Tag Archives: carne asada

“Not Forgotten” night at the Mann’s Chinese!

Friday night was the Hollywood premiere of my new movie “Not Forgotten” at the Mann’s Chinese and let me tell ya, it rocked! We had an awesome audience, great food and drinks at the after party at The Grill, and best of all, the movie played to packed houses all weekend long. Yay!

NOT FORGOTTEN premiere night #1

No official word on what that means for future distribution plans, but according to the fine folks at BoxOfficeMojo.com, “Not Forgotten” did manage to beat the pants off heavy-hitters like “17 Again”, “Hannah Montana” and even “Wolverine” (again!) on a per screen average, so, I’d say we kicked ass!

Also, I just found out that we will be moving to the Mann Beverly Center 13 on Friday, so, if you missed us last week at the Chinese, check us out this weekend at the Beverly Center by clicking here.

In the meantime, back to the premiere! After mingling with the cast and crew in the lobby, I walked the press line outside the theatre for a few pics and then Christine and I headed upstairs to our sweet-ass leather seats in the VIP section. Yep, I said leather seats, amigos. Honestly, I didn’t even know the Mann’s had a VIP section, but it was awesome.

NOT FORGOTTEN premiere night #2

NOT FORGOTTEN premiere night #3

The funniest thing was that Christine and I — who have both seen the movie a gazillion times — were completely freaked out by the kidnapping stuff this time around. I know it sounds crazy, but we both kept looking at each other like: “Should we call home just to make sure Greta wasn’t taken by Santa Muerte?” Wow, I guess that’s what being a parent is all about, huh? Weird…

Without giving too much away, all I can say is that if any of that spooky shit ever happens to my daughter…I might just go “mental” too. Yikes!

NOT FORGOTTEN premiere night #4

NOT FORGOTTEN premiere night #5

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NOT FORGOTTEN premiere night #7

Immediately following the screening there was a super cool party just around the corner at the swanky Hollywood Grill. In keeping with the Tex-Mex setting of the movie, the food was all Mexican — right down to the never-ending bottles of Corona with lime! — and though the chicken tostadas were kinda weird, the carne asada was out-of-this-world fantastic. My brother, Ryan, and I went back for that like, three times. Awesome!

Of course, the company was even better. Although neither Simon Baker or Paz Vega could make the premiere — she’s eight-and-a-half months pregnant and lives in Spain, and Simon is supposedly filming a movie in Australia, although he appeared on both “Regis & Kelly” and “Jimmy Fallon” on Monday night, so, who knows? — the rest of mi buen amigos from the supporting cast were there in spades and we had a blast.

NOT FORGOTTEN premiere night #8

NOT FORGOTTEN premiere night #9

NOT FORGOTTEN premiere night #10

And though there were several cool celebrity sightings — Marion Ross from “Happy Days” came with her son, Jim Meskimen, who is the nicest guy in the world, even if he plays a child molester in our movie! — my favorite had to be Oscar-nominee and 70’s icon, Karen Black.

Miss Black was supposed to appear in an AFI student film of mine, “The Lone Star Letters”, way back in the day and I had always wanted to meet her in person. So, when I saw her noshing on tacos near the bar, I stumbled over. Being the geek that I am, I started with: “Are you Karen Black?” Lame…I know, but I was completely starstruck.

She was beyond cool and of course had no memory of my nerdy student film or why she couldn’t appear in it, but really, who cared at that point…I mean, I was talking about my movie with Karen-freaking-Black, how cool and totally Hollywood is that? Crazy!

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NOT FORGOTTEN premiere night #12

Anyway, we all stayed way too late and drank and ate way too much, but, wow, what a party! Thanks to everyone who came to the premiere to party down with us and most of all to those of you who went out and actually paid to see “Not Forgotten” on it’s opening weekend in Los Angeles. My Aunt Linda and Uncle George actually drove down from the Fresno area to see the movie on Sunday afternoon. Wow!

So, thanks again for all the “Not Forgotten” love, amigos. You guys rock!!

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Zona Rosa: best burritos on the planet!

If you haven’t eaten yet, I suggest you grab yourself a power bar or something, because these here pictures are gonna make you drool like a hungry baby. Or, well, maybe that’s just me…

Either way, allow me to introduce you to my favorite burrito place on the planet…San Francisco, California’s legendary Zona Rosa.

Located at the grungy tail-end of the city’s storied Haight-Ashbury district, Zona Rosa has been serving up bad-ass Mexican food for as long as I can remember. And, seeing as Christine and I have been eating there since 1990, well, wow…that’s a long-ass time, yo.

I don’t remember which one of our roommates first stumbled upon this wondrous place, but I discovered Zona Rosa in college, while living in a rundown flat full of crazies — seriously, we had six roommates and a cat at one point! — just a few blocks away on Fell Street.

Rolling out of bed, all hung over and groggy, and walking up to Zona on a Sunday morning in our sweats was more than just a mere weekend ritual for us…hell, Zona Rosa was our church, baby! And we rarely missed a chance to worship their tasty grub…even on school nights.

And, best of all, because it was the Haight, you could walk into that place in your flip flops and boxers if you wanted to. In fact, many people still do. And, yes, for the record, I did go to Zona Rosa in my boxers several times — before Christine came along and made me wear, you know, pants and stuff — but hey, they looked like shorts, so, no big.

But the extremely lax dress code is just the tip of the iceberg at Zona Rosa, because almost everything on their menu is fantastic. And though it’s not traditional Mexican food by any means, there is something kinda Cali-Mexi-authentic going on here with the flavors that is just amazing.

Let’s start with the beans, Christine favors the black beans, but for me, a Zona Rosa burrito is all about the pintos. I don’t know what they do those things, but they rock…HARD! Couple the beans with that fluffy orange Mexican rice and you’re already halfway to heaven, amigos.

