Culture

Latino Food Is Getting The Vegan Makeover Thanks To These 11 Southern California Restaurants

It’s hard to imagine that just less than a decade ago, it was a mission to find vegan options in neighborhoods such as Highland Park or Santa Ana. The lack of restaurants forced these innovative chefs to start creating homestyle Latino dishes with some vegan-friendly flair. Now those same neighborhoods and so many others throughout southern California catering to this cuizine and they are as Instagram friendly as they are delicious. Here are 11 spots you must visit in southern California.

1. Xochitl Vegan

This vendor is not a wallflower when it comes to using hibiscus to add flavor and color to burritos, tacos and nachos. Now we want to add some purple power to our nachos. Yum. Hibiscus is truly the unsung hero of Latino cuisine, both vegan and non-vegan.

2. Un Solo Sol

This Boyle Heights restaurant is taking pupusas up a level. They make spinach pupusa, mushroom pupusa and zucchini pupusas. For some extra protein, pinto beans take over for the cheese in a traditional pupusa. Genius.

3. Blue Window LA

If you’re looking for a plant-based breakfast while jetting out of LAX, this Highland Park-based eatery has got your back (and your stomach.) Blue Window LA’s soyrizo breakfast burrito is made with caramelized onions, breakfast potatoes, corn salsa, spinach, peppers and of course, soyrizo.

4. Señoreata

Cuban and Brazilian chef Evanice Holz makes Cuban comfort food that is delicioso. From Cuban sandwiches made with jackfruit asado to meat pies made with plant-based picadillo, you’re sure to find your favorite Cuban treat with plant-friendly ingredients.

5. Alchemy Organica

Scroll through celebrity chef Denise Vallejo’s Alchemy Organica Instagram feed and you will never see Mexican cuisine the same again—all the traditional dishes are reimagined with plant-based ingredients, like this ceviche made out of coco. Other dishes include family recipes handed down to Chef Denise, such as Mexicali-style ‘asada’ tacos and a traditional Mayan pumpkin seed dip called Sikil Pak.

6. Vegan by Victoria’s

If you’re looking to have pan dulce without all the artificial sugar but still want some sweetness, head on down to Santa Ana to visit Victoria’s Bakery. Baker Earvin Lopez is mixing up donchas, manteconchas, beloved spinkles cookies and more in a way PETA would be proud of.

7. Just Vegana

Quick: Can you spot the difference between your abuela’s tamales and these vegan ones by Just Vegana? Neither can we! This chef also makes mouthwatering pozole and tacos. Now your family has some non-meat tamale options when winter rolls in.

8. Vegatinos

Clever name, clever culinary skills. This pair of vegan Latinos are turning jackfruit into birria, tortas and tamales. Sign us up for that next pop up.

9. Cena Vegan

If you can’t make it out to one of Cena Vegan’s pop-up events, then head on out to one of their partner stores and buy yourself a bag of their plant-based meats such as carne asada or al pastor.

10. Mi Riconcito Azteca

This Pasadena restaurant that serves both Mexican food and antojitos from Central America has a plant-based option if you’re craving a huarache. Corn, calabacita and salsa verde come together on this mouth-watering plate.

11. Plant Food for People

Chef Genise started Plant Food for People in 2011 when she didn’t have any vegan options in her hometown of Highland Park. Now she is running a thriving food establishment serving up tortas, tacos and nachos to hungry Southern Californians.


READ: Here Are 11 Vegan Versions Of Staple Latino Foods That Will Make You Consider Going Vegan

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San Francisco DA Candidate Chesa Boudin Was Asked About White Supremacy At A Forum

Things That Matter

San Francisco DA Candidate Chesa Boudin Was Asked About White Supremacy At A Forum

Chesa Boudin for San Francisco District Attorney / Facebook

Chesa Boudin is running for district attorney in San Francisco. At a forum hosted by Project Rebound, Boudin was asked about the growing white supremacy in the U.S. and his plans to combat it. The candidate did not shy away from the question and attacked it head-on in English and Spanish to be inclusive. Here’s what he had to say.

San Francisco DA candidate Chesa Boudin is on a mission to tackle the growing issue of white supremacy in the U.S.

Credit: Chesa Boudin for San Francisco District Attorney / Facebook

The candidate was asked directly how he would combat white supremacy if he was the district attorney of San Francisco. To that end, Boudin sharted his answer with the audience in English and Spanish so everyone could be included in the discussion.

Before anything, Boudin started by discussing the history of the U.S. and the ingrained racism in the country.

