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Food

South L.A.'s African-American Taco Stands Are The Focus Of This New Documentary

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First We Feast, a food blog under the Complex magazine umbrella, has spun its documentary Hometown Hero into a six-part food-travel series called Food Grails. And where do you start a food series "using hyperregional urban foods as a lens into the cities they represent"? In Los Angeles, of course—South Los Angeles, to be more specific.

Episode one, which debuted on Wednesday, shines a light on the African-American taco movement right here in the City of Angels. The short documentary highlights three taco purveyors in particular: All Flavor No Grease in Watts, Taco Mell in Leimert Park, and the mobile Trap Kitchen.

"Places that have traditionally, for generations, been African-American are now African-American/Latino," Los Angeles Time food critic Jonathan Gold explains in the video. "And, at some point, it makes that they're going to start to be curious about each other's foods."

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Gold's commentary joins that of several other local food scene heavy-hitters, including Los Angeles magazine's Bill Esparza (noted in the video as a "taco scholar").

"The fact that there's a movement going on in South Los Angeles, and the fact that it doesn't necessarily have the piercing eye of the nation's media on it, may be a good thing," Gold later adds. "It can develop. It can develop its own tropes, it can develop its own story."

The video gives a good mix of historical context and emerging culture, and allows for each chef to tell their own story. Check out the video above for the full episode.