In this crazy competitive, detail-driven world we live in where all our "I"s have to be dotted and "T"s crossed in order to make a good impression on others or to fulfill some obsessive-compulsive need of my own, I sometimes get a little tired. Umm, wasting perfectly good cardstock from throwing out wedding favor tags that weren't perfect? Guilty. Putting six pairs of destructed boyfriend jeans side by side to see which ones had the best holes? Now that's just insane. *Raises hand in shame*
Living in LA, our everyday lives are oftentimes wrapped around people and places that certainly don’t help curb the tendency to get caught up in small insignificant details. But at the same time, there are people to see and places to go in LA that can help one get away from all that craziness. On a recent weekend night, for example, my family and I met Jeni & Dylan from Oishii Eats and Eat, Drink & Be Merry, Anjali from Delicious Coma, and a handful of other foodies at the Breed Street Food Fair in Boyle Heights.
A place where cardboard signs and clip-on lamps are all one needs for advertisement.
A place where people of all ages, sizes and ethnicities are welcome...
...and where people smile and actually mean it.
A place where we use our hands as utensils and the top of my kid’s stroller and the bumper on a truck serve as a table.
A place where industrial gourmet kitchens are nowhere to be seen and food is scooped out of, prepared on and cooked in cardboard boxes, metal carts and plastic tubs. Where a very friendly woman pounded, filled and shaped masa for my pupusa revuelta over a cardboard box, and where she laughed at me and my crazy other half when when she asked “¿Con curtido?” and he answered “no” but I immediately flipped my head around and yelled “¡Si, con curtido!”
A place where I savored globules of cheeky, fatty goodness from the tacos de cabeza from the tacos al vapor cart and a place where I got to try a cemita for the first time. Where I watched a guy throw a couple of breaded steaks into a steel drum full of oil sitting on a portable burner and turn them into golden brown milanesa. Where I cringed at the pungent, cilantro-like taste of herb papalo inside but revelled at the sandwich made of milanesa, avocado, queso panela and chile once sliding the large leaf out.
A place where a perfect churro is made from what some people eating a churro for the first time at the latest rage in desserts might consider a most imperfect-looking contraption.
Losing sleep if the data in my Excel spreadsheets isn't formatted to a tee won't really matter in the long run will it? But bonding with family and friends on a weekend night over good food that's cooked, served, and enjoyed in a parking lot, hands orange and greasy from a delicious pambazo? You're damn right it will.
Breed Street Food Fair
Breed Street at Cesar Chavez, across from Big Buy Foods
Every Thursday-Sunday from 7-10 pm
Be sure to read Eat, Drink & Be Merry's, Delicious Coma's, Pleasure Palate's, and Street Gourmet LA's wonderful reviews of the Breed Street Food Fair!