While traveling to LA for #tacotuesday may not be feasible on a whim, you can still channel those street vibes, and the vibrant street food scene that Los Angeles offers with Guerilla Tacos, the fiery new cookbook by Wesley Avila. Touted by multiple outlets as LA’s finest tacos, his taco truck celebrates the bold flavours of his Mexican heritage, with recipes you can use to amp up at your own casa. His cookbook includes many recipes from his family gatherings and time honoured traditions, as well as an encyclopedia of salsas, no joke- there’s over 25 recipes!
The story of how he got his start dots throughout the book- who doesn’t love a good origin story- and Wesley’s tale is easy to get behind. Down to his last $167 in his bank account, he spends most of it on groceries and set up a cart outside a friend’s cafe. While it’s cliche to say the rest is history, his climb up the LA food scene is inspiring to say the least!
Recipes are ingredient driven, all with detailed step by step directions. Inventive and creative, Wesley’s recipes are crowd pleasers, and meant to be shared. Wild boar tacos, turkey neck confit burrito and pozole (whole pig) offer carnivores upgrades on the classics while seafood makes an appearance but in unexpected ways, like the pork belly and caviar taco or octopus and chorizo combo which is dog-eared for good reason. Veg friendly finds like roasted pumpkin, corn tacos and golden beet poke tostada level the playing field for plant lovers. Interesting ingredients pair with non-traditional spices, like using Old Bay seasoning with his crab taquitos. Even waffles make an appearance in Guerrilla Tacos!
We tried out the Perron- Style Taco, using flank steak as the protein. The ‘backyard’ marinade blends a handful of spices together with unpeeled oranges and whole white onions. While the list is lengthy for the ingredients, it’s all easily found in a well stocked pantry and came together easily and pretty fast too. I commonly will marinade and prep tomorrow night’s dinner while I’m cooking tonight’s dinner. Wesley’s recipes make for a fun food adventure, and mostly leave me wistful for sunny skies to go with taco. While he can cure my hunger pangs I’m still unresolved on the sunshine. Hankering for some LA travel tips? Feeling inspired for more LA culture? Check out Discover Los Angeles site for more!