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5 of SoCal’s best taqueros and taqueras are popping up in downtown L.A.

Tinga tostadas from Ponchos Tlayudas, one of five restaurants participating in Taqueando.
Ponchos Tlayudas is one of five restaurants participating in Taqueando, a five-week pop-up series in downtown L.A. Pictured is the tinga tostada.
(Jon Endow)

Five of the most lauded taqueros and taqueras in Los Angeles will take part in Taqueando, a taco pop-up series in downtown Los Angeles. Starting Thursday, a rotating lineup of chefs will serve tacos out of the former Church and State restaurant space in the Arts District.

Organized and curated by author and James Beard Award-winning writer Bill Esparza, the five-week series is designed to be a pandemic-friendly spinoff of his Taqueando taco festival that premiered last year.

The series will start with Poncho Martinez of Poncho’s Tlayudas, who will be cooking for three nights. On Thursday, Martinez will start with his tinga tostadas. It’s a dish Esparza says was inspired by a conversation he and Martinez had about the many tostada vendors found at Mercado de Coyoacán in Mexico City. On Friday, Martinez will make his signature tlayudas. And on Saturday night, he’s cooking Sierra Norte Zoogocho-style lamb barbacoa tacos.

Next up, Oct. 29-31, Mariscos Jalisco and Tacos El Ruso will host three surf and turf nights inspired by Esparza’s recent northern Mexican taco crawl. Mariscos Jalisco will make shrimp tacos while Tacos El Ruso will make carne asada.

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The third week in the series will feature chef Priscilla Curiel of San Ysidro’s Tuetano Taqueria, who will be making birria Nov. 5-7. Eduardo Ruiz of Corazon y Miel and Chica’s Tacos will take over week four, with “modern Mexican American” tacos Nov. 12-14. And Ray Garcia of Broken Spanish and BS Taqueria will finish the series with Alta California tacos Nov. 18-21.

“Looking at some of the restaurants that have closed, I wanted a chance to promote them and give them an opportunity to have some sales and some publicity,” Esparza said. Corazon y Miel, Broken Spanish and BS Taqueria have all closed. “Right now, we’re all fighting for restaurants.”

The series will end with a virtual fundraiser later this year to benefit Cielo, an organization that supports Indigenous communities in Los Angeles.

“It’s pickers, farm labor workers and, really, the essential workers that run our city,” Esparza said. The event will include multiple taco vendors and cooking demos.

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The Taqueando pop-up menus will be available for takeout or dine-in on the patio. Diners can order takeout via email at popup@taqueando.org or by calling (213) 405-1434.

1850 Industrial St., Los Angeles, taqueandofest.com


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