“Contemplate, if you will, what would happen if anywhere near 10 percent of the workforce were no longer here. Particularly since they are rather overrepresented in those fields that most of us are in no hurry to enter.”

“Los Angeles, like much of California, used to be part of Mexico; now Mexico, or a whole lot of Mexicans, are a vital part of us.”

“We live in unbelievable times right now. People are talking about, you know, mass deportations of Mexicans. What’s the problem here? Where does this fear and loathing come from?”

“Mole Negro—or Black Mole—is an incredibly old and sophisticated, near magical substance containing over 30 different ingredients. It’s an old sauce from an old culture.”

“How Mexican is L.A.? How deep does it go?”

“I sure as shit ain’t making no rude cracks about vegan tacos.”

“What if we look at L.A. from the point of view of the largely unphotographed—the 47 percent of Angelenos who don’t show up so much on idiot sitcoms and superhero films.”

“I have to ask you: Are you a Morrissey fan by any chance?”

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By the Numbers

  • 3.9M
    Los Angeles population
  • 10
    Percent of undocumented Angelenos
  • 95
    Percent of Boyle Heights residents who are of Mexican or Central American origin


Broken Spanish

Bourdain with Eduardo Ruiz and Robin Chopra at Broken Spanish.
Bourdain with Eduardo Ruiz and Robin Chopra at Broken Spanish.

1050 S. Flower St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Bourdain ate: Chicharron, lamb-neck tamales with oyster mushrooms, Okinawan sweet potato filled with pork, pan dulce with foie gras.

Gish Bac Restaurant

4163 W. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90018

Bourdain ate: Assorted moles, barbacoa.

Cielito Lindo

23 Olvera St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Bourdain ate: Taquitos in Cielito Lindo’s famous avocado sauce.

Trejo’s Cantina

1556 N. Cahuenga Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Bourdain ate: Tacos, Jidori chicken with chipotle cream sauce, charred branzino with roasted poblano peppers, pork tacos with black mole and uni, greens.

Caña Rum Bar

714 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Bourdain had: Drinks.

Tacos Indiana 2 Taco Stand

4th St. & Clarence St.
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Bourdain ate: Carne asada burrito, tongue tacos, tacos al pastor.

Mariscos Chente

10020 S. Inglewood Ave.
Inglewood, CA 90304

Bourdain ate: Camarones borrachos (Drunken Shrimp).

Bourdain with Nick and Nate Diaz, and Gilbert Melendez at Mariscos Chente.
Bourdain with Nick and Nate Diaz, and Gilbert Melendez at Mariscos Chente.


Bourdain with Estevan Oriol and Mister Cartoon at La Reyna.
Bourdain with Estevan Oriol and Mister Cartoon at La Reyna.

Estevan Oriol: An Angeleno Mexican-American photographer and director (former night-club bouncer and tour manager).

Mister Cartoon: Tattoo artist and designer.

Al Madrigal: Comedian.

Gustavo Arellano: Editor of OC Weekly.

Danny Trejo: Actor, owner of Trejo’s Tacos and Trejo’s Cantina.

Gilbert Melendez: Mixed martial artist.

Nick Diaz: Mixed martial artist.

Nate Diaz: Mixed martial artist.

Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda: Professor of Chicano Studies at UCLA.

Ray Garcia: Chef at Broken Spanish.

Eduardo Ruiz: Restaurateur and chef at Corazon y Miel.

Robin Chopra: Restaurateur and mixologist.

Alex Salazar: Former police officer.

Elisa Sol Garcia: Community organizer, member of Boyle Heights Bridge Runners.

Rolando “Roli” Cruz: Member of Boyle Heights Bridge Runners.

‘I would totally vote for him’

Bourdain believes that Angeleno Mexican-American actor Danny Trejo—who has starred in films like Desperado and on shows like Modern Family—could unify Mexicans across cultural and linguistic lines.

“I would totally vote for him,” Bourdain said. “He looks good with his shirt off. Donald Trump can’t say that. Bill Clinton can’t say that.”


Chicano/a: A term used by some Mexican-Americans to describe their identity (Chicanx: ungendered).

Pocho: (Literally “rotten” in Spanish) Derogatory term for a Mexican-American considered to be too alienated from their Mexican heritage.