Club Tengo Hambre Los Angeles
Club Tengo Hambre is a private supper club/food tour that has been running in Baja California and Mexico City for the past several years. They’ve just started running tours in Los Angeles (first one is Saturday, July 9th), and I got to go on a sneak peak a few months ago of some of the potential stops they may make on these new tours. Leading this preview tour was one of the founders of Club Tengo Hambre, Bill “Street Gourmet LA” Esparza himself!
(Yes, I know I still owe a write-up on this year’s Tacolandia that Bill curated for LA Weekly, but I’m a little behind. In the meantime, hope my Top Ten Tacos of Tacolandia 2016 piece for L.A. TACO will tide you over.)
One of the most popular taco trucks in L.A. is Mariscos Jalisco in Boyle Heights, and they were our first stop! They’re known for their tacos dorados de camaron, or crispy shrimp tacos. No, the shrimp aren’t crispy, rather it’s the tortilla that’s fried to a hearty crisp, with flavorful minced shrimp stuffed inside. To borrow a potato chip slogan, you can’t just have one!
Next, Bill brought us to Tamales Elena in Watts where we had, not one, but two special treats, both Club Tengo Hambre exclusives! First were tamales with trompa or pork snout, and second was probably the best pozole I’ve ever had, made with meat from the head of a pig.
Next, in Compton, Querétaro-style cactus and steak quesadilla from Quesadillas La Chinita, the kind of place where people not in the know would drive by without even noticing they were passing amazing, simple, delicious food.
The Mercado Olympic, a street market in downtown L.A. that springs up every weekend, was our penultimate destination. You could find just about anything there, agua frescas, big bag of chapulines (grasshoppers) to snack on, and freshly made, piping hot churros!
Last, but certainly not least, we were driven up to a non-descript house in East L.A. that served the most delicious goat birria!
We were told not to share the location more specifically, and you would likely not find this place without someone like Bill, or one of the other guides at Club Tengo Hambre, unless you’re from the neighborhood. This kind of special, curated, exclusive experience is what you can expect from Club Tengo Hambre. Check out their LA tours of various themes (Best of LA, Eastside Essentials, South Central Outlaw Street Food, etc.) at http://clubtengohambre.com/losangeles/.