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The Taste LA: Taco Tequila Tryst

I had the fortune of having been invited as a guest for The Taste's Taco Tequila Tryst event on September 3rd at the Paramount Lot. My good friend Harmonie won a pair of tickets from a yelp scavenger hunt and wanted me to be her plus one! Thanks Harmonie!

We were one of the lucky ones who got on the golf cart just as we were leaving, and we somehow bypassed the big line since we were there to pick up tickets (as well as our wristbands). As soon as we entered, we were greeted by Roy Choi, owner of the famous Kogi food truck that started the food truck revolution. He also owns Chego, a restaurant in Palms that has some pretty good reviews and I'm waiting to try (hopefully with Harmonie since she loved his Korean tofu tacos).

The Paramount Lot was beautifully set up with Christmas lights, in the New York street. We first headed to Taberna Mexicana because they had a veg option for Harmonie.

I got the Shrimp Ceviche on a jicama wrap. It was so refreshing, light, and flavorful. I didn't miss the tortilla at all. Besides, by the night's end, I knew I would have eaten at least 3 pounds of tortilla. It was taco night after all.

Taberna had the veggie sope, but this one had cheese on it so Harmz gave them to me. Score! It was really filling. Crap, would I have enough room for all these tacos?

Well, right next to them was Rosa Mexicano and I noticed that they had octopus tacos! Tacos de Tinga de Pulpo con Salsa Habanero to be exact! I had to have me one of these so I quickly stuffed one in my mouth. Man, were they good. Not rubbery octopus but the kind that just melts in your mouth.

Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Red O. Rick Bayless' restaurant in LA which I still have not been to so of course I ran over there to see what they had. 

They also had a shrimp taco wrapped in jicama (is there a trend going on?) but they amped it up with caviar and the green sauce was creamy and delicious and it felt so interesting to have all that going on in my mouth. Okay, Rick. You got me. I have to walk over to your restaurant now.

Next up, we caught sight of something called MexiKosher. Always curious of restaurants that cater to specific dietary needs, we meandered over there to see what they had.

It was a veal taco (and it tasted a little like sweetbread and I think the lady said it was sweetbread but don't quote me on that. It was super loud and crowded).

It was pretty delicious and tender but I normally don't like enjoy eating veal so much so I took a drink from SkinnyGirl's sangria to wash out my guilt. 

At Mercado, I had the al pastor taco and I ate it before I could take a picture of it. Here, you can see a tray full of veggies. Harmonie loved these tacos. Plus, you were allowed to dress it however you want.

Someone tipped us off saying that the tofu line at the Kogi truck was completely empty. We headed over this way and since I've had all the Kogi tacos before, even the tofu, I was fine eating the tofu taco. I needed a break from all that meat anyway. Harmonie went back to get a second one. These are definitely amazeballs.

Next up, I had a crispy taco from Malo & Mas Malo. It definitely took me back to crispy taco lunch days in the cafeteria. The sauce, too.

We noticed a whole alley that we didn't explore so we headed over to B Sweet. They were doing global tacos. 

Their signage is a little confusing but I gathered they are a global food truck that has these tacos along with other menu items from around the world.

I chose the Indian taco which was chicken tikka masala in a taco. It sounded the most different from everything I've already had.

It was pretty damn good. This inspires me in many ways. I kind of just want to go and get a pack of taco tortillas and just wrap everything and make it a taco. If I want it lighter, jicama!

The Chinese taco was vegetarian so naturally, all the vegetarians in our group got this one. Very cabbagey but delicious.

Close to it was La Flor de Yucatan. I skipped over Chichen Itza because the line was horrendous and I eat there like every other day anyway. Plus, my stomach could handle only a few more. This taco was pretty heavy, though it looks light. I could only stomach a bite of it but it was filling with lots of flavors. I'm not the biggest fan of porkiness though I love pork and this one definitely had a more porky flavor.

Next to them was a place called La Sandia (watermelon) so I naturally assumed they'd have fresh, light tacos. I wanted something less fatty and saw that they had beef sopes and shrimp ceviche tacos.

I already ate a bunch of shrimp ceviches but I had another one anyway. Yup, who's dieting tonight?!

It was a tostada so it wasn't as light as the jicama tacos, which I would have preferred by this time. Now that I was full to the brim, it was time for drinking and walking off the calories.

Along the way, I saw Border Grill and was curious to see what they had. Lamb tacos. Okay, I'll get one. They were tiny bite sized tostadas anyway. Pretty good, but I think I got a tendonous part cuz it was really hard and chewy. 

After sitting, drinking, and laughing, I spotted Mariscos Chente's, and considering it's been bookmarked on my yelp page for years and I still haven't managed to try their food, I wandered over.

The wait was pretty long because they were making each taco one by one. This gave me more time to digest. I spotted some food bloggers having a great time, couples making out, Roy Choi talking on stage, then it was my turn. The lady handed me this:

I said thank you and slid over to the side to take a photo of it and then devour it. It tasted like a fresh smoked beef quesadilla. After I was done, she asked me how it was. I could only nod and smile with my mouth full of amazing flavors. She then told a customer that it was smoked marlin. WTF? Tasted so beefy. The avocado was a nice complement to the taco. I cannot wait to go and check out the restaurant. I kept telling the line of people that it's worth the wait and then headed next door to try the Birria.

Birria is a goat stew and I was introduced to it by the glutster a few years back. It was probably better in reality than when I had it because by this point I was about to pass out from a food coma. The goat wasn't too gamey but I think mine needed a bit more sauce and onions. 

Then, someone told me that all the chefs were going to Sofiy's Catering so I had to go and try it. It was a pulled pork taco with a tomato sauce. Simple but light.

Then I saw Xoia, a Vietnamese Restaurant serving Chicharron tacos so I snagged one. It was really crispy... maybe a little too crispy because there was no chewiness at all, kind of broke apart in a brittle way. But I think I was in the minority because people were really enjoying it.

Finally, I saw a huge line at Yamashiro's and I saw Javier stuffing his face with their taco. He nodded and told me that it was worth the wait so I waited, then got distracted, came back and waited again. I got the duck confit taco and a vegetarian one for Harmonie.

It was pretty good. Again, I'm not the biggest fan of gaminess when it comes to my meat but this wasn't that bad. I love the shishito peppers that came with the food.

Then we got drunk. I'm surprised I still haven't thrown up.

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