Behold! The first pictures of what will soon be every Angeleno’s late night obsession: Josef Centeno’s puffy tacos. While his Tex Mex restaurant, Bar Amá (pronounced ah-MA), is still a few months away, the Bäco Mercat chef recently let us taste one of his prototypes.
To craft the San Antonio-born delicacy, a fresh corn tortilla is dropped into the fryer until it puffs up. Then the chef presses a spatula into the center and holds it in the fryer to create a crease. (That’s where your crispy, fatty bits of pork, beef, guacamole, creamy cabbage, and spicy sauce are going to go.) Once golden, glistening, and chewy (note: NOT crunchy), the pocket is stuffed with all of the above, dropped onto brown paper, and promptly devoured with gratuitous moaning noises.
It’s a labor-intensive process, and Centeno says he plans to devote an entire second fryer at Bar Amá to making the puffy treats. You will want to devote an entire second stomach to eating them.