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Guerrilla Tacos

What's Good In Your Hood
Can a taco truck be Michelin star good? Simón. Just ask Wes Avila.
Show transcript
00:02
We started with 167 bucks.
00:04
It was something I did kind of out of necessity.
00:06
So I needed to do something to kind of make ends meet.
00:08
Andrew get every everybody from where you were when you right
00:18
here to trust urchin or deer or stay right there.
00:22
You really in, in your hood.
00:26
Yeah.
00:32
Oh Yeah.
00:33
What's good in your hood is all about respect for the food hustle
00:37
and most importantly for the people behind it all.
00:39
Today we're in L A, the land of dreamers and of course tacos
00:42
to meet West from Tacos.
00:44
Hashtag L A don't play.
00:46
Mm Oh my God.
00:48
Thank you mom for bringing me into the world where these tacos
00:51
exist.
00:52
Tacos have been always my favorite food.
00:53
I I figured it's a very approachable vessel for people to kind
00:56
of taste different.
00:57
I'm always learning, always observing, you know, trying
00:59
to like get new ideas and, and bottom line for me is tacos gotta
01:03
be bomb.
01:04
It's gotta taste good.
01:05
Can't be serving up no bullshit here we are in what I would consider
01:08
a Michelin Star Taco truck.
01:10
Literally today, tears of joy happened on my face because
01:14
these are so good, a regular street tacos like serve a purpose
01:17
right?
01:17
You get a bunch of them, gives you that down home Mexican feel
01:20
But this is a war may experience of street tacos.
01:24
You gotta respect this guy's hustle when it comes to building
01:27
the perfect Taco West is relentless in his pursuit of excellence
01:30
And believe me, you can taste it growing up in here in L A and
01:33
having just inspiration from like where we're at, we're on
01:35
the street.
01:36
It should be simple.
01:37
It should be like you shouldn't be paying top dollar for some
01:39
fancy plate of food from a food truck.
01:41
If you go to any here, anyone, 90% of the time will be like chicken
01:47
El Pastor.
01:48
Ours aren't like that.
01:49
Each one has its own salsa, its own herbs.
01:52
It's own kind of flavors right now.
01:54
I'm eating the beef brisket and foie gras, which is one of my
01:57
favorites.
01:57
I mean, you can't find this at any other Taco truck, but anywhere
02:01
I like foie gras, it tastes delicious.
02:03
So I wanted to make it where it's like somebody can taste it
02:05
with somebody.
02:06
If my dad can go to a food truck and be like, you know, like, oh
02:09
here it's like fat and goose.
02:11
Yeah.
02:11
You know, I didn't do it to, to be like unique or anything.
02:14
I thought, I just thought it tastes really good.
02:16
I might as well offer it.
02:17
Let's flip it all the way back to understand the history of
02:21
the taco.
02:22
There's a few theories about this humble and simple vehicle
02:25
for yummy goodness, presumably the taco predates the Spanish
02:28
arriving in Mexico way back in the 15 hundreds.
02:31
We don't know how that turned out.
02:33
There's some evidence that points to native people that live
02:35
in the central lake region currently having traditionally
02:39
eaten tacos filled with little fish.
02:41
Spanish conquistador, Bernal Diaz del Castillo also wrote
02:44
about the first Taco Tuesday, which was a meal that had conquistador
02:47
in charge, Hernan Cortez.
02:49
Yes, like the shoes arranged for his captains.
02:51
In some other theories date back to the 18th century in the
02:55
silver mines in Mexico because in those mines, the word taco
02:58
referred to the little charges they would use to excavate
03:00
minerals.
03:01
These were pieces of paper that they would wrap around gunpowder
03:04
and insert into the holes they carved into the rock face, the
03:07
taco endless possibilities of tortilla worldwide and beyond
03:13
Coming up next, we started with 100 and 67 bucks.
03:16
Money started getting a little bit tight and I started having
03:18
to borrow money to like pay rent.
03:21
I was born in General Hospital right there in Boyle Heights
03:23
Boyle Heights.
03:24
What up, baby, shout out, shout out boy, boy, boy, boy, Heights
03:29
Heights.
03:29
That way, baby.
03:30
That's where we grew up, baby.
03:31
Let's go.
03:32
Raised in the neighborhood of PICO Rivera West was no stranger
03:36
to tough times.
03:36
You got that if you lived in PICO Rivera right over your right
03:39
Ok.
03:40
Cool.
03:40
But like the, that rises with the heat.
03:43
Nothing could keep west down.
03:45
This is like the main street like, um where I grew up, like during
03:49
the house parties, family parties, there'd be like across
03:51
the street to be drive by.
03:52
It was like a normal thing to like, you know, to hit the floor
03:55
and stuff like that.
03:55
How did growing up in this place, you know, affect the food
03:59
you make now and, and your art, it's more the business side
04:02
of it, the hustling side of it.
04:03
Uh They say tough times don't last, tough people do.
