Food Writing

Gustavo Arellano Considers the Taco: From Mitla Café to Taco Bell to the Cuatro de Asada He's Eating Right Now

Comments (0)


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge Irene Montano at Mitla Café - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • Irene Montano at Mitla Café
Sure, you may think you know a lot about tacos, but do you really? Because however knowledgable you may be, Gustavo Arellano knows more than you do. Arellano -- OC Weekly editor, author of ¡Ask a Mexican! and of the forthcoming book, Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, etc. -- has written today's feature food story, which might help you out some. After which you will be hungry and need to read (and eat) more, which is of course just what you should do.

Like the Virgin Birth and the Great Deluge myths, Mitla's story is just one version of the same epic tale: Southern California's romance with the taco, that meal of convenience that has entranced us for nearly a century. It's come in many forms: as the taquitos at Cielito Lindo, as the jingle for Tito's Tacos, as Kogi's Korexican marriage, as the plate of 'em eaten at King Taco by politicos looking for a photo op -- vegetarian, carnitas, soft, hard, high-end, street.

Read the story.

Related Content

Now Trending


  • Daw Yee: Mission of Burma
    L.A. has a very small pool of Burmese restaurants; among them, Daw Yee does not boast the most extensive menu. Nonetheless, Daw Yee, in Monterey Park, is fascinating for one big reason — namely, that it gives L.A. something unusual: a Burmese restaurant that caters to younger diners.
  • The Year in L.A. Food (So Far)
    We've got so many restaurants, you could eat at a different joint every day of the year -- and probably the rest of your life -- and never go to the same place twice. It would be impossible (both physically and financially) to try them all, but luckily, you have us. Check out The Year in L.A. Food (So Far).
  • Ladies Gunboat Society at Flores
    At Ladies Gunboat Society, the new operation out of the restaurant that used to be Flores on Sawtelle Boulevard, the Hoppin’ John is served as an appetizer or a small plate rather than a side, and the price is the stuff of comedy.