Thursday, June 27, 2013

LA Weekly's Tacolandia, the Hangover Part I

With Dita Von Teese, Miss Los Angeles Latina, and friends of Dita at Tacolandia 2013

I'm still basking in the after-glow of Tacolandia, or maybe it's just the sunburn I got last Sunday, but the reviews have been coming in, and the consensus is that people really enjoyed this taco festival. Of course, all I had to do was look around at all the smiling faces, and eaves drop on all the happy taco chatter going on that day to know it was a success.

My friends at L.A. Taco, Hadley and Alex were certainly pleased with the selections and the vibe, and as Hadley stated in his recap, this was a triumph of the taco lifestyle--a lifestyle that we three lived before all of this and will continue when they kick us to the curb. These guys are fine-tuned barometers when it comes to a party--and it showed on their lazy smiles and slurred speech brought on by many a Bud-Light!

The taco hounds at Serious Eats tried just about everything we offered, as did some those fabulous chowhounders--people were on a mission that day!

You can also read about what you missed on Food GPS by Josh Lurie, Life and Food Blog by Antonio and Kristin Diaz de Sandi, The Daily BruinEating LA by Pat Saperstein, Noms Not Bombs by Misty-Ann Oka, the creative minds over at Sharp BalloonClarissa Wei for the L.A. Times, Amy Scattergood for the LA Weekly, Stephen Chavez at the Latin Kitchen, Barbara Hansen at Eat Mx, and Estar LA. La Opinion covered Tacolandia for the Spanish speaking audience, and bloggers Chris Hei and the Offalo--a pair of those Chowhounders--these guys ate way too many tacos for the benefit of all mankind. Check out all the great pictures on the recaps and on the LA Weekly slide show! Yelpers also chimed in with some good things to say.

Even vendors wrote about their experiences: Jimmy Shaw from Loteria Grill, who pulled off an extra special performance for us, and SoHo Taco from the OC recounted their epic day.

I couldn't have asked for a smoother maiden voyage, and I thank Shelley, Amy, Lennon, Sarah, and the whole crew at the LA Weekly for all their hard work. And, we are very proud of each vendor that gave their absolute best, their best that day. There is no event that comes to mind that can deliver this quality for the price, and that was one of the main goals.

I hardly got a chance to eat once I realized that everything was going to be okay--around 12:30 things were really getting busy--mostly I talked with friends and made some new ones, did a little press, and finally made it over to the booze section, where I met Dita Von Teese.

I offered to take her and her friends to La Guerrerense, since none of her party could pronounce it--it is a mouthful--I thought it would be easier just to escort them--duh! As Dita and I walked across the Palladium parking lot, I thought about this taco lifestyle, which Hadley addressed so eloquently--here I was talking about taco crawls with Dita Von Teese. She and her friends map their own out, and Dita's friend dressed in the taco outfit had the idea of celebrating at Tacolandia after wrapping Strip Strip Hooray the night before.

She loved the uni tostada, and wanted to know where we would go next--of course--Mariscos Jalisco for their famous shrimp tacos. The mariachis lit up the crowd around this time and we all headed to the stage, where I then showed everyone how to do a basic mariachi step. Dita looked at me and said, " Is there a couple's version to this?" Yes, I got cheek to cheek with Dita for a song---the taco lifestyle my friends.

Thanks again to all who came, the chefs, LA Weekly, the sponsors, and the fine weather--'twas hot, but not too bad at all.

LA Street Food Fest 2013  

I keep looking at all the wonderful Tacolandia pictures on Instagram--check 'em out--when I stumbled upon a comment that read: See you at the #LAFoodFest this Sat. 6/29 at the Rose Bowl! All you can eat + drink, beer garden, 6 bars, live music, 100 + vendors, free parking, no lines, one price! This was posted by my friends at the LA Street Food Fest (I worked at all previous Street Food Fests as a curator) on just about all of the Instragram pictures with the tag #Tacolandia, and you know what? Great idea!--the party doesn't have to end, and the only cure for your taco hangover is to head on over to the LA Street Food Fest this Sat for--well--just read about it above--one price! Get your tickets to the LA Street Food Fest here. $50 for general admission, $75 for VIP Hour and Early Admission, and $60 at the door.  


The Offalo said...

Bill, I'm going to copy and paste the closing paragraphs to my Tacolandia review, since I think it sums it up nicely:

Thank you to Bill Esparza, for curating an awesome list of partipants, and for pointing me at Gilt City in my most desperate hour! Thank you to Voice Places for giving me the ticket I needed for my daughter, and allowing me to have my “sidekick” (his word, not mine) Chris tag along too. Thank you to LA Weekly for putting on a tremendous festival, and pulling it off, as far as I could tell, mostly without a hitch. Thank you to Jarritos for providing refreshing Mexican sodas all afternoon!

Last but not least, a big THANK YOU to all the participants, who came from near and far, and fed us their most fantastic grub! Salud!

Annie said...

Love the recap, congrats Bill! Can't wait to check out next year and see it grow every year :)