04:07
And this guy right here is living proof, like in 95 my mom passed
04:11
away.
04:11
It was super difficult, you know, you still deal with it every
04:14
day, you know, it's like you lose the most important person
04:17
in your life at the time.
04:19
She was the most important person in my life.
04:20
And like one of the biggest influences along with my dad is
04:23
her, my dad is like the hardest working person.
04:25
I know money started getting a little bit tight and it just
04:28
started getting less and less and less and I started having
04:30
to borrow money to like pay rent, you know.
04:31
So I'm like, I gotta do something else, man.
04:33
So I need to do something to kind of um make ends meet.
04:36
So we started in 2012 on a cart with 100 and 67 bucks.
04:40
So we started with those, the two tacos we had were and chicken
04:43
and little by little, we started incorporating better ingredients
04:47
because started getting bored just doing chicken because
04:48
I'm like anybody else can do that.
04:49
This man is a natural leader and the people can't get enough
04:55
from the downtown city.
04:57
Skate to the sea breeze by the beach.
04:59
We is making his city proud by never settling for what is, but
05:03
instead striving for what could be.
05:05
We're very, very in tune with like the local graffiti scene
05:08
art scene.
05:09
Um So I find it super important, you know, to, to be able to express
05:13
oneself and food or whatever you do is really, really important
05:16
to me.
05:17
Coming up next.
05:18
The challenge with chef Wes, what do you think you might pair
05:20
the dragon fruit with?
05:21
I'm gonna kick it on the, the west side.
05:23
How we do it with a little bit of hang tight.
05:25
Come back.
05:26
See what we got cooked.
05:28
Order up next.
05:31
Sure.
05:32
Two sweet potato tacos which I saw when I was inside because
05:35
I'm a professional of this guys.
05:37
Trust me from a humble to taco truck and now a physical space
05:42
that's getting ready to open its doors and is sure to make a
05:45
dent in the L A food scene.
05:47
What's the taco that put you on the map?
05:48
The sweet potato taco, sweet potato tacos?
05:51
I had like seven of those today to talk about them weekly.
05:54
Got a, a little bit of a wind of it and they put a little story
05:56
So it started growing.
05:57
It just snowballed like that.
05:59
The future.
06:00
What's next?
06:00
This place is gonna not look like one of the scenes from Walking
06:03
Dead.
06:04
Um It's gonna look like a really beautiful modern restaurant
06:07
with uh definitely tell it's tacos and you're gonna tell that
06:10
it's, it's got our stamp on it just like his city where dreamers
06:13
come to live out their dreams.
06:15
We is living out his dream while changing the status quo.
06:19
Hey, everybody here we are in the kitchen and we're gonna be
06:22
doing a food challenge with wes using ingredients that I'm
06:25
gonna find in my a kitchen dragon fruit today.
06:31
Hello and Hot Cheetos.
06:35
Can you handle that?
06:36
This is the only one that I've never cooked with.
06:38
But I think I figured something out.
06:40
Boom, stumped them already.
06:41
Tell us.
06:42
What do you have in mind for the secret ingredients?
06:45
I might make like uh I mean I always do chips and salsa.
06:47
So I'm gonna put in the into chips and then make a salsa with
06:51
the fruit.
06:52
And then I got something in mind for the Cheetos.
06:54
I think I'm gonna do like a cheese dip kind of thing and I'm gonna
06:57
use this as chips.
06:58
You're gonna turn some into chips.
07:03
Chips are my favorite thing.
07:04
Oh Snap.
07:05
We're finally getting to the secret ingredient.
07:07
Oh my God, the Cheetos are in, this is how you make hot Cheetos
07:10
beautiful.
07:11
You just throw some like scallions.
07:12
So this is how I serve it.
07:14
Dude.
07:14
We threw some weird stuff at you, but you managed to make it
07:17
beautiful.
07:18
I don't even like hot Cheetos.
07:21
No.
07:21
Come on.
07:26
Hm.
07:29
Well, I'm gonna declare you the official winner of my first
07:31
food challenge right here.
07:33
Chef West is taking the hustle and resilience.
07:36
He learned growing up and pairing it with his love for food
07:39
That's why I was honored when he invited me to meet his childhood
07:42
friends.
07:42
So I could get a better sense of where he comes from.
07:44
I'm gonna get a sense of Yeah, we just one day was like, what
07:47
do you think about me?
07:48
Like becoming a chef and getting all my money and doing it?
07:53
And I just remember it was, it was, it was inspirational.
07:56
I remember tattooing Wes and just talking about the shit too
07:58
Like, and I was already on my own doing my independent thing
08:01
I was like, go for it, bro.
08:02
Like the only person stopping you basically is you, what do
08:05
you guys like wish for him in the future?
08:06
And like, what are your wishes for?
08:08
Like, you know, gorilla taco?
08:09
It's really cool to see something nice happen to a real, a real
08:14
friend.
08:14
Cheers guys.
08:15
Cheers of 1996.
08:19
Can I get a and that's what's good in your hood.