Gustavo Arellano’s Great Tortilla Tournament is right around the corner, which means our bracket is approaching its climactic finale. Now down to the Fuerte Four, our judges have found the best tortillas in Los Angeles and aren’t holding any opinions back. RSVP for a day of micheladas, tortilla art, music, and games at the LA River and Gardens Center this Sunday, September 16th.
FROM THIS EPISODE
The team at La Princesita packages their freshly made tortillas in their
Boyle Heights factory. Photo by Rosalie Atkinson/KCRW.
Curious what makes an trophy-worthy tortilla? Evan Kleiman was, too. To prepare for the upcoming tortilla tournament, she asks Bill Esparza to share his James Beard Award-winning wisdom on the landscape of tortilla making in the greater LA area.
Eggplants of all shapes and sizes are going fast at the market. Photo by Joseph Stone.
Cooking eggplant can be tricky. Lior Hillel from Bacari shares tips on avoiding greasy, overcooked eggplant. Farmer Chow Her from Fresno Evergreen explains the wide variety of eggplants grown in California.
At Boyle Heights’ Carnitas Uruapan, Eddie de la Torre sells the fresh masa for his brother’s delicious tortillas at Guisados, the taqueria next door. He details what goes into the process of making perfect masa and what to cook with it.
We continue to remember Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Jonathan Gold. L.A. Taco’s Daniel Hernandez recalls taking Jonathan and his spouse Laurie Ochoa on a taco crawl in Guadalajara, Mexico. Hernandez says Gold’s photographic memory of street tacos in Mexico informed his review of the Guadalajara-style restaurant El Parian in Los Angeles.
Sweet potato tacos with almond salsa from chef
Wes Avila’s first cookbook. Photo by DYLAN + JENI.
How is “a fat kid from Pico Rivera, turned DJ, turned teamster, turned fine-dining cook, turned DIY -food-truck chef” changing the taco game in LA? In October 2017, Evan Kleiman spoke with chef and taquero Wes Avila to learn about his career, recipes, and brick-and-mortar restaurant that recently opened in the Arts District after months of anticipation.
More From Good Food
Plastic straws, Persian cuisine, and Meathead Goldwyn What does the history of plastic straws tell us about U.S. capitalism? Growing up in Tehran, Naz Deravian watched her parents entertain with classic Persian dishes; now she’s carrying on the tradition in LA. Stressed about cooking brisket this Rosh Hashanah? Help is here. Plus, Zach Brooks stops by to discuss Jonathan Gold’s review of Vespertine.
Jell-O and feminism, ‘Losing Earth,’ vertical farming A new book examines the intersection of American feminism and Jell-O. This Labor Day, throw some desserts on the grill. Nathaniel Rich dives into the consequences of ignoring climate change warnings. Does vertical farming yield the same nutrient content as open air agriculture? Also: Tien Nguyen remembers Jonathan Gold’s impassioned defense of San Gabriel noodle shops, including Nha Trang.
Thai food, from Bangkok to SoCal Thai food is having a renaissance. We revisit conversations with James Syhabout of Hawker Fare and Pok Pok’s Andy Ricker, who are showing U.S. diners the wider canon of Thai food. We also hear about Bangkok’s unique food culture. How does the history of Thai food in LA tell the story of Thai assimilation? Plus: hear Jonathan Gold’s original review of Jitlada, the beloved Thai restaurant in Hollywood.
The Great Tortilla Tournament, nixtamalization, and Guerrilla Tacos Let’s talk tortillas! Gustavo Arellano announces KCRW’s first-ever Great Tortilla Tournament, to choose the best tortilla in LA out of a bracket of 64. Bill Esparza talks tortilla makers in the L.A. area. And did you know that inside your tortilla is an ancient process, perfected over centuries? Also, L.A. Taco’s Daniel Hernandez recalls a Guadalajara taco crawl with Jonathan Gold.
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Gustavo’s Great Tortilla Tournament, Grand Finale: And SoCal’s Best Tortilla Is… Wow, what a great time yesterday at KCRW’s Inaugural Great Tortilla Tournament! Throngs of people lined up to taste samples from our Fuerte Four Finalists: Kernel of Truth and Taco… Read More
Gustavo’s Great Tortilla Tournament, week 4 recap: Behold SoCal’s four best tortillas! The bracket has been narrowed, the comal is heating up, and the tortillas are being filled for this Sunday at LA River and Gardens Center in Cypress Park! Find out who the final four are and don’t forget to RSVP for a day of micheladas, tortilla art, and live music. Read More
Gustavo’s Great Tortilla Tournament, week 3 recap: Behold SoCal’s four best tortillas! The bracket has been narrowed, the comal is heating up, and the tortillas are being filled for this Sunday at LA River and Gardens Center in Cypress Park! Find out who the final four are and don’t forget to RSVP for a day of micheladas, tortilla art, and live music. Read More