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GTD This Weekend: LA Fetes Baja and Sammy Hagar

March 18, 2011 in Events, LA

This weekend: Baja Night 2.0, post-St. Patrick’s Day beer-ing, and a little running.  Or not.

SATURDAY

  • The last time Ricky (of Ricky’s Fish Tacos) and Mexicali Taco Company teamed up at a parking lot downtown for Baja Night, everyone from families to foodies came together to nosh on giant lobster tacos (courtesy Ricky) and generous cachetadas (courtesy Mexicali).  The second edition of Baja Night (Baja Night 2.0) is on Saturday night, and Ricky promises more lobster tacos and a secret dish that he told me about here.  Eating Ensenada-style fish and meat tacos in a parking lot under the warm glow of the downtown skyline and the biggest, brightest moon since 1983.  If that’s not eating in LA, I don’t know what is.  $Pay as you go.  The night starts at 6pm at the parking lot on 1st and Beaudry.
  • My dog is not the only one celebrating a birthday on Saturday – The Egyptian Theater also is celebrating what would have been Sid Grauman’s 132nd birfday. Grauman found a few of the most iconic theaters in LA, including The Egyptian and the Chinese Theater.  There will be a lecture about his life and career, a birthday cake, and a screening of Forever Hollywood, a documentary about – guess! – Hollywood.  $9-11.  The party starts at 2pm at The Egyptian in Hollywood.
  • Beer is the new wine.  Finally.  Cases in point: not one, but three, events focused on the suds are scheduled for Saturday.  First, Angel City Brewery officially opens its doors downtown.  There will be beer, of course, and food trucks, of course.  Second, Bakelab and The Surly Goat will host a Beer & Pretzels Lab in which you will learn how to bake pretzels and how to pair said pretzels with beer.  And third, City Sip hosts a How to Home Brew class in which you will learn how to make an IPA.  Gives new meaning to BYOB.  Angel City Brewery’s party starts at noon at its new digs at 216 S. Alameda in the Arts District Downtown. $75 for Bakelab + Surly Goat’s class, which goes from noon to 3pm at Bakelab’s kitchen at 705 Vesta St., Inglewood. $50 for City Sip’s class, which starts at 1 at City Sip, 2150 Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park.
  • Descanso Gardens hosts the annual Cherry Blossom Festival.  There will be Japanese tea ceremonies, cherry trees on sale, and guided walks through the beautiful grounds.  Given everything that’s happened, this event will likely take a somewhat somber tone.  :(  $3 children, $6 seniors/students, $8 adults.  From 10am to 5pm both Saturday and Sunday at the Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Drive in La Cañada Flintridge.
  • Snow in LA?  No, I’m not talking about a few weeks ago.  Long Beach is having a Snow Day, hauling in 10 tons of fresh snow to a park for you and the kids.  Make snow art, go sledding, and pretend you won the lotto.  Free.  11am to 3pm at Whaley Park, 5620 Atherton Street in Long Beach.
  • MEN.  Make music.  Genderfucking.  $12.  8:30pm at the Echoplex in Echo Park.

SUNDAY

  • Runners will be taking their mark around 6am; the rest of us slackers will be sleeping and wake up to this interactive Google Mapped version to see what the runners have been doing all morning.  The LA Marathon runs (heh) from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica; check out the road closures and plan to sleep in accordingly.  Running from one side of town to another?  I guess that’s one way to save gas.
  • Non-runners, forget your guilt about being not being able to run one mile, much less 26.2, and just head over to Domaine LA’s Anti-Marathon tasting.  The wine shop will have a tasting, and the Get Your Lardon truck will be on hand with the bacon.  I wouldn’t be surprised if a few unexpected guests with their own bibs happened to show up on their way to the ocean.  1pm to 4pm at Domaine LA, 6801 Melrose Ave.
  • As it is the first day of spring, Griffith Observatory will hold two “Spring Equinox” events, one at precisely 1:01pm and another at 7:05pm.  I’m not sure what exactly these events will entail, but does it really matter?  A day at the observatory for any reason is a great day.  Free at the Griffith Observatory.
  • Sammy Hagar, the Van Halen frontman who defined rock for the ages, wrote a memoir.  It’s only fitting, then, that Hagar shows up on the Sunset Strip at Book Soup to sign copies of his rock odyssey, Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock.  Note that this book is the only thing he’ll sign, so leave the pieces to your smashed axe at home.  5pm at Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood.
  • The Museum of Latin American Art celebrates the contributions of women in art with its annual Women’s Day Festival.  There will be workshops, food, music, poetry readings, and a spotlight on artisan female jewelry designers from Brazil and Mexico.  Best of all, the event is part of Target Free Sundays, meaning you get admission to the museum on Target’s dime.  Free.  1 to 4pm at the Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Avenue in Long Beach.

