It's back to school time and varsity sports are gearing up. Back where I come from, varsity sports is number one - pretty much like it is on "Friday Night Lights." The entire community gets all riled up. Rivalries continue through the years and decades as trophies like the cowbell get passed from town to town. There's nothing like a night of high drama, screaming at the top of your lungs and banging on the bleachers for your home team - all for only about five bucks! 

Hasta el Taco Siempre! 

Some of you may remember Beshoy, the Jesus look-alike who accompanied Sue and I to the Bernie Sanders rally back in June. Sombreros off to him for being the first to clue me in to the joys of Revolutionario. We never made it to the taco place that day; but Beshoy assured me they were divine. I forgot about it all until the other day, while scrolling through my disaster of an inbox, I happened upon an invite from a foodie Meetup group. It said: 

Tomorrow: Join 5 Foodies at " Hillulah and Sephardic Tacos" 

Divine guidance was obviously leading me to the source of inspiration for the grand finale of my “Let’s Taco ‘Bout It” series. After all, it was a guy who looks a lot like Jesus who told me about it in the first place. 

The foodie event was an invitation to a night of Middle Eastern Tacos and Judeo/Arabic music at a place called Revolutionario – North African Tacos Sin Fronteras. That’s “Without Borders” in Spanish. How could I say no? 

With hope in my heart and tacos on my mind, I headed down to the USC area. After driving around the location a few times due to the predicament of the parking lot being used for the band and the dancing, I found a spot and strolled in. 

Holy Tomatillo Batman, this is place is sick! The walls are covered with dollar bills and money from other countries alongside loving notes on the awesome food and friendly atmosphere of the place. I was looking at all that for quite a while. It was pretty obvious I’d never been there before; but I didn’t care. It was awesome. 

Alongside the money and the notes are pictures of revolutionaries from around the world with quotes which they may or may not have actually said – about TACOS! Images of everyone from Marcus Garvey to Ingmar Bergman can be found, alongside their most profound thoughts on the delectable edible, including Malcolm X stating, “By any taco necessary.” 

THE ART OF THE TACO: MEXICO MEETS NORTH AFRICA 

Turning my attentions from the remarkable décor, I was greeted by the friendly young people behind the counter. Revolutionario is a family business run by the Zadis - Kamilah, Farid and Susan; and Brian Kim. They were happy to supply me with a menu which is filled with delights. In addition to the meat offerings, including cilantro yogurt chicken, beef brisket and a pozole tagine (vegetables, hominy, lamb, beef and chicken), this radical joint has amazing veggie options. 

I ordered up three of the gems: a tagine made up of chickpeas, spinach and potato; a charred veggie; and my favorite, a black eyed pea falafel. I poured some of their own lemon garlic yogurt on the beautiful falafel. It was the perfect combo. I also put some of their green harrisa on the tagine taco and I was singing all the way out to the parking lot to listen to the styles of Bizarre Ensemble. 

Bizarre Ensemble is a fusion band, mixing east and west, old and new. They’ve got a funky backbeat combined with Judeo/Arabic sounds and a bass player who made it very clear he really likes tacos! In between songs, he literally was yelling, “I love tacos!” Everyone felt the same I think. 

The whole group plays many instruments including the oud, violins, saxophones and drums. You can check out their debut EP “Shabasi” at bazaarensemble.bandcamp.com.  

The entire experience was truly spiritual. I know I’ll be back. I didn’t have any dessert. With options like almond cigars with hibiscus lemon syrup, cashew samsas with blood orange marmalade and something called Makroud (Algerian date newtons with orange honey) – well, it’s pretty obvious why the place is a favorite of Trojans and neighbors alike. 

Take my word for it, folks. You owe it to yourself to eat more tacos. At Revolutionario, you’ll be in for a real treat. Plus, you might see Jesus there, or someone who looks like him. 

 

NEED TO KNOW: 

Revolutionario

North African Tacos Sin Fronteras 

1436 West Jefferson Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90007 

www.revolutionarioinc.com

revolutionarioinc@gmail.com 

424-223-3526 

Open 9:00 am-9:00 pm Tuesday-Sunday,

Closed Mondays

 

(Jennifer Caldwell is a an actress and an active member of SAG-AFTRA, serving on several committees. She is a published author of short stories and news articles and is a featured contributor to CityWatch. Her column at www.RecessionCafe.wordpress.com is dishing up good deals, recipes and food for thought. Jennifer can be reached at recessioncafe@yahoo.com.  Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jennifercald - Twitter: @checkingthegate ... And her website: jenniferhcaldwell.com)  

-cw

SICK OF DRIVING?--Have you ever found yourself in Santa Monica wanting to run errands, but were afraid to lose your parking space? Or stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic restless out of your mind? The Santa Monica Breeze Bike Share program is the perfect solution to run errands around town, with the Metro Expo line in at our backyard; Bike Share provides short-range transportation to and from the train station and buses. Commuter biking is a great way to enjoy our So Cal weather sunshine.

TRY A SMART BIKE--These smart bikes are super cool, painted bright neon green with a bold HULU logo and stocked with advanced technology such as a GPS location device to lock, unlock and track the bike’s location. The system is integrated with the “social bicycles” app to be downloaded on your smartphone. Through socialbicycles.com, you can reserve a bike in advance, get an annual or monthly membership, and rent a bike daily or hourly at a specific station. If you do not have a smartphone, many of these services can be done at the kiosk at the bike station. 

