Essential T: Taco Villamel贸n Style at Loteria Grill

Taco Tuesdays at Loteria Grill offer a special taste of a Mexico City institution
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In the 60s, while America was shakin鈥 and bakin鈥, when Lawry鈥檚 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 Villamel贸n, founded in 1961,聽is聽such a place with its taco campechano (combination) consisting of cecina (beef jerky), longaniza (sausage), and chicharr贸n (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 Villamel贸n (Villamel贸n-style)聽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鈥攂oth here in town and across the country. Loteria just turned 13-years-old聽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 Villamel贸n.

Loteria鈥檚 taco estilo Villamel贸n starts with hand-pressed, quality corn tortillas and a hot cast-iron pan filled with cecina (beef jerky), 聽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鈥檝e got Taco Tuesdays at Loteria Grill.

Loteria Grill, loteriagrill.com