and-guava empanadas make us want to have a party just to try them.

We keep hearing favorable recommendations to try Downtown's Punjab California, which opened last fall and serves such Northern Indian specialties as rajma, goat curry, Punjabi chole, murgh maktani, pani puri, and paneer tikka masala. The menu also offers chicken kathi rolls, spring rolls, Afghani lassi, and flaky lachha paratha, and omelet-stuffed paratha.

112 E. 12th St. Los Angeles, CA 90015. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 4, 30, 40 or 45 - “Broadway/12th.”

Elizabeth Heitner and Nestor Silva of Malli are offering a Friday night taco omakase with Wexler's Deli at Grand Central Market on April 14, 21, and 28. Only 20 seats will be available each night for dinner with seven courses, including its signature pastrami taco. Natural wines will be available to buy by the bottle. Or you can bring your own. Reservations here.

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