(esdras ochoa and javier fregoso, the mexicali duo)
people say you never forget your first love and i counter with my belly and say, you never forget your first taste of mexicali taco either. in my case, my first vampiro made me swoon so hard that the first bite i took many moons ago sowed a seed of crave that only mexicali taco eats can fulfill. trust. though i miss their humble beginnings in an empty parking lot on first and beaudry in downtown with the downtown skyline as the backdrop, it became obvious that their fans, including this roaming belly, would follow them wherever they went. and follow we did to baja night and daily dose until they became unnervingly quiet and not quite as accessible. what happened, i wondered.
then they began tweeting messages about opening a storefront late last year which made their fans buzz with excitement. a permanent home?! after much anticipation and a long hiatus (long to me anyways), they had their soft opening tonight at their new digs on figueroa near chinatown and i'm so.freaking.excited. i am literally a hop, skip, and jump away and i can FINALLY get my vampiro fix whenever.i.want. it's been way too long baby and this belly is HONGRY.
homemade horchata. forget the cup, let me just stick an extra long straw into this barrel! delectable, delicious and craveable too with just enough sweetness. methinks the perfect drink for my mexicali meal.
their condiment bar. hands down, my favorite has got to be the little strands of limey red onions and their guacamole sauce. talk about uplifting the meal to another savory level with strategically placed condiments.
cachetada ($3) with a choice of carne asada, chicken, chorizo, or vegetarian options. think of a tostada piled high with meat then topped with mexican cheese and a savory aioli chipotle sauce. YUMZ.
the zuperman ($4.75) has three kinds of meats sandwiched between two tortillas. again, flavorful and intense the mexicali taco way.
nachos ($6) packed with crispy chips, meat, cheeses, and salsa de rajas. definitely not your every day run of the mill nachos. these nachos demand your full attention and your big mouth.
and the vampiro. sigh. the lovely vampiro ($3.75) with the garlic sauce. the bite that i took tonight reminded me of the bite i took back in july when i was huddled on their plastic chair in the parking lot. garlicky, meaty, and 100% lovely. it was like reuniting with an old friend again and i sure missed my friend a lot.
churro borough also brought their churro ice cream sandwiches to the celebration. definitely grab these if you ever run across them...super flakey circular churros and this particular chocolate ice cream had a bit of heat in it. YUM.
the night eventually ended with a wonderful speech from esdras about small dreams and building empires. but the best thing about tonight (other than the food of course), was being a part of the realization of a dream. thanks esdras, javier, and co for your invite and i'll see ya real soon. now that you have a permanent home, then i shall roam no more for a beloved vampiro. congrats and wishing the mexicali taco family ALL THE BEST!
Mexicali Taco & Co
702 N. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
verdict: holy shit!