Credit: Chesa Boudin for San Francisco District Attorney / Facebook

“We need to start with a history that goes way back before this country,” Boudin told the audience. “We need to recognize that in this country, the United States, racism has very deep roots. Very deep.”

Boudin added: “So when you talk about white supremacy, that’s not a joke. That’s what’s happening today in the White House.”

Boudin told the audience that we can’t ignore racism and white supremacy, which is everywhere.

Credit: Chesa Boudin for San Francisco District Attorney / Facebook

“That’s why I’ve committed toa whole series of policies that are on my website, to fight back against white supremacy and against racism,” Boudin said.

Boudin also committed to creating an immigration unit within the DA’s office to counter the issues facing the community.

His impassioned speech caught people’s attention across the U.S.

Credit: Chesa Boudin for San Francisco District Attorney / Facebook

Project Rebound, the organization that hosted the forum, is dedicated to helping formerly incarcerated people to reenter society. Project Rebound helps people who were incarcerated by enrolling them in classes at the San Francisco State University and supports them on their journey. The organization strives to reduce recidivism rates through education and career building.

Boudin is the child of incarcerated parents. His mother and father were getaway drivers at the Brink’s robbery in Nanuet, New York in 1981. It was an armed robbery that led to the death of one Brink’s guard and two Nyack police officers. His mother was sentenced to 20 years to life while his father was sentenced to 75 years in connection to the crime. They were both members of the Weather Underground, a left militant organization.

Some people are celebrating Boudin’s unapologetic approach to discussing white supremacy and racism in the U.S.

Credit: Chesa Boudin for San Francisco District Attorney / Facebook

Boudin ended his conversation about white supremacy and racism with a simple sentence.

“If we can’t name it, how are we ever going to beat it,” Boudin said.

Boudin has laid out how he plans to tackle racial disparities while in office.

Credit: Chesa Boudin for San Francisco District Attorney / Facebook

Here are four points Boudin has committed to in his fight against racial disparity, according to his website.

  • Commit to transparent decision-making.  The criminal justice system can’t be fair if it isn’t also transparent.  And right now, it’s anything but. The office will publish data about the demographics of people stopped, arrested, jailed, convicted, and sentenced to increase the transparency and accountability of every agency involved in the system.  There is no excuse for obscuring this information from public view, and by forcing us to grapple more seriously with the racist outcomes the system produces, we will be better equipped to change them.
  • Require a racial impact statement in every case.  The racist outcomes produced by our criminal justice system will be less tolerable when decision-makers are regularly forced to confront them.  Accordingly, prosecutors will be required to state on the record–in open court and before the judge–the racial bias statistics relevant to the stage of the case being addressed.  For example, before asking that an African American defendant be detained prior to trial, a prosecutor must state on the record the percentage of African Americans in jail on pretrial detention and the percentage of African Americans who reside in San Francisco.  Before making a sentencing recommendation, a prosecutor must state the disparity in sentences among Black and White defendants.
  • Implement race-blind charging and plea bargaining.  We should do everything we can to make sure that neither explicit nor implicit biases impact decisions made by the District Attorney’s Office.  Prosecutors will not know the demographic information of people before filing charges. The office will explore applying the same process for plea bargains, having a second prosecutor review a file, blind to demographic information, before making an initial plea offer.
  • No more prosecuting racist gang enhancements. When a person is convicted of a felony, they may be sentenced to time in prison.  Under Penal Code § 186.22, part of the California Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act (STEP Act), prosecutors can seek additional prison time beyond that received for the underlying felony when the person accused of the crime is found to be gang-involved.  But here’s the thing: This mechanism, known as a “gang enhancement,” is racist, ineffective, and unnecessary. 

You can read Boudin’s full racial disparity plan here.

For Boudin, the integrity of the entire judicial system is questioned when racism prevails.

“When our criminal justice system treats people differently based on the color of their skin, the integrity of the entire system is undermined,” reads Boudin’s website. “Individuals and entire communities come to distrust law enforcement, making our city not only less just, but also less safe. Eradicating racism from our society is a long project, and one we need to take on much more seriously than we have. The criminal justice system, capable of producing incalculable harm, is an important place to start.”

Some people are thankful for someone who is willing to move the conversation forward using inclusivity.

Credit: Chesa Boudin for San Francisco District Attorney / Facebook

Boudin’s plan is bold and has voters excited as the Nov. 5 election for the San Francisco district attorney fast approaches.

