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Nina Garcia Brings Mexico City-Style Street Food to the Carnitas Uruapan Market
Breed Street might be gone, but the corner of St. Louis and Cesar Chavez just got a little more interesting.
It was just a short time ago that I reported on the Breed Street revival and the reemergence of Breed Street royalty, Nina Garcia of Nina’s Food. Unfortunatly, Nina has once again run into trouble with la chota, or the police. When the old Breed Street bazaar was at maximum hustle, Nina and her peers took the tickets issued by the “loco” authority as a routine business expense—no problem—sales were good, and huaraches were selling like hot masa cakes.
But after a lengthy hospital stay, and other financial difficulties, Nina has not been in any position to pay the tickets that have been issued in recent weeks. Enter Eduardo de la Torre, owner of Carnitas Uruapan Market—you know, the shop that makes the masa used to make the delicious tortillas at the popular Boyle Heights taqueria, Guisado’s. Not coincidentally, Guisado’s is owned by Eduardo’s brother, Armando de la Torre. Eduardo has generously set up a space inside the market for Nina to make her legit chilango- (people from Mexico City) style antojitos, or little whims, seven days a week.
“We’ve always been supporters of Nina, so when I heard she was looking for work, I thought we’d give it a try,” said de la Torre. Garcia starts prepping today for tomorrow. “She should be ready to go by Friday,” added de la Torre.
The guisados will be the same recipes L.A. has gone crazy over for more than two decades: tinga (spicy meat), corn smut, squash blossoms, and chicharron prensado (pressed pork skin). There will be salsa de semillas, or seed salsa, and the full array of masa shapes: huaraches, gorditas, and sopes—pambazos, too!
A welcome addition to Nina’s cuisine will be the use of Carnitas Uruapan’s fresh masa made on the premises from a proprietary nixtamal. Breed Street might be gone, but the corner of St. Louis and Cesar Chavez just got a little more interesting.
Nina Garcia at Carnitas Uruapan Market, 2102 E Cesar E Chavez Ave, Boyle Heights