In the 60s, while America was shakin’ and bakin’, when Lawry’s taco seasoning made taco night a breeze, and the best thing that had ever happened to us was soda in a can, Mexico was experiencing a city-wide taco frenzy as new places set out to create iconic combinations that would last for an eternity. El Villamelón, founded in 1961, is such a place with its taco campechano (combination) consisting of cecina (beef jerky), longaniza (sausage), and chicharrón (pork rinds) on a corn tortilla next to the Plaza de Toros (bullfight ring) where delicious tacos and talking bullshit were all that was needed for a good time. Now, Jimmy Shaw and Loteria Grill are serving their own taco estilo Villamelón (Villamelón-style) on their Taco Tuesdays menu.
Loteria Grill, the original L.A. taco and Mexican spirits bar, was serving traditional Mexico City-style tacos and antojitos with tequila, cocktails, and mezcal before it was trendy—both here in town and across the country. Loteria just turned 13-years-old earlier this month and one of the ways Shaw is celebrating is with his new Taco Tuesdays, featuring famed tacos from Mexico City like sabanas de pollo al pastor (thin ribbons of chicken al pastor), queso panela empanizado (batter-fried cheese), and the show-stopping taco estilo Villamelón.
Loteria’s taco estilo Villamelón starts with hand-pressed, quality corn tortillas and a hot cast-iron pan filled with cecina (beef jerky), pork rinds in a salsa of chile morita, grilled onions and the standard street taco garnishes: a squirt of lime, chopped cilantro, and raw onions. Spare yourself the same old same old and check out these tacos chilangos (Mexico City style). They are a breath of fresh air among the otherwise stale standard taco truck fare, and a throwback to the Golden Age of of Mexico City taquerias, where the food and the conversation shared center stage. Throw in some tequila shots and old school margaritas, and you’ve got Taco Tuesdays at Loteria Grill.
Loteria Grill, loteriagrill.com