When fellow blogger and street food extraodinaire, Bill Esparza of Street Gourmet LA was having his viewing party of Andrew Zimmerman's Bizarre Foods at La Guelaguetza, I cleared my calendar and made sure I could attend this fabulous party. Because, well, Bill is playing with the big boys. From appearing Top Chef Masters to now Andrew Zimmerman's Bizarre Foods, Bill has become our own local foodie celebrity without the 'tude, of course.
The place was already filled with people when I arrived. Many already with food on their table and a few already tipsy from the booze. My gfs (Jin of love me...hate me...feed me... and Oanh of It's more than just eating) were already there and ordered one of everything off the happy hour menu. Yea, we know to eat.
All the food that we ordered came out at once and covered our entire table. It was a feast. I reached for the most familiar first - the taquitos. Growing up in L.A., I've had a million of these just like I've had a million tacos, tortas, tostadas, sopes and burritos. It's a given and one of the greatest advantages of living in Los Angeles. The taquitos were your standard version - crunchy yet flavorful. I loved the cool lettuce and the creamy guacamole on top. The salsa that comes on the side gives off a nice, lingering heat that you should watch out for.
clayuda con mole
This large, thin and crunchy clayuda was topped with delicious mole and cheese. The mole was complex in flavor from all the many, different ingredients. It was spicy, sweet and smokey at the same time. It was delicious.
After we had our first encounter with these critters, we were ready for more! Our chapulines came with Oaxacan cheese and avocado. The creamy avocado balanced out the salty, sour and spicy grasshoppers. The crunchy texture of this dish reminded me of a Korean pan chan called myul chi, dried anchovies.
Molotes are a fried corn dough roll filled with potatoes and chorizo served with a side of guacamole. Since I absolutely love potatoes, it is no surprise that these were my favorite of the night. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, the molotes were delicious.
I cannot remember what these were called, so if anyone has a clue please let me know. I probably forgot what these were because they were my least favorite dish of the night. After I took a bite, I just kept going back for the molotes and chapulines.
Between eating all the food and greeting the many food bloggers, I think I barely got a glimpse of the episode (I still need to catch the re-run!). It was great to see familiar faces and meet new ones. I love when I can experience something new and chapulines was definitely a new thing for me! It was a packed house and everyone seemed to be having a great time eating and drinking. A very successful viewing party in my book! Thanks for the invite, Bill!
3014 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90006