Holiday tamales from Breed Street's Nina Garcia

Nina Garcia, who ran a Breed Street cart, will make your holiday tamales

If you've been to the always terrific Ricky's Fish Tacos for a fish or shrimp taco lately, you may have been absolutely delighted to discover that the woman who called out your pickup ticket number was none other than Nina Garcia, one of the stars of the much missed Breed Street food scene. Indeed, she’s been here for the past few weeks, helping out owner Ricky Piña on his truck. And in very happy news, she’s now taking orders for holiday tamales.

For the uninitiated, Garcia ran a rather fantastic cart on Breed Street in Boyle Heights back when the street vending scene there was alive and well; indeed, no trip to the neighborhood was complete without one of her pambazos or quesadillas, sauced with a few Solo cupfuls of her salsa de semillas. But after officials effectively shut down the unofficial gathering in 2009, the night market was no more. And now probably would be a good time to point out that there is a proposal to make street vending legal in L.A. 

Back to Garcia: You’ll see her most days that Ricky’s Fish Tacos is open, inside the truck at the fish and shrimp fry stations and assembling the tacos. No, her pambazos likely won't be making a return here — this is a fish taco truck, after all — but at least for the holidays, she will be making her Mexico City-style tamales. 

You’ll have your pick from three fillings: cheese con rajas, pork with guajillo salsa and chicken with salsa verde. The tamales are $18 for a dozen and must be pre-ordered 48 hours in advance. You can place your order at the truck or via email to

The last day to place your order is Dec. 19; it will then be ready for pickup on Dec. 21. Tamales and tacos: far, far better holiday food than fruitcakes and peppermint-spiked lattes.

Ricky’s Fish Tacos, 1400 N. Virgil Ave., Los Angeles. Follow Ricky on Twitter @rickysfishtacos for daily operating hours.


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