If you don’t know Munchies, get ready for a feast for your eyes. Their series “Chef’s Night Out” follows well-known chefs as they tell you about where they love to eat and where you really should be eating if you want an authentic food experience.
In the episode above, Munchies documentarians met up with Scarr Pimentel, the most New York pizza shop owner you’ve ever met. With a guttural Uptown voice, Mets jacket and sly smile, this dude is one “unh” away from a feature on a Wu-Tang album. Although his look is more Raekwon the Chef than Chef Boyardee, Pimentel is the owner of Scarr’s Pizza, an organic pizzeria in New York’s Lower East Side (L.E.S., if you’re local, papa).
Scarr’s Pizza makes sure to use only the freshest ingredients. But don’t get it twisted, Pimentel will throw together an organic clam pizza while wasted on Henny Coladas after having eaten his weight in greasy meats from Uptown. Make sure your Yankee fitted brim is straight and crispy, because you don’t want it getting in the way of this New York City love fest of an episode. Y’heard?
Tacos are considered by many to be the perfect food. A little meat, some veggies, a tortilla, seasoning and voila! A self contained meal. But in the food world, there’s always room for improvement and always space for flair. Guerrilla Tacos is that improvement and that flair. And their food is bomb.
Started in Los Angeles by native Angelino, chef Wes Avila, Guerrilla Tacos was an idea that came to him when he was trying to figure out his own style.
Having studied and trained around the globe with world renowned chefs, Avila knew all about flavors, tastes and ingredients, and had the pedigree to be a great cook. He could’ve worked at any restaurant, but he also really wanted to keep true to his roots. And that’s where Guerrilla Tacos was born, right in that intersection of street and luxury.
Chef Wes Avila is like no other gourmet chef you’ve ever met.
The man is bearded, tatted up, hat flipped backwards and, most importantly, always wearing a pair of super comfy Crocs. He has cooked in both California and in France with some of the best in the industry.
With just a $167 in his pocket, he launched a small parrilla with taco meat staples like chicken and carne asada.
The word spread quickly of this small taco cart with exceptionally good food, and sure enough, before it really got to take off, it got shut down by the police. So he’d move to another spot to sell tacos, make a new agreement with a different coffee shop each week, and somehow the police always found him and shut him down. He needed to up his game.
Out of that guerrilla style of cooking out on the street, in the trenches and dodging police, came both the name and the need to get to the next level: the taco truck.
With a truck, it made it easier for Avila to both make his tacos and experiment with new and fresh ingredients without being bothered by police. He’d found the way to make it work. And now, he’s killing the game.
Serving up fois gras, beef brisket, yellow fin tuna, sea urchin, duck hearts, and constantly testing new herbs and spices – these aren’t your abuela’s tacos, son.
Avila’s mother passed when he was in high school and it became a really trying time for him. As he says, at the time she was the most important person in his life and also one of his biggest influences.
After the loss of his mother, Avila’s father had to take over the cooking.
His father became his next big influence. They had always had food adventures, as Avila had been into trying new foods since childhood. They’d go off from the rest of their family and try exotic foods, times which helped shape Avila’s tastes and preferences.
From hitting bottom to getting to the top, Avila’s seen the run of the gamut.
What's Good in Your Hood features Latinos who are changing the food game and transforming their communities along the way. First up? Learn how a kid from Pico Rivera started Guerrilla Tacos, one of the hottest taco trucks in LA! Let us know your local spot and "Like" the What's Good in Your Hood page for future episodes!