“Early Morning, Santa Monica” by Renee Rendler-Kaplan via the Blogging LA Flickr pool.

Ricky’s Fish Tacos and Mexicali Team Up for Baja Night

September 9, 2010 in Food & Drink

I’m not one to get all Noah’s Ark on you and proclaim that the best things come in pairs, but sometimes – sometimes – they do.  Ninety-nine dollar Simple Human waste receptacles + Hefty; Mulder + Scully; French fries + Ooegy Gooey — all great pairs.  On Saturday night, add another great duo: Ricky’s Fish Tacos + Mexicali, bringing Baja to Beaudry + 1st.

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Mexicali’s chorizo cachetada + Ricky’s fish tacos

Both Ricky and the guys at Mexicali are tenaciously intent on bringing authentic, Baja-style tacos to LA and are cooking up some mad delicious tacos to show us what we’ve been missing.  Ricky fries fish and shrimp tacos at 1400 Virgil on most days (see Burns! review here) while the guys at Mexicali use a parking lot on 1st and Beaudry to cook up meat tacos, quesadillas, and whatever else strikes their fancy on Wednesdays through Saturdays (see my review here).

Both, however, will interrupt their regularly scheduled programming for Saturday’s Baja Night.  Starting at 6pm, the two will go Justice League on us and combine their respective strengths: you’ll find Ricky frying his fish and shrimp alongside Mexicali grilling their carne and chorizo at Mexicali’s parking lot spot on 1st and Beaudry.  Pick up a lovely fish taco from Ricky, then wash it down with a cachetada from Mexicali.  Stick around a little bit to digest it all, then go back for more.  Maybe try a shrimp taco paired with a vampiro?  Or a shrimp taco with nachos con carne?  Noah aside, it will have to be a polyamorous night.  The Baja food gods wouldn’t have it any other way.

Profile photo of Burns!

by Burns!

Best. Fish Tacos. EVAR!

August 13, 2010 in Food & Drink, Hollywood

I’ve got to tell you, L.A., I’m almost hesitant to let you in on the (not so) secret I’m about to divulge. I’m about to tell you where to find the best fish tacos. Once I do, you will go and try them. When you try them, you will crave them all the time. And then there is a chance that I will have to wait behind many of you in the line to fish taco heaven.

Ricky’s Fish Tacos are without doubt the best fish tacos I’ve ever had, and I’ve tried more than a few. Tender fish (or shrimp,) battered and cooked to perfection, enveloped in a fresh tortilla and topped with finely chopped cabbage and fresh pico de gallo.

Once Ricky turns the plate over to you, you can finish your tacos with one of his three homemade salsas and crema. You’ll want something to drink as well, so try the Aguas Frescas (pineapple/mango or my favorite, watermelon.)

Ricky let me in on some of his secrets, but I won’t divulge them all. I will tell you that the centerpiece of his tacos are large pieces of fresh Vietnamese Catfish. Moist and flaky, light and mild flavored. Delicious!

Ricky began his growing empire on New Year’s Eve 2008. He started on the sidewalk on Sunset Boulevard with a modified rolling three drawer filing cabinet; propane tank in the bottom drawer, fryer on top. He didn’t sell a single taco that night.

Since then, as word has gotten around about his amazing tacos, Ricky’s business has grown steadily. Throughout 2009 he offered his taco genius on weekends on Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake. He has expanded his hours and is now in a larger location with a patio-like seating area, shaded tables, and all sorts of world music playing from the speakers. And of course, Ricky’s always smiling face, welcoming you from behind the fryer.

You’ll find Ricky at 1400 N. Virgil in Hollywood (about a block south of where Sunset & Hollywood Boulevards converge.) He is serving lunch Monday through Friday, 11:30am-3:30pm. Saturday & Sunday he’s there from 11:30am-6:00pm. Of course, you can always check his Twitter feed for the latest updates.