Culture

Hey, LA: Did Your Favorite Taco Truck Make The List?

Instagram / Carnitas El Momo

There’s a guy who drives around Los Angeles selling tacos from the back of his rusty Ford — a literal taco truck — and whose carnitas are so juicy and tender, you’ll be licking your hands and arm to get every last bit. The bad news is, you’ll never find this mystery man twice. Be sure to keep an eye out for this phantom taco angel! In the meantime, check out these earthly taco trucks that will also blow you away:

10. Oaxaca On Wheels

Credit: Instagram / oaxacaonwheels

Nothing satisfies like a steaming tortilla filled with…pig head? Yup, the tacos de cabeza at Oaxaca on Wheels make for some of the best bites Los Angeles has to offer. Their tasajo tacos are bomb and their vegan tacos are great, too. Go once and you’ll find yourself driving in that direction without even knowing it. Oaxaca on Wheels has more power to draw you west than the ocean itself.

Oaxaca on Wheels can be found near the Sawtelle district at 11975 Santa Monica Blvd.

9. Tacos Los Güichos

A photo posted by mkasinskas (@mkasinskas) on

Credit: Instagram/ mkasinskas

You know this truck is going to be amazing when you drive up because it’s parked at a window tinting shop in the barrio. Go on the weekends when they have their incredible slow-cooked carnitas — and go early because they sell out quick. Pro Tip: Bring your friends and make a tailgate party out of it. It’s BYOB in the parking lot, so you won’t be the only ones swigging Tecate with your meal. Just don’t drink too many; you need to save room for their fresh-made churros.

Tacos Los Güichos parks at 5821 Avalon Boulevard in South LA. 

8. El Chato

https://www.instagram.com/p/BDnChCRtbwT/?taken-by=leedalpeng

Credit: Instagram / leedalpeng

Beware the rich mahogany chipotle sauce you see above: It’s dangerously addictive. We’d brave the 101 to eat a tortilla filled with that alone. Luckily, they also have incredibly juicy meats, like the kind in their delicious tacos al carbon. They also have burritos and quesadillas that are every bit as tasty as their tacos. Add grilled onions and jalapeños, and wash it all down with horchata, Mexican Coke… or more of that chipotle sauce.

Check them out at 5300 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019 near Mid-Wilshire.

7. Carnitas El Momo

A photo posted by @carnitaselmomoacosta on

Credit: Instagram / carnitaselmomoacosta

Located in Silver Lake, Carnitas El Momo has hipsters buzzing around the affordable taco truck like bees to a hive. We suspect some of the young, starving artists live on a diet of El Momo alone (and pot brownies, obv). We totally get it. The Guanajuato-style carnitas stew slowly all day in a giant pot and are arguably the best in Los Angeles. Paired with a whole jalapeño and tasty tortillas, you just might lose it. Seriously lose it, just like LA producer and restaurant investor Phil Rosenthal did when he tried these tacos.

Elbow your way through the hipsters to find Carnitas El Momo at 2411 Fairmount Ave.

6. Tacos El Korita

Legit the best I've had #tacos #la

A photo posted by @Shehaaz (@shehaaz) on

Credit: Instagram / shehaaz

This little gem  is open until 1 a.m. on weekends for all your drunk food needs. Their carnitas and tacos al carbon would be enough to make the list, but it’s their mulitas that really bring you to your knees. Unlike many of the fantastic places on this list, Korita’s tortillas are made fresh daily and you can taste the difference.

Make the trek to the corner of Loma Vista and Fruitland Avenues in Vernon, CA. It’s worth the gas $$.

5. Tacos Tamix

Al Pastor game. #slicetoorder #alpastor #dollartacos #tacotamix

A video posted by May Chow (@littlebaomay) on

Credit: Instagram / littlebaomay

There’s a long standing battle for best al pastor in LA: Tacos Leo vs. Tacos Tamix. Although we’ve placed Leo slightly higher on the list, it’s really a matter of preference. Seriously, both trucks are worthy of your undying loyalty. Tacos Tamix is an unassuming little truck in a car wash parking lot, serving up chunkier pieces of pork and slightly heftier portions than Leo’s. The difference is minor, like trying to tell identical twins apart. We love that its often less crowded than Leo’s, but you can’t go wrong either way.

