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1 00:00:00,000 –> 00:00:00,000 -I get pleasure out of watching people eat the carnitas. Like, their first expression is like, wow, you know? -It takes me back to my hometown all the time, the best tacos in LA. -Thats a mulita right there. -Were all family, dude. This is just the beginning, dude. You guys are about to experience some — some neighborhood. ♪♪ -My name is Juancarlos Acosta. Everybody knows me as Billy. To my right is my mom, Inocencia Acosta. To my left is Romulo Acosta. -El Momo. -El Momo. The name of our restaurant is Carnitas El Momo. Its named after my dads nickname. Its a family-owned business. We specialize in carnitas, which is pork. Its confit in pork lard. The three meats we use are pork butt, bone-in, pork stomach, which is the buches, and the skins, the cueritos. One of buddies, Chuy, when he first came, he was like, “Dude, this is the fucking aporkalypse,” so it just stayed there, like, the aporkalypse. Right now, we are in Boyle Heights, California. Were actually at their house. This is where I grew up. This is pretty much our home base, so we do everything here as far as prepping, and then it goes off to the truck. Its $2.50 for a pretty loaded taco. Its not your average taco. Theyre loaded, dude. Ima get it started. Weve got to get the — the lard bubbling up. Thats all lard, dude. This one here has about, I want to say, 17 to 18 years. So once the — the lard is at the right temp, well throw in the — the pork butt first. After we have the pork butt for about an hour, then we throw in the pork stomach. The skins go in last. They dont do this in Michoacán. No, we dont use none of that. Its just — This just gives it that brown color and some, like, a sweet flavor. Not to bullshit anybody, but I knew since I was a young one that my dad was doing something special. I just — Even when I was like 6, 7, dude, I was like, “Man, this is something, like, really good, you know?” Right now, Ima poke it so that the stomachs gets cooked inside, poke them softly. ♪♪ -My dad, when he first got here, his job was welding, but he got injured, so due to the injury, he had to go to back to his roots, you know? Carnitas El Momo has been around for about five years. Prior to that, my dad has been cooking carnitas for 50 years. Im picking up whatever they taught me, you know? Im just trying to take it to another level. Its not about Instagram for me. Its not about none of that. Im here to work. Like, I told him too. Like, hey, were on a mission right now, you know? So he used to go to West LA to some apartment complexes. He says he was already kind of drunk still selling carnitas. So my job was clean the cazos after he was done cooking, and then I moved up from dishwashing to cutting the meat
to prepping it to slicing it to going with him, start charging, and then packaging food and cooking. Thats how I moved up the ranks. Thats another cousin, Chris. He works with us. Yeah, thats the mulita king right there. Right now, Im about to start taking out the pork butt. We ended up getting into Taco Madness. That was our first competition ever. We ended up winning best in show, so from there, it just went on to another level. I studied how my dad worked it, and I kind of improved the areas where he was kind of lacking, and now, with all the Internet stuff, you can pretty much advertise for free, you know? My little nieces trip out because they look at the Instagram. Theyre like, “Damn, Tío, you have 14,000 followers? How do you do that?” Im like, “Hard work.” You know, I look at other people, yeah, they have, like, 80,000 followers, you know, but my thing is I would rather people come and try our tacos and then follow us. That way we know if were doing a good job or not, but I think were at another level to where weve reached all ethnicities, you know? Asians, whites, Blacks, they all come now. So this here is the pork butt burnt ends. It has a little bit of skin, some of the mix but because the flavor all falls to the bottom of the pot, thats where all the flavors are, dude. This is the crème de la crème. I get here, like, at 6:00. I dont get home till, like, 12:00 at night sometimes. A lot of work, sometimes 20 hours. If we have a concert, youre talking about a 24-hour shift. Imagine my dad. He worked by himself with my mom for such a long time. So this is my favorite taco. This is the migajas. My dad is a master for sure, dude, and then I learned from a master, so thats — thats whats dope. -Alright, so the customer here ordered two mixed tacos. I like to always start off with the pork shoulder itself. I like to put that as a first layer, pork belly, or what we call buche. Its nice, tender, bit of a crunch to it, not so much. Then we top it off with the — with the cueritos here. Onion, cilantro, and the green salsa with sides of lime. Its an awesome combination. Traditionally, we would just put a side of jalapeño, but thats kind of faded away a little bit. People love the toppings on it. -Oh, which one, eenie, meenie, miney — Ill go with the migajas because this one is always my favorite. Ive bought from them for years since, like, 2011 when they posted up over there by my house on Sixth East First and Avalon, and since I worked right around the corner, so its easy and convenient for me to come over here and sneak away for, like, a good 20 minutes. Oh, hopefully my boss dont get mad. He wont watch this. -Its just like pure deliciousness, thats it. -The carnitas are soft. The tortillas are delicious. Im just really
full right now. -Super delicious, man, I finished it in less than, like, 2 minutes, mmm. -Two more. Actually, he was going to help too. -Alright. Now Im just heating up some tortillas for a pound order. I first drip on some of the lard that we saved, so thats kind of what sets them apart, the tortillas. -I come from a very humbling home, and we use this as — to help other people too, you know? ♪ Raised by my mother in the gutter, not give a fuck ♪ ♪ Never had a brother, we smother them up ♪ ♪ And we cut them up, and we cut them ♪ ♪ Like giving a — ♪ Yeah. Started working for the place, like, after I got out of jail. Its a very positive thing in a negative background, kind of, you know, like, its not all lovely, you know, but right here it is. -Big Mario, he didnt have his dad. Thats my friend, Mario, from a long time. Hes like a father to him. -Hi. -Shes another, uh, helper here. We all grew up right here, like I said. -This is like a refuge for a lot of people, you know? The doors are open to everybody. It doesnt matter where you come from, your race, you got money, no money, you know? They never let nobody walk out of here being hungry, you know? -Thats whats embedded in me. Like, people show up, have a sample. “Oh, what, for real?” Im like, “Yeah, have a sample.” -Just one mula? -Yeah, one mula, please. -Alright. No problem. Mulitas, first starting off with a tortilla. Then you have cheese. Then you have the meat, more cheese, and another tortilla. Its like our Big Mac. Well, Ive been helping out since high school, so thats about 16 years Ive been helping them out, on and off, but Ive seen them grow from beginning to what it is now. I throw the onion on top. Sometimes I grill the onion depending on how they want it, cilantro, and then I just shut it. There you go. You have your mulita like that. Thats a mulita right there. -Being humble to everyone, working with people, no matter who they are, it just got us here that way. -He had a stroke this year in March. Its been a rough road for us these past couple months, but here now, we still have him here, you know? Thats why I feel like they deserve everything behind whats El Momo right now. Theyre so loving not just because theyre my parents, but theyre loving to everyone. So I know El Memo is never gonna die out, and even if were not rich or famous, Im just going to continue pushing, dude, until the wheels fall off, or Im out of this Earth. ♪♪ ♪♪ -Ill be like — -You need a beat? -Nah, I dont need a beat. -Alright. Here we go. -Here goes. ♪ Welcome to Carnitas El Momo on Fairmount and Soto ♪ ♪ Right here, we dont showboat ♪ ♪ We just take care of our local — ♪ I dont know. 209 00:12:19,625 –> 00:00:00,000
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