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Behold ‘Poseidon,’ L.A.’s First-Ever Octopus Al Pastor Trompo

3:49 PM PDT on March 22, 2021

[dropcap size=big]L[/dropcap]os Angeles has Elvia Huerta and Alex Garcia of Evil Cooks to thank for advancing our al pastor culture to a point it has never seen before via the city’s first-ever Octopus Al Pastor trompo.

The husband and wife team debuted the tentacle-layered fire-torched trompo this last Saturday in El Sereno.  

While the sight of tentacles bathed in Evil Cook’s flagship black pastor adobo made from warm Yucatán spices stacked on top of one another conjures up images of gods from another dimension, it is right at home with the Evil Cooks. The trompo was created by chef Regino Rojas of Revolver Taco Lounge in Dallas, Texas. There, the limited-edition Octopus Pastor trompo was made with the traditional, red-colored pastor adobo. While not on the regular menu, it is a hit at food festivals, and the visual attracts hungry eyes and stomachs everywhere. 

Photo by Memo Torres for L.A. TACO.

The Evil Cooks were first captivated and tasted the Octo trompo a few years ago on a trip to Texas for a pop-up. It was there that they were told about Rojas, Revolver, and the trompo. “Fuck yes! I’ve never seen anything like that; my mind was blown,” says Huerta as they describe seeing the Octo trompo for the first time. That initial meet-up sparked a friendship that now has the El Sereno-based cooks try their hand at recreating the Octo trompo with Rojas’s full blessing. “[Rojas] has a lot of crazy ideas, so I think that’s why we get along,” adds Garcia chuckling in laughter. 

The trompo is mesquite-fired, which adds a smokey flavor that compliments the black pastor adobo.

Their current lineup features pork, beef, and vegetarian trompos in black pastor adobo. Rojas saw their lineup and messaged the cooks suggesting they include the Octopus pastor trompo. The cooks loved the idea, and not long after their initial conversation online, Rojas followed up and shared his recipe and secrets with the Evil Cooks. “For a chef to give you their secrets, that’s respect. We are blessed,” says Huerta. The duo wasted no time getting the Octo trompo ready for their lineup and prepping the meat for four days. “Octopus is a hard protein to work with because it can get chewy,” explains Garcia. “We are trying to change minds, especially those who don’t like Octopus. We hope that they try it and like it.” 

Photo by Erwin Recinos for L.A. TACO.

On Saturday, before Evil Cooks officially opened, there was a line of hungry trompo chasers ready to try Octo trompo. The trompo is mesquite-fired, which adds a smokey flavor that compliments the black pastor adobo. The taco itself is composed of their hand-made yellow corn tortilla, red salsa, guacamole, and onions. The taste of the octopus is subtle at first if you’re taking a bite of the tentacles’ tips, but you get that full flavor and great crispy texture on that second bite for sure.  

While Garcia would love to feature the Octo trompo every weekend, the multi-day prep that goes into it just isn’t feasible. So if you didn’t get to try it, keep an eye on their Instagram for updates on future Octo trompos.

Photo by Erwin Recinos for L.A. TACO.

Until then, the Evil Cooks are excited that their menu now offers something for everyone. “We try to offer something for everyone because not everyone eats pork or meat, so that way they can come with their family,” shares Garcia.

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