Taco Tuesday, the happiest day of the work week in the United States, takes on a whole other level of celebration in Los Angeles, America’s taco capitol. All over the city, in every neighborhood, in taquerias, Mexican restaurants, sports bars, non-Mexican restaurants, at food trucks, stands and carts, taco specials with and without margaritas paper the streets of L.A., while Jack Black’s Nacho Libre character owns social media on this day. In South L.A., the taqueros that own the parallel avenues that flank the 110 by day and night are unaware of such a phenomena, but new street vendors like All Flavor No Grease are changing that in the Park Mesa Heights neighborhood at a banquet hall that pumps hip-hop and R n’ B to go with your tacos.
The unnamed banquet hall on Crenshaw recently opened and is getting remodeled to host quinceañeras, wedding receptions, and baptismal events, but has already begun taco Tuesdays with some of the more popular young African-American taco vendors serving Americanized Mexican street food, with a few Southern dishes thrown in the mix. There’s a $5 cover to get in to cover the venue with a large seating area that sells beverages, and out on the patio is where you get your tacos and quesadillas—on the Tuesday night I went, All Flavor and No Grease and Trap Kitchen were busy serving a crowd that grew steadily as the late-night crowd began to trickle in.
All Flavor and No Grease is known for its Americanized-Mexican tacos made with yellow cheese and grilled meats dressed with bright sauces and those giant quesadillas overloaded with meat, seafood, pico de gallo and melted cheese, sliced into rectangular strips of tasty, gooey bites. ALNG is owned and operated by Watt’s own Keith Garrett who has been publicizing the Taco Tuesday event on his popular Instagram page. Just a few feet away, Trap Kitchen, whose young crew was serving Southern dishes like jambalaya and their surf and turf enchilada pie—that looked more tempting than any “Mexican” lasagna I’ve ever seen on food television—stated that, “we’re just trying to do something positive and bring Compton and Watts together (AFNG is based in Watts and Trap Kitchen calls Compton home).” Look for the social media flyers for this Taco Tuesday with a club vibe, and a club that serves tacos may be one of the best things to ever happen in L.A.
Taco Tuesdays, 5462 Crenshaw Bl., Park Mesa Heights, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.