I’m someone who firmly believes that kind behavior should be rewarded and mean people should be kicked to the curb. There’s a misconception about Los Angeles that people here are all self-absorbed jerks who are only out to get each other… and while there were times in my life where I bought that script, I’ve learned over the decades that I was wrong. There are bad people everywhere in the world, and when all is said and done I’ve found the majority of Angelenos to be solid, hard-working, good people who are often far warmer to strangers than you’ll find in many other cities large and small.
I’ve explained many times that the “hidden” in HiddenLA isn’t about being elitist, but rather it’s referring to the heart of this place that many people are oblivious to. In my mind, the good people of Los Angeles are a very large part of that heart.
Sooo, let me tell you a little story. Tonight I was driving through Los Feliz and realized my blood sugar was a little low and I needed something quick. I passed Best Fish Taco in Ensenada, thinking to myself that I’d seen it mentioned many times on HiddenLA’s Foodie page on Facebook. Thanks to too much quality time in San Diego I’m a Baja Mexican food snob, but I decided to put my fish taco elitism aside and give it a try because you guys have yet to steer me wrong. I may have a Team Rubio’s t-shirt in a drawer somewhere, but I wanted to finally taste for myself if these tacos lived up to the hype.
I parked across the street and walked inside. It wasn’t until the customer in front of me stepped away from paying that I noticed the sign saying “CASH ONLY” and realized I had none, just my well-worn check card. I apologized and began to walk away, but then I heard a voice say, “Hey!” a few times. I turned around and the man behind the register motioned me forward. He was owner Joseph Cordova.
“You don’t have cash?” he asked. I said no and that it wasn’t a big deal, I just didn’t know and I’d come back another day.
Joseph looked me in the eye and said, “Okay, tell you what. That’s okay. You can order what you want. Just pay for it another time. You just have to promise me something though. As soon as you walk away I’m going to forget this. So you have to remember. Got it? Because I can guarantee you I won’t.”
I really wasn’t expecting that.
I told him that I had been thinking of getting one fish taco and one shrimp taco. His reply? “I think you should.” He was clearly very proud of the food and drink he was serving and really just wanted me to try it.
Now, the cost of my meal was only $4.50 so it wasn’t going to break him if I didn’t pay, but that’s not the point. The point is that sometimes Los Angeles is a much smaller and far friendlier town than people want to think it is. And I *love* that about it.
So first I’d like to thank Joseph for the tacos and horchata. You were right… even if I’d had cash I would still say they actually were definitely some of the best I’ve ever had… and stubborn Baja taco snob that I am, that’s a strong statement.
Lastly, to all of you reading this, please reward Joseph for being awesome by trying his tacos for yourself. He also JUST opened a new location in Glendale at 604 W Glenoaks Blvd if that’s closer for you. Just one thing you should remember…