ESDRAS OCHOA is the creator and co-founder of Mexicali Taco & Co., a popular taqueria in Downtown Los Angeles. Ochoa grew up in the border town of Calexico, CA and made weekly trips to hang out and enjoy the cultural offerings of Mexicali, Mexico. Of course, the most enjoyable part of those adventures was the sampling of the various culinary treats that Mexicali has to offer, everything from street vendors to the unique array of Chinese restaurants local to that region.
Upon moving to Los Angeles and working in the fashion industry, Ochoa longed for the flavors of back home and had fond memories of growing up spending hours upon hours in the kitchen with his relatives. Noticing that the “LA taco” was different than what he had growing up, he decided to make the jump and share those flavors with Angelenos, partnering with his childhood friend—Calexico native Javier Fregoso—and began Mexicali Taco & Co. as a street stand in Downtown Los Angeles.
Two years later in 2012, the brick-and-mortar Mexicali Taco & Co. opened in Downtown Los Angeles and serves scores of Angelenos their take on Baja California street food. They were named one of LA’s “Best Downtown Restaurants” by LA Weekly, made Jonathan Gold’s list of “13 Great Tacos in Southern California”, and was voted “LA’s Favorite Taco” for two of the past three years in the popular “LA Taco Madness” tournament.