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These Were L.A. TACO’s Favorite L.A. TACO Stories of 2022

2:35 PM PST on December 22, 2022

    As we look to a holiday week ahead and the end of the year, we asked our staff which story on L.A. TACO moved them the most in 2022. This is what everyone had to say.

    Janette Villafana, Reporter: "If I thought choosing a favorite taco was hard, choosing my favorite story on the trompo is extremely hard because so many good stories come through the trompo. But I think my favorite one would have to be Memo Torres's story on Lupita Cruz and Mario Uriel and their taco stand. Aside from beautifully capturing the story with his photography, I think he captured the essence of L.A. with the entire story but with this line in particular: "This isn’t a cafe in Paris or Italy like you see portrayed in typical romance movies. This street corner in west Los Angeles is where tacos and mariachi are our love story."

    Lexis-Olivier Ray, Reporter: "My favorite story on L.A. TACO this year was Mike Ade’s report on train cargo thefts in Lincoln Heights. After hearing reports of criminals pillaging train cars for weeks, Mike went down to the scene with his camera and amazingly captured a train car derailment. Then a Union Pacific worker that Mike spoke to revealed something that hadn’t been reported yet: Union Pacific (the company that owns the trains) had significantly cut their policing budget in recent months. It doesn’t get much more street-level than that! To me, that’s what L.A. TACO is all about. Hitting the streets to find the angle that nobody else is covering. Mike’s story ended up shifting the spotlight from a focus on criminals and prosecution to a neglectful billion dollar company trying to cast the blame on someone else."

    Samantha Nunez, Director of Marketing and Social Media: "My favorite story this year was written by Lex and was “More Than 2,000 Patients In L.A. Unknowingly Received A Diluted Dose Of The Pfizer Vaccine, They Found Out Nearly A Year Later.” This story was HUGE, and was something that was under the radar for such a long time. I remember when Lex told us about it and I was shocked that this was even happening. And when it was published, I felt so proud that our newsroom put this out. Lex continuously uncovers such timely and important pieces but this one was truly a critical piece that informed thousands and thousands of Angelenos. He is our not-so-secret weapon and this story was a testament to his dedication to reporting the raw truths within our city."

    Memo Torres, Director of Partnerships: Every f*cking movie’s first shot of Los Angeles is of the palm trees lining the streets of Beverly Hills. It’s the type of Hollywood garbage that alienates the rest of L.A. and invites transplants to criticize our city as fake. But Patrick Kuh’s piece for L.A. Taco, “L.A. Fruteros’ Colorful Umbrellas are Powerful Symbols Against Development and Covid,” looks at a different street symbol real locals recognize. He highlighted the umbrellas! I mean, we’ve all seen them. We all look for them on a hot summer day. It’s even my son’s tradition to spot an umbrella whenever I pick him up from school to have me pull over for some fresh fruta. It’s a great piece that examines why all these stands have the same umbrella. But more importantly, it highlights them as an L.A. emblem. It’s the perfect L.A. Taco article. While Hollywood looks up at Beverly Hills’ palms, we look at L.A.’s street umbrellas.

    Javier Cabral, Editor: "My favorite L.A. TACO story of the year has to be Eric Spiegelman's controversial masterpiece published over a week ago titled 'A Running List of Restaurants I Still Love Despite Mediocre Food.' It encapsulates our street-level publication's philosophy of keeping it real, not kissing ass, and more importantly not taking ourselves—and our passion for food, news, and culture—too seriously, while still understanding L.A.'s complex dining culture. That story ruffled some feathers, but it got many praises from our loyal readers who reveled in the sentiment because, as we all know, sometimes our go-to restaurants are more than just about the food."

    Hadley Tomicki, Deputy Editor: "Kamren Curiel's masterpiece of a story on gentrification in Highland Park, and how it has affected restaurant owners and locals, really blew me away. The piece offered so many sides to the story and points of view, conclusively laying out the serious damage done to neighborhood lives when developers and new businesses arrive and begin pricing out locals. It rightly puts the onus on all of us to make thoughtful choices that are beneficial for everyone in the city, and not just ourselves, or risk ruining real lives."

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