The meat selection is vast: steak, pork, chicken, carnitas, saucy, dry, you name it, they have it. But my favorite will always be the grilled carne asada-style steak. Toss in some cheese, fresh salsa, guacamole and a little bit of sour cream, roll that shit up in a big, fat flour tortilla and you are good to go!

And don’t ignore those free chips either. Sure, they can be overcooked and a tad hard sometimes, but they practically melt in your mouth when smothered with the spicy green and red salsa they have at the tables. I kid you not, amigos, the food here is crazy-magical…you’ll die!

And though my friend Ginger probably gets sick of driving Christine and I all the way out to the Haight from our hotel downtown when we visit the City — as she did in July on our way to visit Master Yoda — I know that somewhere, deep down, Ginger’s a fan too. I think…

Either way, if you’re ever in the city, you gotta make time and room in your stomach for some Zona Rosa. As one of my most-loathed former roommates used to say: “Once a Zona Rosa addict, always a Zona Rosa addict.” And though that wanker has, thankfully, long since faded from our circle of friends, he could not have been more right about Zona…I will love this place till I die!

And I kinda mean that literally as I have already instructed Christine to toss a Zona Rosa Super Burrito in my coffin at my funeral. Yep, it’s that good!

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Revenge of the Taco Trucks!

Woke up to some amazingly good news this morning. It seems that the ludicrous Taco Truck law we have mentioned more than a few times in these pages was overturned yesterday in Los Angeles Superior Court by taco-loving Judge Dennis Aichroth. Olé!!

Actually, not sure if Judge Aichroth enjoys some spicy street taco action or not, but whatever he eats, he knows a stupid, deeply flawed ordinance when he sees one. And more importantly, Aichroth knows what we and our amigos at  SaveOurTacoTrucks.org have been saying for months now: “Carne Asada is not a crime”. Damn straight!

Aichroth declared in his ruling that the law effectively banning taco trucks was “arbitrary”, “too ambiguous to be enforced” and best of all, that “this attempt to restrict the operation of catering trucks…is a pretext for creating a ‘naked restraint of trade’ and, as such, must be declared invalid”.

So, while Supervisor Gloria Molina — the self-loathing Latina behind this inane law — stews over her appeal options, the rest of us will be celebrating in the streets tonight with a round or two of delicious street tacos!

Que viva la Superior Court!

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Celebrate “Taco Libre” tonight!

With the new county ordinance threatening the lifeblood of Los Angeles’ beloved taco trucks set to take effect on May 15th, tonight has been declared “Taco Libre!” night by our amigos at saveourtacotrucks.org.

And though we won’t be able to make the festivities ourselves — we hit two different taco trucks on Friday night alone, starting at one in Highland Park and then ending our evening at our old stand-by, Tacos La Fonda, in NoHo — I urge anyone who has not been out there supporting the cause to head out to East L.A. tonight for a few tasty street tacos.

Tonight’s event will be held at the Tacos El Galuzo taco truck at 5555 Whittier Blvd. and promises to be a total fiesta for the record books. I mean, how can a party with a poster as cool as the one above NOT be memorable?

So, print up a copy of the poster for your collection (we did!), sign the petition here, and head on out to East L.A. for some rocking good grub!

Que viva los Taqueros!

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Taco Truck Night, 2008

Two weeks ago, Los Angeles County Supervisors, led by the apparently self-loathing-Latina, Gloria Molina, passed a law that could spell the end of an era for our city’s world-class taco trucks. According to the new law, taco trucks must change locations every hour or face misdemeanor charges carrying a $1,000 fine and/or jail time. Jail? Wow…that bruja must really hate tacos.

Or maybe Molina is in bed with the East L.A. restaurants that pushed so hard for this ordinance in the first place. Either way, last night was declared “Taco Truck Night” throughout the city of Los Angeles. And judging from our firsthand experience, the event was a pretty rollicking success.

Embracing the simple yet profound credo that “carne asada is not a crime”, the save the taco truck movement was started by Highland Park residents, Aaron Sonderleiter and Chris Rutherford. Former college roommates, the pair say they often sought comfort in the steamy embrace of a piping hot street taco while in college, and continue to do so now.

Their point is that taco trucks are a part of the very fabric of life here in Los Angeles and rather than being pushed aside by some greedy restaurant owners, they should be embraced, if not for their cultural significance, then surely for their rocking good food!

So, in honor of Sonderleiter and Rutherford’s burgeoning movement — their petition to save the imperiled taco truck has received upwards of 5,000 signatures to date! — Christine and I enjoyed a tasty taco truck dinner last night with our friends Patty and Mike.

Using the map feature on the guy’s website, we were able to locate a taco truck in North Hollywood called Tacos La Fonda.

And while the tacos were fantastic and totally comparable to our usual taco truck in Hollywood, the real star here was the gigantic quesadilla (pictured above). Stuffed with Mexican cheese, a meat of your choice — we very wisely picked carnitas, which was amazing! — and lightly fried, that thing must have weighed at least a pound and, man alive, it tasted like heaven…delicious!

And the atmosphere at this taco truck could not have been better. Located in the far corner of a car wash parking lot on the busy intersection of Vineland and VanOwen, the place was so close to the airport runway that you felt like the planes were literally landing on top of you. Kind of scary, but kind of cool too.

So, while the official Taco Truck Night 2008 has come and gone, there is no reason not to make every night Taco Truck Night. All you gotta do is check out the saveourtacotrucks.org website, sign the petition while you’re there and use the handy mapping feature to find a taco truck near you.

And if you see Supervisor Gloria Molina out there, tell her to back the “f” off and for the love of pico de gallo, buy that bitch a taco already!

Que viva los taco trucks!

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