Intelatin: Food + Music in Los Angeles With Wil-Dog

Wil-Dog, left, eats a taco at Jimmy Shaw’s Lotería Grill on Hollywood Boulevard

Wil-Dog, right, eats a taco at Jimmy Shaw’s Lotería Grill on Hollywood Boulevard

Willy “Wil-Dog” Abers discovered his community in MacArthur Park as a child borne to communists in the labor movement. Forty years later, as a musician in the band Ozomatli​, Wil Dog has been able to dissect Los Angeles from a very unique perspective as both a musician and also as a recovering addict and alcoholic. On the 20th anniversary of Ozomatli’s birth in Los Angeles, Wil-Dog will tour the city and its offerings to see what he understands about his home.

There are close to four million people living in Los Angeles in 503 square miles. Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States and the third largest metropolitan economy in the world. Malibu in the north and Long Beach in the south. Santa Monica in the west and Pasadena in the east.

“The culture that has most influenced me in Los Angeles is the Mexican culture,” Wil-Dog says. “Close to fifty percent of present-day LA is originally from Mexico or Latin America. Los Angeles is the ancestral home to the Indigenous cultures of the Americas but soon thereafter the mestizos came north and created what has become the modern version of LA.”

In Los Angeles, in San Diego, in Valle de Guadalupe in Baja California, in Monterrey, Nuevo León, even in New York City: the star of Mexican food — the taco — has laid itself flat this year and evolved. Chefs everywhere are forgoing the traditional asada, pastor and carnitas of the past and venturing into more adventurous ingredients. Lalo Plascencia of the Center for Gastronomic Innovation in Monterrey, México has initiated a project called #1000tacos2015 to document and showcase this star of Mexican cuisine.

“Con este video se apoya el proyecto #1000tacos2015 del Centro de Innovación Gastronómica, en Monterrey, México,” Lalo explains. “Se trata de la mayor acumulación de tacos de la historia de la cocina mexicana. Apoya este proyecto subiendo tus tacos a Instagram con el #1000tacos2015 para que se publiquen en Storify.

Wil-Dog begins his tour in the belly of Hollywood at Jimmy Shaw’s flagship Lotería Grill on Hollywood Boulevard. Born in the colonia Hipódromo in Mexico City, Jimmy Shaw was raised on la comida de batalla in his parent’s kitchen. While he was educated in Pennsylvania, he began his career as a private chef to pay for his tuition. In time, he relocated to Los Angeles and while working for La Agencia de Orcí, he experienced a bad plate of tacos and decided that he would open a restaurant. Today, Jimmy Shaw has eight restaurants in Los Angeles. The Tres Cochinitos taco is a mezcla de tocino, chicharrón y carnitas.

Special thanks to Grimanesa, Tatiana y Betty at Lotería Grill and Damon, María y Belle at Ozomatli.

The latest Ozomatli release is called Place in the Sun. It is available on iTunes. Here are links to their Sizzle Reel and also to a single from the new album called “Tus Ojos.”


About Intelatin: The radio broadcast for Intelatin was started in 2012 at California State University Long Beach as outreach for their majority Latin@ campus. The broadcast aired on KBeach Global and KKJZ 88.1 FM. It podcasts in 2015 on iTunes and Audioboom. Intelatin is managed by Sergio C. Muñoz. You can connect with him @Intelatin.

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rikimaru says:

The Talmud must not be regarded as an ordinary work, composed of twelve volumes; it posies absolutely no similarity to any other literary production, but forms, without any figure of speech, a world of its own, which must be judged by its peculiar laws.
The Talmud contains much that is frivolous of which it treats with great gravity and seriousness; it further reflects the various superstitious practices and views of its Persian (Babylonian) birthplace which presume the efficacy of demonical medicines, or magic, incantations, miraculous cures, and interpretations of dreams. It also contains isolated instances of uncharitable “ judgments and decrees against the members of other nations and religions, and finally it favors an incorrect exposition of the scriptures, accepting, as it does, tasteless misrepresentations.

The Babylonian” Talmud is especially distinguished from the Jerusalem or Palestine Talmud by the flights of thought, the penetration of mind, the flashes of genius, which rise and vanish again. It was for this reason that the Babylonian rather than the Jerusalem Talmud became the fundamental possession of the Jewish Race, its life breath, its very soul, nature and mankind, powers and events, were for the Jewish nation insignificant, non- essential, a mere phantom; the only true reality was the Talmud.” (Professor H. Graetz, History of the Jews).
And finally it came Spain’s turn. Persecution had occurred there on “ and off for over a century, and, after 1391, became almost incessant. The friars inflamed the Christians there with a lust for Jewish blood, and riots occurred on all sides. For the Jews it was simply a choice between baptism and death, and many of them submitted to baptism.
But almost always conversion on thee terms was only outward and false. Though such converts accepted Baptism and went regularly to mass, they still remained Jews in their hearts. They were called Marrano, ‘ Accursed Ones,’ and there were perhaps a hundred thousand of them. Often they possessed enormous wealth. Their daughters married into the noblest families, even into the blood royal, and their sons sometimes entered the Church and rose to the highest offices. It is said that even one of the popes was of this Marrano stock.