I wrote a glowing review of Danny Trejo’s newest endeavor Trejo’s Tacos, when I took my friend Taylor Carbonetti after it opened on La Brea Blvd., in April 2016. (https://dineandtravel.me/2016/04/29/terrific-trejos-tacos/). We noticed it’s revitalizing the area of La Brea Blvd. below Wilshire Blvd and the 10 freeway.
Since Carbonetti is a fan of Danny Trejo’s movies, she excitedly joined me. Unfortunetly, Trejo was filming the day we dined, yet we still had a great time eating tacos and talking to the chef and staff.
More and more brick and mortar restaurants get their start as a pop-up or food truck. The chefs work hard-driving all over Southern California to get their cuisine and name known to foodies and food truck aficionados. Once they raise enough capital, they find a location and open a store front or stand alone restaurant.
Danny Trejo and his partners in the restaurant, Jeff Georgino and Ash Shah do things differently. They opened Trejo’s Tacos on La Brea and within one day, lines of people wrapped around the corner eager to meet Danny Trejo and eat tacos, tostadas and really good gucamole. It became an overnight sensation. Soon they bought a food truck, painted it black with the Trejo’s Taco logo and started roaming the streets of So Cal as of August 30, 2016. Inside the truck is a leopard skin interior and fuzzy dice.
When I received an invitation to attend a preview of the truck at the American Legion Hall in Hollywood Blvd. on Highland Avenue last night (August 29, 2016), plus eat tacos and meet Trejo and his new Executive chef – John Carlos Kuramoto, I immediately text Carbonetti.
We were gitty when we saw Trejo talking to a couple near the truck. Walking up to the truck window, we ordered four different street tacos and found a table. Minutes later, Danny Trejo came over to chat with us. We learned about his family, restaurants and movie career. Here is what I discovered –
Danny’s son Gilbert brought his new bride Taylor to the Food Truck Tasting event. They recently were married at this location, the Hollywood American Legion Hall. “When I pulled up to the wedding, I asked Gilbert why they selected this location,” Trejo told me. His son said, “Dad if it wasn’t for the U.S. Armed Forces, I might not be able to be here today and getting married. It’s a great party venue.”
We also learned that when Gilbert fell in love with make-up artist Taylor she said, “If you give me the moon and the stars, then I will marry you.” Gilbert made a moon and stars from paper mache and hung them on the curtains. What a romantic son!
Trejo Taco has a new Executive Chef and he is a cutie! John Carlos (JC) Kuramoto heads the kitchen of the La Brea restaurant and now the food truck too. Soon he will also be getting the new Cahuenga Blvd. Trejo’s Taco brick and mortar up and running by the end of September.
This talented chef started cooking at the age of 16. He has worked in the kitchens of Campanile on La Brea and Michael’s in Santa Monica. “I’ve always wanted to cook tacos,” said Chef JC. “I’m half Mexican and half Japanese, so I love spicy ‘In your face’ Mexican food with acidity from a squeeze of lime.”
Growing up he enjoyed tamales and sushi, “I like to make the subtle balance of fusion flavors in my dishes,” said the chef. It’s a winning combination!
Here are four of the non-traditional Mexican tacos I enjoyed while talking to Chef JC –
- PULLED BEEF BRISKET – tortilla strips with pico de gallo and cotija cheese.
- Vegan RAINBOW CAULIFLOWER – white, yellow and purple cauliflower dressed with cashew cream, pickled onions in clove and allspice), corn and micro cilantro.
- GRILLED CHICKEN made with achiote, cabbage slaw, pico de gallo and salsa verde.
- CARNITAS – slowly cooked with red onions.
Chef JC added the tri color vegan cauliflower tacos to the menu, when he started working at Trejo’s Tacos three months ago. “They outsell our vegan tofu tacos now,” said Chef JC. He also added bowls to the menu. There is a Steak Asada, Grilled Chicken and Rainbow Cauliflower bowl. “Danny ate heavy Mexican food growing up. Now he enjoys our lighter and healthier food,” added the chef.
My favorite shrimp tostada with a squeeze of citrus is still at the La Brea location, yet now there is also a vegan quinoa tostada with a squeeze of citrus, lettuce, cherry tomato, Hass avocado and serrano pepper.
On the truck is friendly Jimmy one of the chefs. “I can’t wait to wake up every morning and get on the truck,” said Jimmy. “People drive up to our truck, honk and take photos. I think they hope Danny is inside,” Jimmy told me. “I feel like a celebrity working on this truck.”
PEARLS OF WISDOM
When I asked Danny Trejo what advice he gives the youth of today? He replied, “I would rather shoot for the moon and miss, than aim for the gutter and make it.”
Don’t expect Danny to be at his restaurant or food truck every day. Next week he is going to be at Comic Con 2016 in Salt Lake City (Labor Day weekend) – http://saltlakecomiccon.com. Then he flies up to Calgary to shoot a new movie – Dead Again in Tombstone. Whenever he is back in LA he loves to hang out at Trejo’s Tacos and chat with his fans.“I am so excited about this food truck,” said Trejo. “I can’t wait to be out on the road with it, serving all our fans on the go.”
To find Trejo’s Truck, which will also be used for catering and special events, follow @trejostruck on Instagram and Twitter, or visit http://www.trejostacos.com
1048 S. La Brea, Los Angeles (323)938-TACO – Open Monday through Sunday 11 a.m to 9 p.m.
OPENING SOON -1556 N Cahuenga, Los Angeles, CA 90028.