Jun 2013

L.A. Weekly’s Tacolandia: A Sneak Preview with Mo-Chica, Tamales Elena & Coni’Seafood


My friend Bill Esparza of Street Gourmet L.A. is curating a taco-fueled food fest next Sunday, June 23rd called Tacolandia. Held from noon until 5 PM at the Hollywood Palladium, Tacolandia promises a stellar line up of the best taqueros from Los Angeles, Orange County, and Baja (a complete list of participants below). In addition to terrific tacos, and lots of them, Tacolandia will include music and a tequila garden! I can’t think of a better way to spend $20 and a Sunday afternoon, really.

Tacolandia Preview: Tamales Elena

Last Saturday, Bill coordinated a taco tour for a group of friends and food writers to highlight three of Tacolandia’s talents. This cross-town jaunt took us to Downtown Los Angeles, Watts, and Inglewood, where each restaurant provided  a sneak peek of the dish they’ll be preparing for the event.


The first stop on the #Tacolandia media blitz was Ricardo Zarate’s Mo-Chica for a Peruvian-Mexican mashup.

Tacolandia Preview: Mo-Chica

Mo-Chica will be whipping up “Tacu Tacu Tacos” for Tacolandia, which is based on a traditional Peruvian dish called tacu tacu. Prettily perched atop a warm corn tortilla was a saucy mix of rice, pan-fried steak, and a combination of chunky and smooth salsas. I have a feeling the line for this one is going to be quite formidable.


Tacolandia Preview: Tamales Elena

From Downtown Los Angeles, we hopped aboard our mustachio’d ride and headed south to Tamales Elena in Watts. Parked on South Wilmington Avenue near East 110th Street, this white trailer hitched onto a pick-up truck is owned by Elena Irra and her husband Juan.

Tacolandia Preview: Tamales Elena

Ms. Irra and family will be serving up beef barbacoa tacos paired with her wicked hot salsas for the event—yow!

Tacolandia Preview: Coni'Seafood

Coni’Seafood in Inglewood was the third and final stop on the Tacolandia tour. Mariscos are a passion of mine, so this stop rubbed me in all sorts of right ways. The restaurant, which is run by Nayarit native Connie Cossio and Sinaloan chef Sergio Penuelas, is a seafood lover’s paradise.

Tacolandia Preview: Coni'Seafood

I’ll be in line for Connie and Sergio’s crisp and delicious marlin tacos just as soon as I arrive at the event, they’re incredible. The habanero water served alongside spiced this one just right.

Tacolandia—be there.

The Tacolandia Line Up:

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