Besides the fancy technology, the bikes have adjustable seats, kickstands, a bell and basket. Making it perfect to get around town to run errands. BYOH-There is no helmet rental yet, for now at least, so don’t forget to bring your own. 

SUPPORT--The SM Breeze smart bike program seems to be getting a lot of support since it rolled out in November 2015. The City of Santa Monica budgeted $1.2 million per year to keep this program running, with Hulu has contributing $675,000 annually for the next five years, and $2 million in grant funding to get started. With over 800 bikes in use daily, and 76 bike stations with an additional 8 being added over the next few months. Residents want the bike share system to work out as an alternate mode of transportation. In addition, the city is adding or has added bike lanes and paths to many streets to accommodate more cyclists. 

DEBBIE DOWNER NEEDS TO BE PATIENT--All residents are not exactly thrilled about all of this. The streets are already extremely congested and there is so much construction at any given time. But we all need to be patient to give this program an opportunity to catch on. After all, this pilot program is the first of its kind in LA County. 

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST--There are three basic plans: 

MONTHLY PLAN: $25/month includes 90 minutes daily riding time 

ANNUAL PLAN: $99/year, promotional rate for the month of August 2016 only

Includes 90 minutes daily ride time. 

STUDENT RATE: $7 includes 90 minutes of daily ride time, must sign up through .edu email 

Additional charges:

  • Overtime rates by the minute
  • Return bike to a non-Breeze hub location within the system area, $2
  • Leave bike out of the system area, $20
  • Return “out of hub” bike to hub location, $1 credit  

DEAL OF THE YEAR 

  • Imagine being able to use the bikes everyday for 90 minutes at a time. Seriously, I have had three bikes stolen after being locked up near my home. This is a so easy to use, a great value and convenience. The annual membership is only $99!!!
  • Also many employers are offering memberships to their employees to promote good health and exercise – so you many want to ask.
  • There are several low-income options for SM residents, so you may want to ask the Breeze Bike Share office.   

CONTACTS 

Website:     www.breezebikeshare.com - Check out the website from time to time as terms are subject to change. 

Link:          http://www.smgov.net/Departments/PCD/Programs/Santa-Monica-Bike-Share/ 

Twitter:      @breezebikeshare 

Contact:     Kyle Kozar, SM Bike Share Coordinator, or Bike Share hotline (310) 458-8341 

 

SO EVERYONE, LET’S GO RIDE A BIKE! SAVE SOME MONEY AND THE ENVIRONMENT!

(Sue Helmy has plenty of tricks up her sleeve. She is currently providing superb administrative services at a financial management firm in Century City. She is active in countless church and civic organizations and spends every minute she can spare dancing to the Zumba beat.)

-cw

DEALS & DISCOUNTS--The Wilshire Vista neighborhood has it going on. There are several theaters, a few dispensaries and some really sweet boutique retail shops for clothing, gifts and stationery. From San Vicente to Pico and from Fairfax to Hauser, the community is full of fun loving types who even organize a great spring mixer each year in June. 

Just one block east of this boundary is a taco joint you really don’t want to miss. As their website says, “Some people call it Mexican food with a splash of soul. Others say it’s Southwestern meets Louisiana.” Whatever you want to call it, Sky’s Gourmet Tacos will hook you up for breakfast lunch or dinner and they’ve been doing it for 22 years. Folks love their signature shrimp tacos. They’ve also got filet mignon, lobster, mahi mahi and tilapia tacos galore. 

For breakfast, you can naturally get breakfast tacos and burritos of assorted types. You can also chow down on some double-dipped French toast or and omelet. All meals come with Sky’s own recipe for Southern sautéed apples. 

For myself, I love it that this taco spot is not the least bit short on mouth-watering veggie options. You can get your traditional veggie with either black or pinto bean or vegan meat. They’ve got a tofu taco that’s mighty tasty. Then we get to the really unique stuff. The potato taco is outta this world! They’ve got a wild rice and yam taco I honestly have not tried yet. 

The reason why: I can hardly pull myself away from always ordering MY FAVORITE: the shitake mushroom taco. THESE MUSHROOMS WILL BLOW YOUR MIND! 

Then you can treat your taste buds to one of Sky’s homemade sorrel lemonades. They’re loaded with hibiscus and infinitely delicious! 

If you’re in the mood for dessert, they made their very own plain, caramel crunch, mango and pineapple cheesecakes right there in the kitchen so watch out! 

You can tell by the veggie selections that Sky’s is health conscious and you should keep it in mind that all of the creations are made without trans fat, lard, artificial additives or preservatives. 

Let me know what you think of Sky’s and fill me in on your favorite places to get excellent tacos in LA. 

Let’s taco ‘bout it some more! 

 

NEED TO KNOW: 

Sky’s Tacos

5408 West Pico Blvd.

Los Angeles

Phone: 323-932-6253

 

Hours: 

Mon-Sat 9am – 9pm

Sun 9am – 7pm 

www.skysgourmettacos.com 

 

(Jennifer Caldwell is a an actress and an active member of SAG-AFTRA, serving on several committees. She is a published author of short stories and news articles and is a featured contributor to CityWatch. Her column at www.RecessionCafe.wordpress.com is dishing up good deals, recipes and food for thought. Jennifer can be reached at recessioncafe@yahoo.com.  Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jennifercald - Twitter: @checkingthegate ... And her website: jenniferhcaldwell.com)  

-cw

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