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L.A. Taco Guides

Update: The L.A. Taco Guide to Valentine’s Day Gifts (2021)

Update on 2/11/21: A personal mariachi serenade, heart-shaped conchas, and heart-shaped mulitas. Details below. 

[dropcap size=big]T[/dropcap]he likeliness of dismissing Valentine’s Day as a dumb holiday invented by a greeting card company is directly correlated to your answer to the following question. 

Are you single? 

If yes, then for sure! It may even be the dumbest holiday of all time. If no, then welcome back to the annual scramble for a little something-something that while painstaking, is never not worth the effort once the morning of February 14th hits.

It is also undeniably true that many of us do not need a holiday to remind us to shower our significant others with love. Hell, some of us may have even made a pact with our partners swearing to not buy each other something for V-day. 

But just in case, for all the hopeless romantics and people who like to have a reason to give and support local businesses, L.A. Taco has your back. After all, Valentine’s Day, known as “El Día del Amor y la Amistad” in Latin America, is not just for lovers.

 

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For the foo in your life

If you love drifting on memories, listening to oldies on Sundays, and airbrushed art, Cecelia Perez's art-based Instagram account @asspie will fill your heart with all types of feelings. For this Valentine's Day, the Bay Area-based Latinx artist created a niche Valentine's Day card perfect for that person in your life who you catch laughing out loud at those hood-brilliant @FoosGoneWild comments.

Orders via her online store.

For the chocolate-lover who lives in the Valley

When all else fails, chocolate.  This is a great rule of thumb...in life in general. When there is a fresh and juicy strawberry underneath that chocolate, it is even more special. Panorama City-based @MinisSweetShop is here for all your pink, cute confectionary needs.

Orders via DM.

For the galletero in your life

East Los Angeles-based baker @EastLosSweets is offering cookies adorned with bilingual and colorful Valentine's-themed art out of La Central Bakery.

Orders via email on their website.

For the concha lover

Huntington Park-based panadería Los Angelitos Bakery is offering "Concha Bouquets" this Valentine's Day, which is clever and a heck of a way to mix up the usual flower bouquets. All you need is some Mexican chocolate or coffee and you'll be set for a great time.

Orders via DM, walk-in, and delivery options available. El Gallo Giro is also offering them.

For the heart-shaped concha lover

Delicias Panaderia in Highland Park is promoting both vegan and traditional heart-shaped conchas. First come, first serve to start at 9 AM on Saturday and Monday. This panadería was recently profiled by LA Magazine where the family behind it talked about the uncertain future that the OG bakery in northeast L.A. faces, so every concha sold counts.

5567 N Figueroa St, Highland Park, CA 90042

For those who live and die by L.A.'s Taco Life

Tacos stacked next to each in a heart-shaped box seems to have been custom made for Angelenos, Evil Cooks is offering them again this year. In addition to mini-boxes for those who are perfectly content having just two tacos. Zingo Tacos also in El Sereno is offering them this year.

Order via DM and walk-up at both locations.

For those who love to take deep breaths and use essential oils

Latinx queer-owned Shocks of Love specializes in all-natural, nontoxic, and genderless functional fragrances that promote deep breathing and consciousness. The latter two practices of which are always good to be reminded to do.

Available online.

For those who love to drink interesting things for a good cause

VERVET makes canned craft cocktails in Los Angeles with ingredients that reflect the city's diverse population. For Valentine's Day, they are collaborating with Stanley's Wet Goods and home baker Sydney Kramer to create a cocktail and cookie box. Ten percent of all proceeds will go towards the DTLA Women's Center and each box contains a couple of their "Sundowner" cocktails made with a rhubarb shrub, oak chips, and naturally colored with cochinillas.

Order via Stanley's Wet Goods online or in-person. 

 

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For those who forever miss Mexico

Miniature-anything is always a good bet as an insanely cute gift. @Lavaderitos offers tiny versions of old school washing stations that are found all over Mexico, complete with a mini Zote soap bar. In addition to their novelty factor, they are used to clean make-up brushes.

Order online via their Etsy account.

For the once-a-week pizza eater

Is there anything more romantic than a couple of heart-shaped pizzas paired with some nice drinks? L.A. Taco thinks not, because while we can live on tacos alone, some pizza is always welcome. The best part of all is that this pizza, heat-shaped gimmick aside, is really tasty and up there with some of the finest in Los Angeles. Look at that crust!

Order online.

Surf and Turf. Photo courtesy of Pez Cantina.

For those too busy to cook but still wants to spoil their seafood-loving partner with a nice meal

Pez Cantina is offering an extremely inviting three-course meal for two that features provocatively-named dishes like "Ménage au trois de ceviche tostadas spicy tuna / octopus / shrimp aguachile" and a surf-and-turf molcajete with lobster and short rib. The husband-and-wife team behind the modern Mexican restaurant that has been holding it down in DTLA since 2014 is going all out for the lovers this V-day. Is there a better of saying I love you than with lobster, chile en nogada, and flan? (Vegan options available.)

Order via Tock

 

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For those who love Japanese food

Lobster omurice, anyone? If you're a fan of custardy egg and lobster, the preorder lobster omurice from Jist Cafe in Little Tokyo may be the breakfast of your dreams.

Preorder online. 16 Judge John Aiso St

https://twitter.com/aneccc/status/1359597936611500033?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

For those who love heart-shaped taco things

For the true romanticxs who love personal serenades

The woman-led Mariachi Show Gallos Reales still has spots available for personal serenades on the big V-day. Prices are flexible, especially for their "MariachiGrams" where they record themselves performing a song dedicated to your better half.

Hit them up via DM on Instagram,. 

For the Tapatio in your life who loves tacos al vapor

Get your Valentine a beautiful plate full of lips! Tacos de labio al vapor, from Tacos Estilo Guadalajara with a side of spicy AF salsa habanera, is the perfect gift for that person who loves the simple but delicious things in life. Tacos Estilo Guadalajara is a women-owned and run taco shop that has locations in Downey and Lynwood. It's also a no-frills, steamed-tacos only taqueria that was a Taco Madness 2020 semi-finalist.

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