You can watch the full video below and see what Boudin has planned.

White Supremacy?

(sound on) We were at a candidate forum organized by Project Rebound and Professor Jose B Cuellar, wearing a Brown Beret t-shirt asked a question about white-supremacy. Here is how I break it down – in English and Spanish. #antiracist #LanguageAccess #Boudin4DA #TeamBoudin video by @Natasha Florentino

Posted by Chesa Boudin for San Francisco District Attorney on Friday, October 4, 2019

What do you think about Boudin’s plan to tackle white supremacy and racism?

READ: Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Is Literally Out Here Trying To Deny White Supremacy After The El Paso Shooting

A Woman’s Obsession With Hot Cheetos Just Got Her Into Some Hot Water With TSA

Culture

A Woman’s Obsession With Hot Cheetos Just Got Her Into Some Hot Water With TSA

Look, it’s no news that the world is currently undergoing a real crisis when it comes to Hot Cheetos. Not only does it seem that there are never enough, but it also seems that we cannot GET enough. From inspiring fashion ranges (like Forever 21s)  to sparking all kinds of similar spin-offs in the snack and chip world, there’s no doubt that the spicy, somehow simultaneously soft and crispy treat has taken over. Which presents new problems. 

One Twitter user by the name of Emily Mei says that an obsession with Hot Cheetos actually led to her being stopped and checked by TSA.

The Instagram model shared a post to her Twitter account highlighting one of the more bizarre moments involving Hot Cheetos that TSA has likely ever seen.

According to her post, last year, Mei had loaded up her luggage with 20 bags worth of Hot Cheetos to bring to friends who were having a hard time finding them in Korea.  “For everyone who’s asking why i had so many bags of Hot Cheetos, apparently it’s hard to get in korea so my friends always ask me to bring it for them LOL,” she wrote in a post about the incident. 

It’s not the first time Mei has opened up about her Hot Cheetos obsession and struggle.

Recently the model shared a post to her Twitter page that featured her decked out in Hot Cheetos-inspired clothes and accessories. Wearing a denim skirt and jacket with Hot Cheetos flames on them, the model shared the post and wrote “No one: Literally not a single person: Me: This is how much i love Hot Cheetos.” The Hot Cheetos-loving photoshoot also featured her wearing a Hot Cheetos bag and glasses. Ultimately the look was complete fire and I am here for a Hot Cheetos campaign featuring Mei as an advocate and spokesperson.

Over the summer she also shared images of her wearing the latest Instagram obsession: the Hot Cheetos onesie.

Mei’s outfit came directly from Forever 21 and featured a Hot Cheetos one-piece bathing suit and coin purse. TBH the look was fire and even if the hot season is cooling down for most of us this ice of continent, it’s always summer somewhere and this look is worth the travel for a similarly cute photo-op.

Feeling inspired to try a similar look? Forever 21’s Hot Cheetos line is still up and ready to give you the most fuego looks of the year.

For the cutest looks of the summer, check out Flamin Hot Cheetos Graphic Jersey which will give you all of the best vibes for your Go! Fight! Win! game days.

FOREVER 21

This jersey mesh top features an embroidered “Flamin’ Hot” design and a boxy silhouette. For just $24.90, it might saying Flamin Hot on the front but there’s no doubt your heart is stiched all over this baby.

Another Instagram shout-out to Cheetos featured Mei stacking up on and eating all of the Hot Cheetos snacks once again.

Leading up to a trip to Coachella, the model posted an image Instagram standing in the chip aisle and holding onto two giant bags of Cheetos. “Did someone say Coachella diet ….? See y’all tomorrow if i don’t die from eating all these snacks.”

Of course, it didn’t take long for others to share the many other forms of snacks that they’re willing to smuggle onto a flight.

“Reminds me of exactly a year ago when TSA had to search through one by one every single one of my airheads,” wrote @TheBMWilson.

Soon enough, Mei’s story took on a new life with users sharing the various snacks they’ve endured at TSA search for.

“I remember when they literally made me miss my flight over some Costa Rican coffee !” Wrote @sheaintyohoe

One user shared all of the snacks they tried to get onto a flight proving when it comes to snacks USA kind of is on top.

TBH there’s no denying that we’ve been at the rock bottom for some time, folks (2016 to be exact) but these bags full of snacks made in the U.S. are proof that we really do know how to hold it down when it comes to snack obsessions. 

But here’s the important question: will Mei put an end to her part in the world’s Hot Cheetos obsession? 

Clearly that answer is not very likely.