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New LA Taqueria Partners With Rajon Rondo to Support Downtown Women’s Center

Plus, a new California-style burrito to know about, and a barbecue festival in Culver City

Rajon Rondo when he was on the Lakers in 2020.
Rajon Rondo when he was on the Lakers in 2020.
Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

When three people who don’t have traditional experience in the restaurant industry fashion themselves into restaurateurs, one wonders how much traction it will get among average diners. Tacos AF has been open since June, serving street-style tacos with a very strong sense of social media marketing and style, but without too much in the way of culinary foundation.

But that doesn’t seem to make a difference, as it seems the menu and offerings are both reasonably priced and pretty compelling, from asada and chipotle pollo to al pastor and cauliflower as options in tacos and burritos. Backed by influencer Roman Royale, Brandon Thompson, and Emilio Sanchez, the idea is to establish a taco brand for the long haul, one that’s already received endorsement from Latin singer Becky G and Los Angeles Laker Rajon Rondo.

In fact, Rondo is partnering with Tacos AF to contribute a portion of all taco sales on October 4 to donate to the Downtown Women’s Center, an organization that supports women experiencing homelessness in Downtown LA. Rondo himself will be at Tacos AF from 1 to 4 p.m. to pass out orders and meet fans.

San Juan Capistrano’s new ramen spot

Ramen Burger creator Keizo Shimamoto has opened Ramen Shack restaurant in San Juan Capistrano as of September 16, reports the LA Times. The ramen chef opens the place with tsukemen and negi ramen, as well as some small plates. Soft open hours are 4 to 8 p.m., closed Wednesdays, and only lunchtime hours on weekends.

San Diego brings the fry situation to LA

L.A. Taco has the story on a new San Diego-style taquería that opened on La Tijera from Jessica and Cesar De Santiago, whose family operates Tacos el Paisa. Their new spot in LA, called Acapela, has a great, tech-riddled look (check out the bathrooms) and serves french fry-stuffed carne asada burritos. Writer Memo Torres argues they are the best “California-style” burritos in Los Angeles.

Six years of barbecue in Culver City

Maple Block Meat Co. is celebrating its sixth year anniversary with a whole hog feast and Burgers by Standings for the all-in price of $49. The fall festival-style celebration will have live music, axe throwing, and craft beer (the VIP beer pass costs a bit more). Tickets are available here.

The rice will be crispy this weekend at Sushi Note

Sherman Oaks’s excellent Sushi Note will have a biscotti flight (fish over crispy rice) this weekend, with two versions featuring Ora King salmon. One will have avocado, lemon, and crispy leeks, and the other will have creme fraiche and pickled wasabi stem. Maybe people in the Valley are just really missing the crispy rice situation at the likes of Katsuya and Nobu for them to want it at the more omakase-focused Sushi Note.

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