Tag Archives: Mexican Food

Al Pastor @ Tacos Leo

Because my (Mexican Food Expert) friend @StreetGourmetLA says so!

“Tacos Leo, located in the Union 76 parking lot at La Brea Bl. and Venice Bl. is an authentic representation of al pastor in Los Angeles, and the only one I’ve encountered that has a true specialist.” ~ Bill Esparza (aka “Street Gourmet L.A.”)

Peter and I are now Tacos Leo regulars!

Tacos Leos
Tacos Leo’s marinated & stacked pork on the trompo (aka spit).
Al pastor literally means “shepherd’s-style tacos”.

Al Pastor @ Tacos Leo
Fresh, juicy pineapple is sliced onto the shaved pork before serving…

Al Pastor @ Tacos Leo
YES… so worth the wait!

Tacos Leos
Now we are ready for the condiment station… but these taste great on their own too.

Tacos Leos
Choose from salsa roja, salsa verde, radishes, cilantro, pickled vegetables, jalapenos & more…

Tacos Leos
$1 taco never tasted so good!

Tacos Leos
Yes… that’s right… only $1 each!

Al Pastor @ Tacos Leo“These tacos are the real deal, and the first tacos al pastor in Los Angeles that warrant a special trip.” ~ Bill Esparza (Read all about authentic al pastor at Bill’s blog, Street Gourmet L.A.)

Tacos Leo on SeriousEats

Photos of many adventures with Bill (Street Gourmet L.A.)

Tacos Leo shared with (so far) Peter, Julie, Hanh, Brent, Remil, Greg, Lindsay & of course Bill!

Tacos Leo
Located at Venice & La Brea Blvd.
Sun-Thurs 5pm-2am
Fri-Sat 5pm-3am
Look for the 76 Gas Station Sign!
Note: Try to come on Fri, Sat or Sun when the trompo (aka spit) is out of the truck!

Follow @StreetGourmetLA on twitter


Filed under Eating Out

Queso Fresco Salsa [Recipe]

If you like your salsa chunky and cheesy, here’s an easy one that’s perfect for Cinco de Mayo. This recipe is one that I make regularly for parties and family gatherings (and was featured on Saveur.com last year). I don’t remember where I first got the basic salsa recipe, but I pretty much just combined that with a classic chimichurri mix, and added crumbled queso fresco cheese at the end.

Cooking w/ the Twins! 2/3/10Ingredients:
4 cups cherry tomatoes (or any small)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 Jalapeño Chiles, de-seeded (if needed) & sliced thin
2 limes, juiced
1 medium jicama, peeled and diced
4 ripe tomatillos, husked, rinsed and diced
1 small red onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 pound queso fresco cheese, chopped or crumbled
salt and pepper to taste

Cooking w/ the Twins! 2/3/10Instructions:
Heat up the broiler.

Put the tomatoes (make sure they are dried) onto a baking sheet, drizzle olive oil and rub all over tomatoes, then add a bit of salt and pepper.

Broil until the tomatoes just burst, about 4 or 5 minutes.

Remove tomatoes from oven and let them cool.

Combine garlic, jalapeno and lime juice into a large bowl, then whisk in vinegar and olive oil.

Depending on if you like your salsa chunky or smooth, you can either place ingredients in food processor or mix into same bowl.

For the salsa we made (in photos), we blended all the broiled tomatoes, as well as half the remaining ingredients in food processor. We then blended in the remaining ingredients and the cheese at the end.

If you want the salsa chunky, then add all ingredients into bowl and mix by hand. If you like it super smooth and juicy, then blend in food processor (or blender) until you get the consistency you want.

Taste and season the salsa with salt or pepper if needed.

You can eat right away, but it will taste better if given time in fridge. Make sure to cover tightly.

Cooking w/ the Twins! 2/3/10


Featured on Saveur.com

Many more recipe photos on Flickr!

Originally posted 2/5/10

1 Comment

Filed under Recipes

José Andrés Rocks VEGAS

Chef José Andrés opened not one, but TWO new restaurants at the Cosmopolitan Luxury Resort in Las Vegas last week. Being America’s #1 José Andrés fan (in my own “bazaar” mind), of course I had to fly up for the opening night party to help celebrate!

Jaleo (as noted on the hotel’s website) is “a perennial favorite in Washington DC, the restaurant was one of the country’s first successful tapas restaurants, setting the standard for Spanish cuisine in the U.S. for almost two decades.”

China Poblano is “an entirely new concept from the innovative Chef José Andrés created for Las Vegas, showcasing his personal take on Chinese and Mexican cuisines. Noodles and tacos come together in a festive, stylish setting.”

The party was fantastic and I cannot WAIT to go back for a weekend of José delights!