Tacos Tamix is waiting for you at 2402 W Pico Blvd in the Pico-Union area. 

4. Kogi BBQ

Credit: Instagram / kogibbq

Yup, we’re including a fusion taco. Like every other foodie website in the city, we can’t help but mention these incredible Korean tacos. It’s widely considered the best food truck in LA, period. Something about the spicy, sour, smoky, saltiness of Korean BBQ goes hand in hand with a tortilla. The short rib tacos and kimchi quesadillas are wildly flavorful and truly one-of-a-kind (apart from the Korean fusion places that popped up after Kogi’s success). The burritos with extra meat and kimchi will knock your socks off; just make sure there’s time for a siesta after.

You can find Kogi’s BBQ at Venice, The Brig 1515 Abbot Kinney Blvd, 90291 and all around the city. Track them here.

3. Mariscos Jalisco

No words needed!! Sin palabras #mariscosjalisco

A photo posted by Mariscos Jalisco (@mariscosjalisco) on

Credit: Instagram / MariscosJalisco

Ok, we know. Some people are going to be pissed when they see Mariscos Jalisco didn’t make #1. Hardcore fans obsess over this truck like it’s Justin Bieber. But give us a break! Choosing your favorite taco joint is like choosing your favorite child — in truth we love them all equally. Mariscos Jalisco is renowned for its tacos dorado de camarón. For these, they place fresh shrimp in a tortilla and then fry the whole dang thing. As one Yelp reviewer put it: “Definitely the best shrimp taco you’ll ever stuff into your Mexican-taco-truck-loving-pie hole.” We couldn’t agree more.

Mariscos Jalisco can be found at 3040 E Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90023 in Boyle Heights. 

2. Tacos Leo

The best Al Pastor tacos! Leo's taco truck#alpastor #tacos#leostacos

A photo posted by @longtluong on

Credit: Instagram / longtluong

Ah, the pure, simple art of tacoing. Nobody does it better than Leo’s Taco Truck, perma-stationed at a gas station parking lot at the corner of La Brea and Venice. There are few bells and whistles here: a spit roast of the best al carbon meat you’ve ever had, cradled in tender tortillas and topped with sweet and tangy pineapple. Just watching them prepare the tacos will make your day. There’s also a salsa bar featuring fiery pickled onions and several salsa options. The best part? These tasty little morsels are only a dollar each and probably taste better than 90% of what the fanciest restaurants in LA are serving right now. Why would you eat anywhere else? ¡Riquísimo!

Their main location is at 1515 S La Brea Ave Los Angeles, CA 90019, but check their website for other locations!

1. Guerrilla Tacos

Calamari Tacos at home today. #guerrillatacos #LADontPlay #ThisIsLA #LA #StreetFood #TacoTuesday

A photo posted by @guerrillatacos on

Credit: Instagram / guerillatacos

“LA Times” food critic Jonathan Gold has said that if the man who stole his phone swiped through his photos he’d find tacos in lieu of selfies. Not just any tacos, of course: “A startling number of the tacos came from a single source: Guerrilla Tacos.” With complex, consciously-sourced ingredients, it’s a far cry from Leo’s tacos, and incredible in a totally different way. Without flatly calling them the best tacos in Los Angeles, Gold indicated that they are definitely his go-to. Between their oxtail tacos and Peruvian scallop crudo, we can see why.

You can often find Guerilla Tacos near Handsome Coffee Roasters, 582 Mateo St., Los Angeles; but they also frequent Venice and Culver City. For a list of their locations by day (and for mouthwatering taco porn) go to guerrillatacos.com.

READ: 11 Times People Made Tacos Out of Anything

What’s Your favorite LA taco? Tell us in the comments below and don’t forget to share on facebook and twitter!

The McDonalds Happy Meal Was Invented By A Latina And Here’s How It Got Started

Entertainment

The McDonalds Happy Meal Was Invented By A Latina And Here’s How It Got Started

David Paul Morris / Getty Images

Did you know that the first ever Happy Meal was created by a Latina? That’s right, in the mid-70s when Yolanda Fernández de Cofiño was operating various McDonalds in Guatemala, she invented what she dubbed the “Menu Ronald”. The “Menu Ronald”  was invented to help parents keep their kids satisfied when the family went out to eat. The original “Menu Ronald” included a hamburger, small fries and a small sundae. Naturally, word eventually got back to McDonald’s headquarters in Chicago they decided to adopt the practice as their own. They hired a white American man to develop the idea (and subsequently take credit for it) and voila! The Happy Meal was born.

