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Highland Park Star Villas Tacos Scores $100,000 Grant to Open Restaurant

Plus, bread pudding for Mother’s Day, and the return of the Buellton Brew Fest

Asada queso taco from Villas Tacos.
Villas Tacos
Mona Holmes
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

Villas Tacos owner Victor Villa recently won a $100,000 grant that will take his popular Highland Park pop-up to its first eventual brick and mortar restaurant location.

The hefty sum comes from Estrella Jalisco beer, and will help Villa to hopefully stay in the neighborhood, reports the Los Angeles Times. Villas Tacos opened in November 2018 and initially operated out of Villa’s grandmother’s house in Highland Park. He’s now serving up some of the city’s most widely respected tacos on York Boulevard every week, offering a combination of his family’s recipes and Villa’s own flair, from his maternal grandmother’s salsa, dad’s salsa recipe, plus his mother’s Michoacan dishes. That includes a taco with blue corn tortillas with a crispy cheese griddled interior, refried beans, onions, cilantro, crema, cotija, guacamole, and three options of mesquite-grilled meat.

Buellton’s beer and food festival this weekend

This Saturday, over 55 craft breweries and food trucks will set up at the Buellton Brew Fest. The annual Central Coast festival has live entertainment, games, and a shuttle that takes festival-goers from Santa Barbara, Goleta, Santa Maria, or Lompoc. Tickets for the 21 and over event are $55, full details are here.

Bread pudding for Mother’s Day

South LA’s pop-up Elaine’s Bread Pudding is hitting the road. Starting today until Sunday, the owners will trek to the 626 Night Market at the OC Fair & Event Center from 4 p.m. until 11 p.m.

A pricey mille crepe for a cause

Lady M Cake Boutique has a new Southern-inspired mille crepe on deck. Clocking in at $180, the peach cobbler mille crepe is a collaboration next to the Beverly Hills bakery and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member Sutton Stracke. It’s available during May which is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Lady M will donate 10 percent of sales to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Downtown LA burglaries

Some DTLA businesses are struggling with burglaries. Longtime burger restaurant D-Town Burger Bar was interviewed by CBS-2 after an alleged burglar smashed the front glass door with a manhole cover.

Brunch goes big at Ella Beverly Hills

Ella Beverly Hills has launched weekend brunch. The Beverly Hills’ Sixty Hotel that houses Ella opened last February, and menu options include a bagel-lox board, cornbread with house made black truffle butter with honey, burrata and peaches, and chilaquiles.