Tropicália is bringing taco desmadre y los jamz to the Queen Mary Park in Long Beach this Saturday with an inaugural lineup that will have you dancing and scarfing like you’re at a backyard party with la familia.
Headlining acts include norteño legends Los Tigres del Norte, LA’s Latin-psychedelic soul group Chicano Batman, iconic Mexico City band Cafe Tacvba and Colombian neo-soul-pop songstress Kali Uchis. Also taking over the park is an impressive lineup of taqueros, offering all you can eat tacos till 4 p.m.(!) Here’s our list of must eat firme bites for the upcoming fest, what they’ll be offering and the sounds from the stage that pair the best with each bite.
1. Carnitas El Momo
The 2017 Tacolandia Vendy Cup champions will bring their award winning Aporkalypse taco (pictured above in all it’s glory). It’s a combination of cueritos (braised pig skin), buche and Guanajuato-style carnitas. Get ready to taste the love and dedication that comes from Romulo Acosta’s (aka Momo) enormous copper pot — 50 years of slowly simmering the best surtido in Los Angeles.
Food pairs well with: Celso Piña
“Every time my dad cooks he listens to music,” says Momo’s son Billy Acosta . “Growing up music was always playing so now I need to have music on in order to work.”
2. Burritos La Palma
“They make a miraculous thing, really: just a little longer than a man’s palm, it’s filled with birria de res, a Zacatecan beef take on the classic goat stew. But it’s on that simplicity that the Bañueloses have started a mini-empire, with a restaurant in El Monte, a food truck and SanTana location. Their accolades include winning Tacolandia’s Best Traditional Taco in 2015, as well as Best in Show. Jonathan Gold named La Palma’s specialty one of his top five burritos in Southern California.”
Food Pairs well with: Cafe Tacvba
“My favorite song from them is Trópico de Cancer, it’s a song everyone should listen to,” says Albert Bañuelos.
3. Dia de los Puercos
With locations in West Covina & Boyle Heights chef Rick Garcia specializes in comida Xicana. Garcia will be serving his signature mochomos (crispy carnitas) tacos and guaca salsa tacos. Mochomos, are Chihuahua style carnitas where the pork is slow braised in its own juices for 7 hours until it falls apart then it’s placed on the plancha where it gets nice and crispy.
Food pairs well with: Los Tigres del Norte
“I’m looking forward to this amazing chingon lineup,” says Garcia. “I grew up watching my grandma dance the bristle off the broom while blasting Tigres.”
Smorgasboard LA favorite, Macheen are bringing their alta-cocina twist on traditional Mexi fare with a beef cheek barbacoa taco, adobo style pork belly taco and soyrizo mushroom taco.
Food pairs well with: Sonora Dinamita
“We’re most excited for Sonora Dinamita, Cafe Tacvba and Los Tigres del Norte because this is the music we grew up on in our household,” says the Macheen crew.
Unlimited tacos from some of the best taqueros and vendors in LA and OC are included in the price of admission so get there early and load up before the música starts. It’s gonna be a puro pinche pari, see you there!
Cynthia Rebolledo covers anything and everything food, culture and spirits.