It’s unfortunate that Fernández de Cofiño’s recognition has been lost to the American public, but it’s still inspiring to know that there were business-minded Latinx people in history whose achievements still impact our lives today. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’ve decided to celebrate the underrated Latina entrepreneur Yolanda Fernández de Cofiño for the marketing genius that she was. We’ve documented the evolution of Happy Meal toys from the idea’s inception and launch in the 1970s, to its continuing legacy today.

Take a look below for a nostalgic blast from the past!

1. 1979: The Very First Happy Meal

via Pinterest

Although the original concept of the Happy Meal was invented by Yolanda Fernández de Cofiño, the first official launch of the American Happy Meal happened in 1979. However, the gift wasn’t half as elaborate as it was now. According to records the toys were “a McDoodle stencil, a McWrist wallet, an ID bracelet, a puzzle lock, a spinning top or a McDonaldland character-shaped eraser”.

2. 1984: Ronald and The Gang

 thegoodtoyshop via Ebay

McDonalds Happy Meal toys evolved from spinning tops and erasers to more complex toys. Like, the above “Ronald and the Gang” wind-up cars that were defitenly a step-up from McDonald’s earlier toys. They weren’t as sophisticated as the toys would eventually get, though.

3. 1987: Mc-Transformers

Reddit User gnarrdan

The Transformers/McDonalds mashup was innovative in its day because it was blending the IP of two successful brands. Instead of McDonald’s using its Happy Meal to market other products, it was using its Happy Meal to market other products that were marketing McDonalds. It was a win-win situation.

4. 1988: McNuggets Buddies

EBAY USER MCJANTONE

In 1988, McDonalds hadn’t yet started to do marketing tie-ins with kids’ movies. Instead, they had prizes like “McNuggets Buddies”, which were chicken nuggets dressed in various outfits and costumes. This lasted until the mid-90s.

5. 1994: Sonic the Hedgehog

@NascaronReddit/Twitter

By the mid-90s, the powers-that-be recognized that there was a lucrative market to tap by using Happy Meals to advertise kid-oriented products directly to kids. It was around this time that the entertainment industry really began to see the potential for promoting movies and TV shows through fast-food chains. And if you look at the advertisement above, the Happy Meal only cost $1.99. Those were the days!

6. 1996: 101 Dalmatians

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Never the one to pass up an opportunity to advertise, Disney quickly hopped on board the McDonalds train as a means to promote their movies. One of the first Disney x Mcdonald’s ventures were the release of literally one-hundred-and-one collectible dalmatian figurines through their Happy Meals.

7. 1997: “Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection”

Youtube via FastFoodToyReviews

Off the success of their 101 Dalmatians toys, Disney and McDonalds continued their partnership by releasing tiny VHS boxes equipped with a a little toy character from the movie. People really began to see collecting fast food toys as a hobby around this time.

8. Mid-90s: “Teenie Babies”

EBAY User BDK84

Even McDonalds wasn’t immune to the Beanie Baby craze that swept the nation in the mid-90s. Convinced that they would one day be worth thousands, collectors flocked to the Golden Arches to get their hands on miniature versions of the popular plush toys. Unfortunately, most of the “Teenie Baby” toys aren’t worth anything these days.

9. 1997-Now: Barbies

EBAY User PERFECTSHIP

In 1997, McDonald’s started a lucrative partnership with the Barbie line of toys that would last until today. What young girl doesn’t have memories of getting this in their Happy Meal box (whether they liked it or not) while their brother got a Hot Wheels car? It’s safe to say the ’90s weren’t progressive, gender-wise.

10. 2004: Hello Kitty Keychains

Youtube via Lucky Penny Shop

Into the 2000s, McDonald’s took advantage of the Hello Kitty trend by offering plush Hello Kitty key chains in their Happy Meals.

11. 2015: Minion Fever

Ebay user BOB_THE_SPY

Do you remember the time when you couldn’t escape “Despicable Me” minion merchandising, no matter where you went? Well, that included McDonalds. Nowhere was safe.

