Hasta el Taco Siempre!
Some of you may remember Beshoy, the Jesus look-alike who accompanied Sue and I to the Bernie Sanders rally back in June. Sombreros off to him for being the first to clue me in to the joys of Revolutionario. We never made it to the taco place that day; but Beshoy assured me they were divine. I forgot about it all until the other day, while scrolling through my disaster of an inbox, I happened upon an invite from a foodie Meetup group. It said:
Tomorrow: Join 5 Foodies at " Hillulah and Sephardic Tacos"
Divine guidance was obviously leading me to the source of inspiration for the grand finale of my “Let’s Taco ‘Bout It” series. After all, it was a guy who looks a lot like Jesus who told me about it in the first place.
The foodie event was an invitation to a night of Middle Eastern Tacos and Judeo/Arabic music at a place called Revolutionario – North African Tacos Sin Fronteras. That’s “Without Borders” in Spanish. How could I say no?
With hope in my heart and tacos on my mind, I headed down to the USC area. After driving around the location a few times due to the predicament of the parking lot being used for the band and the dancing, I found a spot and strolled in.
Holy Tomatillo Batman, this is place is sick! The walls are covered with dollar bills and money from other countries alongside loving notes on the awesome food and friendly atmosphere of the place. I was looking at all that for quite a while. It was pretty obvious I’d never been there before; but I didn’t care. It was awesome.
Alongside the money and the notes are pictures of revolutionaries from around the world with quotes which they may or may not have actually said – about TACOS! Images of everyone from Marcus Garvey to Ingmar Bergman can be found, alongside their most profound thoughts on the delectable edible, including Malcolm X stating, “By any taco necessary.”
THE ART OF THE TACO: MEXICO MEETS NORTH AFRICA
Turning my attentions from the remarkable décor, I was greeted by the friendly young people behind the counter. Revolutionario is a family business run by the Zadis - Kamilah, Farid and Susan; and Brian Kim. They were happy to supply me with a menu which is filled with delights. In addition to the meat offerings, including cilantro yogurt chicken, beef brisket and a pozole tagine (vegetables, hominy, lamb, beef and chicken), this radical joint has amazing veggie options.
I ordered up three of the gems: a tagine made up of chickpeas, spinach and potato; a charred veggie; and my favorite, a black eyed pea falafel. I poured some of their own lemon garlic yogurt on the beautiful falafel. It was the perfect combo. I also put some of their green harrisa on the tagine taco and I was singing all the way out to the parking lot to listen to the styles of Bizarre Ensemble.
Bizarre Ensemble is a fusion band, mixing east and west, old and new. They’ve got a funky backbeat combined with Judeo/Arabic sounds and a bass player who made it very clear he really likes tacos! In between songs, he literally was yelling, “I love tacos!” Everyone felt the same I think.
The whole group plays many instruments including the oud, violins, saxophones and drums. You can check out their debut EP “Shabasi” at bazaarensemble.bandcamp.com.
The entire experience was truly spiritual. I know I’ll be back. I didn’t have any dessert. With options like almond cigars with hibiscus lemon syrup, cashew samsas with blood orange marmalade and something called Makroud (Algerian date newtons with orange honey) – well, it’s pretty obvious why the place is a favorite of Trojans and neighbors alike.
Take my word for it, folks. You owe it to yourself to eat more tacos. At Revolutionario, you’ll be in for a real treat. Plus, you might see Jesus there, or someone who looks like him.
NEED TO KNOW:
North African Tacos Sin Fronteras
1436 West Jefferson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Open 9:00 am-9:00 pm Tuesday-Sunday,
(Jennifer Caldwell is a an actress and an active member of SAG-AFTRA, serving on several committees. She is a published author of short stories and news articles and is a featured contributor to CityWatch. Her column at www.RecessionCafe.wordpress.com is dishing up good deals, recipes and food for thought. Jennifer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jennifercald - Twitter: @checkingthegate ... And her website: jenniferhcaldwell.com)