McLean in LA, Day 3

After dashing off to Arizona for a signing, Scottish crime writer Russel McLean returned to LA the next day, ready for round 3. We started off with a walking tour of Downtown LA that included various Chandler-related locations, the hotel where the Black Dahlia was last seen in one piece, the Bradbury Building where Blade Runner was filmed, and more. I didn’t take nearly as many snaps as Russel, but the ones I did take are here.

From there we met up with fellow author and street food enthusiast Eric Stone and his buddy Bill for the Scotsman’s first East Los Taco Crawl. We started the boy off right with Tacos El Korita, a truck that makes their own fresh tortillas to order. Unlike many of his fellow countrymen, Russel can really take the heat and was loving the wide variety of scorching salsas. Our crawl continued down Whittier Blvd, hitting a variety of carts, tables, trucks and trailers, including what had to be the strangest juice and smoothie truck of all time. Eventually we ended up where we always end up, at what is unquestionably the best al pastor stand on the east side. The modest, nameless table set up at Cesar Chavez and Hicks puts a hunk of pineapple on the top of the al pastor wheel, and something about the enzymes in the juice that trickles down as it cooks makes the meat unbelievably tender and perfect. It just doesn’t get any better than that. Photos here.

Over the course of the crawl, we came up with what may be the best fusion street chow idea of all time. Haggis tacos! So if that whole writing thing doesn’t work out for Russel, he can move to LA and run the world’s first haggis taco truck. The menu will also include vegetarian “nopales and tatties” tacos (for Al Guthrie) and deep fried Twinkies for dessert. The truck itself will be plaid, with large painting of the Virgin de Guadalupe in tartan robes, surrounded by thistles instead of roses. Somebody get Jonathan Gold on the phone right now!

Coming up next, the Scotsman and the New York dame drive to San Francisco for b-con.

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