Thomasina Miers, the chef behind Wahaca, heads to Los Angeles to find inspiration in the city’s vibrant street-food scene – scroll to the end of the article for her pork belly recipe
Thomasina Miers stands on a sunny petrol station forecourt in Highland Park, a neighbourhood to the northeast of Los Angeles, enthusiastically eating a marinated beef-tongue taco. “It’s so delicious,” she says through a mouthful of corn tortilla, coriander and tomatillo salsa.
This low-rise residential area, an hour and a world away from the Walk of Fame, bristles with signs for cheap loans and fast food. It is not on any tourist map. Star-tour buses don’t pull up round here. But rather than celebrities, we’re looking for Mexican street-food trucks, picking out their vivid orange, blue and pink awnings or distinctive fin-shaped roof vents from among the stucco-covered houses, corner shops and drive-throughs. At the La Estrella and El Pique trucks, we found what we crave. We order more tacos, a beef torta (sandwich) and a buttery hot quesadilla and wolf them as the traffic whizzes past, juices running down our chins.