Entrance to Cosmopolitan Vegas
Entering the Cosmopolitan

Chandelier Bar Cosmopolitan Vegas
The spectacular multi-level Chandelier Bar

China Poblano, Vegas
China Poblano Entrance

China Poblano, Vegas
Left window “Chinese Food”, right is “Mexican Food” at China Poblano

China Poblano, Vegas
Ceiling at China Poblano

China Poblano, Vegas
Salt-Air Margaritas (love these at the Bazaar) at China Poblano

China Poblano, Vegas
Waiting for tacos at China Poblano

China Poblano, Vegas
China Poblano Interior

China Poblano, Vegas

China Poblano, Vegas
Making pork tacos on the latin-inspired side of the restaurant of China Poblano

China Poblano, Vegas
Cochinita Pibil at China Poblano

China Poblano, Vegas
Making dumplings on the Chinese-inspired side of China Poblano

China Poblano, Vegas
Dumplings topped with gold at China Poblano

Jaleo, Vegas
Jaleo Entrance

Jaleo, Vegas
Jaleo Interior

Jaleo, Vegas
Paella Master Chef Rafael Vidal on the right at Jaleo

Jaleo, Vegas
With Bazaar friends Felix Meana & Lucas Paya at Jaleo

Jaleo, Vegas
Oh yes… I made Iberico Ham Man my new best friend

Jaleo, Vegas
Croquetas (similar to the ones at Bazaar that I so love!) at Jaleo

Jaleo, Vegas
Time to PARTY Jaleo style!

Jaleo, Vegas
José Andrés greeting his many guests at Jaleo

Jaleo, Vegas
Partying (drinking LOTS) with José. He simply ROCKS!

Jaleo, Vegas
Thank you Michael! (We miss you at Bazaar!)

More Vegas photos on Flickr

Date: 12/15/10

Chandelier Bar Cosmopolitan VegasThe Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109-4312
(702) 698-7000

Jaleo Vegas

China Poblano website

More about China Poblano PDF

Chandelier Bar

About Jose Andres

About Michael Ploetz

About Lucas Paya

About Felix Meana

About Chef Rafael Vidal

All my Bazaar Restaurant photos on Flickr


Filed under Eating Out, Hot Chefs

Lotería Grill, Studio City

My childhood friend Brent recently moved to town, and between helping him apartment hunt, unpack and settle into his new digs, I hadn’t made time to take advantage of DineLA restaurant deals around town (Oct 3-8, Oct 10-15). The current DineLA promotion ends 10/15/10.

Loteria Grill – DineLA Restaurant Week 3-course, $16 lunch deal:
Choice of Appetizers
Choice 1: Pure de Chile Poblano

Choice 2: Heirloom Tomato Salad, Quesillo de Oaxaca and Chile Pasilla
Choice 3: Mini Tostada of Crab, Veracruz-style

Choice of Entrees
Choice 1: Chicken in a Green Mole of Michoacan
Choice 2: Grilled Yellowtail Tacos Loreto-style, Achiote Marinade, Chipotle Slaw
Choice 3: Corn Pudding with Strips of Chile Poblano

Choice of Desserts
Choice 1: House-baked Mexican Cookies
Choice 2: Fresh Seasonal Fruit with Lime and Toasted Chile Powder

I chose from the DineLA menu, and ordered Brent a few Loteria Grill “must-have” dishes (his first time).

Pollo en Mole Verde de Michoacan
DineLA Lunch Menu item: Pollo en Mole Verde de Michoacan Chicken in a Green Mole of Michoacan

Loteria Grill's Heirloom Tomato Salad
DineLA Lunch Menu item: Ensalada de Jitomate Heirloom Quesillo de Oaxaca y Chile Pasilla

Note: We chose the Galletas Mexicanas (house-baked Mexican cookies) for dessert, but I forgot to photograph before Brent finished them!

Michelada de Mango
Michelada de Mango (cerveza, fresh lime and mango, spicy salt rim). I’ve only had micheladas with spicy tomato. I really liked this fruity version! (NOT on the DineLA menu)

Loteria Grill's Chicharron de Queso
Chicharron de Queso: Griddle-toasted cheese. Served with Guacamole and Salsas. A MUST-ORDER at Loteria Grill! (NOT on the DineLA menu)

Probaditas, Taco Sampler
Probaditas Sampler: 12 Tacos served on Mini Hand-made Tortillas (NOT on the DineLA menu)

Loteria Grill, Studio CityDine LA

Full list of DineLA restaurants

Loteria Grill
12050 Ventura Boulevard
Studio City, CA
(818) 508-5300

Follow Loteria Grill on Twitter

Follow Dine LA on Twitter


Filed under Eating Out