Get a taste of Pan-America on "In Concert at the Hollywood Bowl" Musica Sin Fronteras. Watch now.
The Hollywood Bowl has been a longtime champion of diverse programming, bringing in music from across the globe to the heart of Los Angeles. It has featured countless Latin artists over the past century; as far back as 1924, when the amphitheater’s organizers invited Mexican musicians, composer and conductor Eduardo Vigil y Robles and soprano Alma Real, to the stage.
They’ve since continued to support Pan-American artists, which is the theme of the “Música Sin Fronteras” (Music Without Borders) episode of KCET’s “In Concert at the Hollywood Bowl” series. We’ll be seeing live performances from the past decade from Mexican rock band Café Tacvba, Colombian singer and actor Carlos Vives and Venezuelan flamenco dancer and choreographer Siudy Garrido.
As a complement to the evening’s performances, we’ve compiled a food guide that includes a recipe for Colombian arepas, as well as details on where to get vegan Mexican street food and Venezuelan favorites.
Dodger Dogs from Home Plate
Kicking off the episode is a piece by Aaron Copland, an American composer who was greatly influenced by Mexican, Argentinian and Brazilian music. In this particular Bowl performance, LA Phil’s Gustavo Dudamel conducted Copland’s famous “Lincoln Portrait” score, and beloved Dodgers sportscaster Vin Scully joined him on stage as a narrator.
While Dodgers fans aren’t able to watch the games in person this season due to the pandemic, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get a literal taste of the game from the comfort of your own home.
Home Plates is slinging the stadium’s classics through Postmates delivery with familiar comfort food like Dodger Dogs, carne asada helmet nachos and garlic fries. It’s also offering family packs for four, which even include Dodgers blue gelato to round out the meal.
Plant-Based Mexican Cooking Classes from Todo Verde
When Jocelyn Ramirez first started her Todo Verde concept in 2015, she said it came out of a need to create more accessible plant-based food that was relevant for her community. Ramirez, who grew up in South Gate and has lived throughout the Eastside, would oftentimes find herself having to travel outside her neighborhoods to procure vegan ingredients.
The first iteration of Todo Verde started in downtown L.A.’s outdoor food market, Smorgasburg, where Ramirez, who is Mexican and Ecuadorian, would sell superfruit smoothies and aguas frescas from a stand. But it later grew into an operation that included savory options, which extended beyond Smorgasburg to catering.
Since the pandemic, Ramirez has shifted her efforts toward instructing virtual cooking classes on Zoom on the weekends. She’s been educating others on how to make dishes like plant-based enchiladas rojas, tres leches cake, and albondigas; and folks can purchase past class recordings to watch in their own leisure. Some of the classes are teachings from her recent cookbook, “La Vida Verde,” to dishes she’s made over her career.
For students who don’t have all the items to make some of the dishes, Ramirez sells ingredient bundles on her online shop, like ones for jackfruit carnitas tacos and coconut flan, which can be shipped priority within one to two days.
Vegan Street Tacos from Cena Vegan
If you’re looking for a quicker option, the folks behind Cena Vegan in Lincoln Heights are among the top of L.A.’s vegan Mexican food scene. The business originally started as a way to showcase the plant-based proteins (like carne asada and pollo asada) that Carmen Santillan and her husband Mike Simms planned to manufacture, with help from their friend, Gary Huerta. Simms made his own protein out of seitan, and the team would use Santillan’s family recipes for the seasonings.
They launched a taco cart in 2016 on York Boulevard in Highland Park to test out their proteins, which they eventually manufactured under their Plant Ranch brand. Their popularity grew so much that they also made Cena Vegan into its own business in the process.
Cena Vegan is known for its street-style tacos, nacho boats, burritos and hand-pressed tortillas. Its food is currently available for pickup and delivery.
As for the team’s Plant Ranch brand, it can currently be found throughout the country in stores like Lassen’s and is also being served at other restaurants.
Traditional Venezuelan Food from Cariaco
Cariaco may have just opened last April in Glendale, but it’s already gained itself a following for traditional Venezuelan food. The matriarch of the family business channels recipes from her grandmother, who was born in Cariaco, a town in the state of Sucre, Venezuela.
The restaurant’s specialties include the pabellón arepa, a play on the country’s national pabellón criollo dish, which is a combination of shredded beef, black beans, fried plantains and white cheese. It also features Venezuelan empanadas, which are made of mostly corn flour, are deep-fried and larger than the Argentinian variety.
Cariaco is currently open for takeout and delivery.
Colombian Arepas Recipe
Arepas are as much a traditional food of Venezuelan culture as they are of Colombian. While both are made from corn meal and can be eaten for any meal, Venezuelan arepas are often stuffed with savory fillings, and Colombian ones are typically plain or made with cheese.
You can learn how to make your own cheesy, grilled version on the Sweet y Salado website here.
Top Image: The food selection options from Home Plates include the hotdogs, pizza, chicken tenders are more | Courtesy of Home Plates