Does anyone know where I can find some tlacoyos? I’ve been trying to find the blue masa kind but I am having no luck, at this point I’ll settle for any tlacoyo! Thank you!
A tlacoyo is an oval-shaped Prehispanic Mexican dish made of masa also called tlayoyis, clacoyos, tlatloyos, tlayoyos and tlaoyos. Somewhat torpedo-shaped, they are fatter than fresh corn tortillas and stuffed with cooked ground beans, cheese, fava beans, chicharron or other ingredients and fried or toasted. Tlacoyos can be served as an accompaniment to soups and stews or as appetizers for celebrations. Most traditional tlacoyos do not have lard or salt in the masa, and if not eaten soon after they are cooked, they become very tough and dry, even if reheated. In Mexican markets, vendors keep their tlacoyos warm by putting them in a covered basket, with the additional effect that the steam keeps them moist for a longer time. This dish is similar to the Salvadoran pupusa.
La Barbacha seems like my best bet (also the barbacoa pictures I’ve seen have been so enticing). I don’t think they have the blue corn kind around here, but maybe I can spend some time looking around the Piñata district or around Olympic for some. I was inspired to find them from the super excellent blue corn quesadillas cart down in Echo Park.
I been to Mercado Olympic a few times. For a small dense area I thought the food was pretty damn good. There are indeed specialists. I can’t remember if they had tlacoyos specifically but there was a few vendors with an Auntie folding and making masa based dishes…tacos, enchiladas, huaraches, etc to the side there is anywhere from 10-15 different ingredients/toppings for said dishes.
You can ask nicely if they will make it, but there masa may already have lard/salt.
Is it open now with the current times? I don’t know tbh. It’s a great outdoor food experience in LA, like Guatemalan Night Market at 6th and Bonnie Brae, Wat Thai in the Valley, Rainbow Umbrella Fruit Carts, and Bacon Wrapped Dog after an event. Don’t forget the freshly fried chicharrones and churros.
I would have a backup plan if you are heading this weekend to the intersection of Olympic and Central
Not to hijack, I just wanted to say that after this LAist article I checked out sixth and Bonnie Brae and there wasn’t anyone there. I don’t know if anything’s changed but as some have pointed out, LA is doing particularly poorly by its street vendors.
On the other hand, I haven’t checked out Mercado Olympic specifically and I’ve actually seen one or two new street vendors since the pandemic began so I guess it’s worth a look if you’re close by. Maybe I’ll mosey over this weekend and report back.
As @JeetKuneBao has mentioned… the only place I had a Tlacoyo in L.A. that was really good was in Mercado Olympic. Literally just came across a lady. But what I’ve found at the Mercado, the vendors can be hit and miss on location, they don’t always show up. But this was a lady that had a table and was on the southside of the street… There may also be a food truck that makes them… But it’s been a while since I’ve been… like two Easters ago…
It took me a couple weeks but I finally made it to Mercado Olympic. This was actually my first visit so I can’t say how it compared to normal but it seemed a little slack going by descriptions I’ve read. Even so (and despite it being about 91F) it was wall to wall vendors on Olympic from Central to Crockett.
It was a bit close quarters and not everyone was wearing masks so I just did a quick walk through. I can’t list everything I saw but there were quite a few trompos, at least a couple carnitas folks, a lot of frescas, a lot of pambazos, quesadillas and pupusas. I didn’t explicitly see tlacoyos but there weren’t any menus and a few places seemed like they had the components to make it.
Thanks for the report back! As I mentioned, my last sighting was a while ago… and so much has changed on the street food scene. Over the last couple of years, there are more snacky street vendors. Namely Churros/Camotes and Esquites. I recently have noted two esquite vendors along Venice from Crenshaw and the corner of Venice and Western is turning into a mini mercado as well. Not sure if Dunkin will tolerate it (as they went to war with Alibi when they opened up down the way) but it’ll be interesting to see how it develops there.