Seeing strings of light bulbs under a tent as people exchange chit-chat and tacos may very well be a shared experience in Los Angeles, but in cities like Glendale, taco stands still remain a rarity.
But this past Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, Cesar Perez and Roselia Francisco decided to open their second Mexitacos stand, bringing their lights to the corner of Glenoaks and Brand Boulevards outside the Trader Joe's.
It was a welcome sight for many locals looking for a good street taco in the area. But not for one man, who claimed in a recorded video that he "work[ed] for the government" as "a police informant" while harassing the stand's owners.
In a video posted to Edin Alex Enamorado's TikTok, the self-proclaimed police informant, named as Emanuel Gulakian, can be seen antagonizing the women working and standing in line on at least three separate occasions.
The women had to ask him repeatedly not to touch them as he pushed his phone into their faces. At one point, in a strange turn, Gulakian's mother decided to show up and continue her son's harassment on his behalf.
In Enamorado's latest update , Glendale Police show up after Gulakian's mother called them, only to recognize her and her son and give the taco stand some unsettling news. The police officer explains that he had arrested Gulakian for assault with a deadly weapon a couple of weeks before after he threw rocks at another taco stand. The video shows another officer holding his hands about a basketball-sized length apart. Enamorado and his crew are planning further protests at Gulakian's home.
It's a shame the police informant wasn't more welcoming to the new business. But by the looks of their steady clientele, those that do welcome Mexitacos to the city far outnumber this one guy.
It's also a shame because there are absolute masters making these tacos. Perez and Francisco, who are husband and wife, have taquero DNA, as they were raised by taqueros throughout Mexico.
"I was a taquero since I was 16," explains Perez.
You can tell their skills are profound by how they slice seared ribbons from the trompo straight onto the tortilla, by how they quickly pinch and flip tortillas, and from the pride held up in their aguas frescas. Potatoes, pulled from the chorizera full of meats, are rich and tender.
It's hard to say these are the best tacos in the area when they're the only ones in North Glendale. But you could put these tacos up against any of the great ones you already drive to from this destination.
Let's hope they stick around.