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LA’s Annual Taco Tournament Pits the City’s Best Bites Against Each Other

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Plus more jobs in Downtown, and a new burger on La Brea

Sonoratown’s flour tortilla taco with guacamole salsa on top.
Tacos from Sonoratown
Farley Elliott

Start the tournament

L.A. Taco’s annual Taco Madness tournament has returned. The bracket-style competition pits some of the city’s best tacos against one another in a head-to-head duel to the death, with only one resulting winner crowned the taco champion of them all.

This year’s Taco Madness tournament features a number of enticing matchups, from Tacos Arabes vs. Sky’s Gourmet Tacos to beloved Aqui es Texcoco vs. Tire Shop Taqueria. Voting is open now.

Chef is truly not here

Upstart casual tapas spot Chef’s Not Here only lasted a single month in West Hollywood, it seems. A call to Sea Salt Poke yesterday confirmed the closure back in February (after opening in January), with ownership citing some issues with the city’s building codes that apparently weren’t solved before the restaurant came online. They say there are plans to move into a new location sometime later, but there’s nothing concrete.

Top Round on top

La Brea’s popular Top Round is turning on a new burger for the month of April. It’s actually the company’s first foray into full-time burgers, and offers housemade faux Cheez Wizz on top.

Wine of the times

There’s a luxe new champagne dinner going down at Jean-Georges inside the Waldorf Astoria on April 10. The $375 affair (not including tax and tip) is to celebrate famous French house Salmon-Billecart, which has turned 200 years old and is doing a run of pricey events from Singapore to Los Angeles over the next few months. Expect a luxury dinner from chef Alain Passard, plus magnums of the Champagne company’s bicentenary cuvée.

Eastside eats

Tickets are up for Taste of the Eastside, the annual food event in Silver Lake. Right now they’re priced at $45 presale/$75 VIP, with the event going down on Sunday, April 29. Expect bites from most of the greater Eastside’s best restaurants, along with a locally-focused giveback component.

Oysters in need

Rappahannock Oyster Bar at the ROW in Downtown is close to opening. So close, in fact, that they’re eager to start hiring up now.

Wine heads

The wonderful Fahara Zamorano earns a nod from the folks at Robb Report. The popular sommelier from Gwen (and before that Alinea) discusses her love of wine, her family’s background in Chile, and beyond.

Charity and food

Homeboy Industries is hosting its annual Lo Maximo Awards on April 7 this year at the JW Marriott at LA Live in Downtown. It’s the 15th anniversary of the awards, where the food-focused non-profit honors their founder Father Greg Boyle as well as all those who have come before and worked their way through Boyle’s system.

Good cause tacos

In more taco news, Homestate will be offering a new $5 chicken taco for a while, done as an homage to new Highland Park neighbors Stones Throw Records. Proceeds benefit the Silverlake Conservatory of Music’s need-based scholarships.

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