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Celebrity and Food-stylist
Chef Esdras Ochoa
of Mexicali Taco & Co


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.

Fight For Flavor Live Event Recipe

Fettuccine A La Mexicana




  • 1 Del Real carnitas
  • 1 Del Real salsa tatemada
  • 1 package of high quality fettuccine
  • 3 tbl spoons of salt
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 avocado, diced as topping


  1. Mexican crema, queso fresco, fresh lime, cilantro & chile de arbol all of these to top off & garnish.
  2. Simmer package of Del Real carnitas in the Del Real salsa tatemada until meat is broken down 5-10 mins then set aside.
  3. Boil pasta in water, add 3 tbl spoons of salt and a tea spoon of oil
  4. After pasta is cooked & strained place it in a large pan add the olive oil And stir.

To plate:

  • First plate pasta top it off with the carnitas & salsa. Drizzle Mexican crema, crumble queso fresco all over garnish with cilantro & crushed dried chile de arbol and diced avocado.
  • Squeeze lime all over & ready to eat!