Los Angeles Street Food- report
So, someone (streetgourmet L.A.) suggested the Sunday night Mexican street food scene at the corner of Breed St. and Cesar Chavez..
I am used to street food festivals in New York e.g. the scores of street fairs with several blocks of people selling odd varieties of good and bad American and international foods. So, that is what I was expecting. But this was nothing like that at all.
It is literally a small street corner at the edge of a parking lot near a Bank of America. There are a few low-end shops in the area which were closing (it was about 7:15 on a Sunday) but the area seemed completely safe. It was still well lit due to the time of year and most of the people out were families with young children. There were fewere than a dozen stations with a variety of items including packaged beverages and snacks, American and Spanish-language DVDs, and the cooked food.
The only pastry I saw was flan. I am not a flan-fan so I skipped it. There were also several custards or custard drinks (sorry- I don't really know what they were) but they appeared to be desserts.
I was desperate to try champurrado but was wary of the thermos and the styrofoam cup scoop. I didn't want to have any gastrointestinal issues on my long 12 hour trek back to rural New York.
I tried a sample of bionico which is a banana, strawberry and sweet cream dessert. It was okay, I guess. I also purchased a packaged Mexican "ducle de cacahuate" and a packaged Mexican "bazukado de tamarindo". They were $0.25 and $0.50 respectively. I still have not tried them.
I have to admit that I went to El Tepeyac at about 4 p.m. and ate most of one their giant sized burritos so there was not much room for me to gorge myself on street food. I bought a cheese pupusa (of which I had never heard) and a chicken tamale. I watched the pupusa being made by an abuelita who did not speak English and who was cooking with her teen grand daughter. I looked it up and apparently it is a tribal dish of Salvadorean origin. The tamale was premade by a different vendor. I couldn't eat them that night but took them back to my hotel and heated them up for breakfast the next morning. (Please don't ask). If they were that delicious after sitting out for 12 hours, I can just imagine how amazing they would have been hot off the presses. I am a corn junkie so these two items were right up my alley.
Other things available include fried shrimp tacos, breaded fried fish tacos, pork skin, dry fruits, bootleg DVDs, body oils, etc.
This was one of the best street food experiences I have ever had and I intend to make a beeline for this spot whenever I am back, God willing, in L.A. THANKS streetgourmetla!!!!
Next time I will also check out your other suggestions e.g. Nina's and Moles La Tia. I also want to sample raspados.
nice report. Along the same lines, does anyone know how they put the stick in "mango on a stick" or "mango flowers" I've heard of mango forks..but it's clear they use a wooden stick/ or chopstick.
Heh, I was there too Sunday. I usually stick mainly with Nina's - she can't be beat. Also tried the Barbacoa from the guy at the end, which was good and the mexican crepes, which were delicious (first time I've had em).
Though I am a bit miffed about the Pambazos at Nina's... Every time I've been there, I've tried to order one, and they don't have them. Or maybe I need a secret word? I am really curious to try one!