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The 73rd Annual  East L.A. Parade and Festival takes place this weekend, hosted by CMCP Los Angeles, featuring a special float from El Sushi Loco, and MasterChef Latino-winner Sindy Lazo is serving up her savory t0rta de queso at Smorgasburg ⁠— here’s what’s popping up in L.A.

Sunday, September 8

El Sushi Loco makes its debut at the Mexican Independence Day parade with a special float celebrating its East L.A. origins. The float is designed to look like the original street vendor food cart that chef and founder Francisco Mendoza, originally bought in Tijuana, Mexico for $1,200 and will be adorned with the colors of the Mexican flag and images of Don Pancho (El Sushi Loco’s mascot).

(Courtesy of El Sushi Loco)

The original sushi cart is a symbol of the  struggles Mendoza experienced during the earlier parts of his life, including failure, abandonment, drugs, alcohol and prison. It also represents his success after determination and perseverance, resulting in three popular Mexican/Asian fusion restaurants.

Starting at 10 a.m., the parade route will be along E. Cesar Chávez Boulevard, starting at Mednik Street and ending at Record Avenue.

Sindy Lazo’s Torta de Queso (Michele Stueven)

Also on Sunday, best-selling author and 2018 MasterChef Latino Winner Sindy Lazo will be at Smorgasburg starting at 10 a.m.,  serving up her winning savory Venezuelan torta de queso, honoring her grandmother.

Saturday, September 14

The 5th annual OFF THE HOOK Santa Monica Seafood Festival returns to the Santa Monica Pier  from 3-7 p.m. to create awareness for Coastal Cleanup Day and sustainable seafood movement. The seafood tasting event benefits Heal the Bay and showcases the city’s best chefs and restaurants and their favorite underwater dishes including oysters, shrimp, crab, sushi and poke. Featured restaurants include Blue Plate Oysterette, The Lobster, Sushi Roku, Herringbone, Enterprise Fish Co. Attendees will celebrate all afternoon with seafood tastings, beer, wine, spirits, an upscale artisan market, live music, games and a sustainable seafood VIP Lounge. Proceeds will help to keep  oceans and beaches clean.

Mezcal Midnight (courtesy Mezcal El Silencio)

For the month of September, Humphry Slocombe ice cream shop on Abbot Kinney is serving up its latest flavor, Mezcal Midnight , made with Mezcal El Silencio.  Badass and dark as midnight, it’s  infused with the smoky flavor of Mezcal El Silencio and blood orange.