This Glass Gem Corn Is Blowing Minds All Over Twitter Right Now And I Want Some ASAP

Culture

This Glass Gem Corn Is Blowing Minds All Over Twitter Right Now And I Want Some ASAP

While the Internet might call it “Ghey Corn,” this rainbow-colored corn variety is officially dubbed Glass Gem corn. Not only are there a rainbow of colorful kernels, but they’re also shiny, prompting the ‘Glass’ description. The person responsible for our new favorite, gay-friendly corn is a man by the name of Carl Barnes, who passed in 2016. Barnes enjoyed his life in Oklahoma and cultivated his own personal seed bank passed down from his Cherokee ancestors. Barnes chose to save and replant the seeds from the cobs with the most color, and eventually developed strains of vibrant corn.

One day, Barnes decided to move and asked his friend, Greg Schoen, to protect the seeds. Schoen grew a small handful of the seeds and was shocked when he peeled back the corn stalk to reveal rows and rows of shiny, rainbow-colored corn. Schoen was so excited, he posted the image to his Facebook, and it promptly went viral. Soon, the two cultivated enough seeds to sell online, and people around the country have grown gorgeous varieties.

Green thumbs around the world bought satchels of the precious seed and the following season, were “blown away.”

Credit: @watermicrobe / Twitter

While Schoen may have initiated the first viral sensation over Glass Gem corn in 2012, Ameet Pinto’s viral post has become Mother Nature’s best queer bait yet. With over 7k likes, “I STAN GAY CORN” is the most liked comment. Then, “Taste the rainbow.” 

Some people literally cannot believe this is corn, accusing Pinto of creating a jelly bean cob.

Credit: @mr_plantgeek / Twitter

“Those are just jellybeans ur not foolin me!!!!!” commented one unbeliever. Someone else seems to think that a profitable venture would be to sell the kernels as jelly beans as a scam. Still, others are bringing the negativity to this rainbow party, assuming that because the cob looks different from the mono-crop, that it must be a GMO frankencorn. “Glad to see people trying to live in Chernobyl,” tweets one disbelieving Shane. 

Glass Gem corn is not a GMO crop.

Credit: @Rainmaker1973 / Twitter

In fact, this variety likely healthier than the corn you might buy at a store, which may have been genetically modified rather than artificially selected. Barnes artificially selected the prettiest corn from his crop and decided to grow from those seeds the following year.

When folks hear the story of Carl Barnes, it just adds a whole new depth to the color.

Credit: @CwdickD / Twitter

“Fun fact about these is that they were discovered by a dude who was half-Cherokee and he started growing a sh**load of different corn types to reconnect with his heritage,” tweeted one person. As Barnes was artificially selecting which corn kernels he’d store as seeds for the next year, he grew closer with his Cherokee heritage.

For those of you expecting rainbow colored popcorn, don’t.

Credit: Glass Gem Corn / Facebook

All that’s left of the kernel when you pop the corn is usually that brown kernel skin that gets stuck in your teeth. In the case of Glass Gem corn, you can sort of make out the varying colors of popped kernels, but the popcorn itself is the same color as regular Joe Schmoe popcorn.

The Glass Gem corn isn’t that sweet.

Credit: @SlowFoodUSA / Twitter

According to Pinto, the corn isn’t sweet like yellow corn, so it doesn’t make for good fresh esquites or elotes. All popcorn comes from different varieties of corn that you have to dehydrate to turn into cornmeal or popcorn. “We’ll be eating some colorful popcorn this winter,” Ameet tweeted.

There’s even a Facebook group for Glass Gem growers to share their growing tips and cooking tips.

Credit: Glass Gem Corn / Facebook

In case you were wondering, the Facebook group “Glass Gem Corn” says you can prepare creamy Glass Gem polenta by following these instructions: “Pour into a shallow pan to cool. Cut into squares and lightly brown in a sauté pan.” We don’t know how you do it but keep on making gay polenta, please.

All in all, the Internet is pretty a-maize-d by the gay corn.

Credit: @DonConklin5 / Twitter

“Corn says lgbtq rights,” tweeted one stan. We’re with them. This is one of those moments that we’re allowed to be in wonder over how indigenous folks cultivate the land.

READ: Oaxaca Is Mexico’s Cultural Capital And Home To Its Largest Indigenous Communities, Here’s What You Need To Know