tacos clarita seeks to rekindle the flame of success - portable fold up grill
The grill hissed as the taco Clarita Trujillo stepped onto the sidewalk.
She put on her apron, her lips painted red, ready to cook.
"Orale, everything will be fine.
"She told a few boys who rolled over on a skateboard.
"Show yourself well.
Or what will your mom say?
"Come here and try my burrito.
Good for you.
"Trujillo will talk to anyone along El Sereno Huntington Drive
For bakers, shopkeepers and street sweepers, there are Dana Anna, Dana Juan Nita and Dana Lupita.
Photo: The Secret of success "as long as they don't have the face of Fuchi, the nose will curl up and look in another direction. " she says.
"Why not stop and say hello?
"Trujillo, 76, is used to being the focus.
A few years ago, it was her spark, her ability to chat with anyone at any time, making her and a small restaurant she once owned in Boyle Heights world-famous, at least on Spanish television
She attracted the audience on the morning talk show.
She shared her recipes on the evening news.
The traditional dishes of her hometown of Mexico City, Pam bazars and hualach, attracted a large number of people, and even celebrities came to her restaurant.
They lined up to prepare food, but it was also important that they came to visit Trujillo.
After 11 years, everything disappeared.
She lost her lease and had to close the tortillas.
Loyal customers know that, just five miles from the old shop, she and her family have a new version.
The restaurant, located between the tile supplier and the clothing store, barely survived.
Trujillo worked all day a few weeks ago and made $5.
Nevertheless, the 32-year-old grandmother continued to cook.
On restaurants and sidewalks
Hopefully in the near future people will find her and her food again.
* At 50, Trujillo worked well at an encyclopedia company in Mexico City.
But she's curious about what's on the border.
So she came to the United States on a tourist visa. (
She has been on her visa for more than 20 years and is now in the final stages of becoming a permanent resident. )
"I imagine many tall, blonde people walking on clean streets," she said . ".
"I thought I was going to heaven.
"She and her husband landed at the south gate and they slept on the folded floor --
Sleep in a relative's living room.
Trujillo started working to take care of the elderly.
She also sells soda in the park for 50 cents.
She knows nothing about starting a business, but she loves cooking and people.
She decided to try her luck at a community fair, selling tostadas de tinga as it was on the streets of Mexico City.
She put a pot of ground beef and a bowl of salsa on a plastic table and waited for the customer to believe she would sell out.
She sells almost nothing.
Next, she opened a food stall in a tin house in Florence --
Firestone community, this time creating a small following for her tortillas, Huaxia and gauditas.
Business was good for six years, and then the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health found her stuff and confiscated her stuff --
Her Grill, fridge, table and food.
This is the second time Trujillo left.
She bought a restaurant with her $15,000 savings, a small place with four tables in the wash water.
It's in Hollywood, two blocks from the Walk of Fame, and it was previously owned by popular Spanish radio celebrity Humberto Luna.
"I think it's only his name that people can knock on our door," Trujillo said . ".
But all of them are rich people who have shiny cars that need to be cleaned.
"They ordered a soda or a glass of water but never saw my food," she said . ".
Three months later, Trujillo went bankrupt.
Still, she was too stubborn to give up completely, too fond of her food.
Since she was a little girl, her tortillas, soups and barbecues have attracted people --
At her children's schools, markets and encyclopedia companies.
Food is one of the things that her stepmother Elena's mother taught her to take seriously.
When Trujillo was in charge of the kitchen for the first time, she burned pork, cooked peppers, and forgot to cook beans.
Elena's mother came home and hit her hand red with a metal spoon.
"She always told us that eating is a ritual," Trujillo said.
Everything must be perfect.
"Everything that starts must be done.
So Trujillo tried to sell her food again, this time at the place where Boyle's high rent came.
The customer likes the food she makes.
A woman likes her tortillas very much, so she invites her daughter to the restaurant.
Trujillo saw the young woman and immediately recognized her.
She is Jessica Maldonado, the host of the Spanish television morning show Los Angeles Hola.
Trujillo provided her with almost all the food on the menu
She's mulitas, she's huaraches, she's fried tortillas and a huge Thorpe.
Then she sat next to her like a proud aunt and watched her taste every bite.
Left a deep impression.
She has never tasted the dishes at any Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles.
Trujillo also has something special.
Maldonado remembers: "amazing things . "
Maldonado invited Trujillo to cook on her show, although it was risky to do so.
The market segment is only high
The owner of the fine Los Angeles restaurant, the well-known chef, and the Takov, who once sold soda in the park, Trujillo.
Maldonado does his best to prepare Trujillo: wear bright colors, concise, with exquisite ceramic dishes and delicious-looking pots.
Trujillo showed up with bags full of mismatched plastic bowls and paper trays.
She put her flashy camera on the top of the napkin.
"Oh my God," recalls Maldonado.
"They will kill me.
"But at the end of the recording, everyone was too interested in Trujillo and didn't care at all.
Producer, camera operator and audience.
She wandered around the studio, a small gray studio.
Woman with high hair
The voice was loud, as she should have: "Hey, how are you?
How is your health? How's your mom?
Don't drink soda.
Drink my wine.
"Soon, she has to perform several times a month.
Then, on the other channels, two Spanish channels
Language and PBS.
All the attention is different.
Trujillo moved to a larger location on Fourth Avenue with a terrace, a Spanish tiled roof and plenty of space for 87 people.
She hired 11 workers, including musicians, to entertain.
This place is full most nights.
Trujillo runs around the restaurant and does her favorite thing: talk about her food.
"She's the boss," said Juan Garcia, a 28-year-old frequent visitor . ".
"Every weekend, every party, we have to go to Clarita.
"In 2006, Trujillo received bad news as the business continued to flourish.
The owner of the property died and his children had other plans.
Her lease will not be renewed.
Trudeau is Haggard.
For the first time, she couldn't imagine what to do next.
Her six children also immigrated to Los Angeles and they told her to retire. She was 72.
She should stay at home and enjoy her grandchildren.
But they knew it would last for so long.
"People and food give her life," said Rafael Camacho, 38, son . ".
: A year after closing, Trujillo's daughter, Irma Camacho, found a new location in El Sereno for another restaurant.
They painted the walls with lemon yellow and hung black and white photos of Mexican national treasures on the walls: Angel of Independence, Palace of Fine Arts, pyramid of teotivacan.
Above the front door they installed the same familiar sign: Tacos Clarita.
This restaurant is Irma and her husband's, but in the restaurant, Trujillo shines.
Even without customers.
Nowadays, with the economic downturn, few old customers realize that she is back and Clarita is often empty.
So Trujillo does what she can to arouse interest.
She tied her apron, painted her lips red, went to the sidewalk and cooked with a portable grill.
The last night, when another woman was out of date, she tried to convince a young mother to try her carne asada.
When she saw Trujillo, she stopped at once.
"I'm sorry," said Guadalupe Gonzalez, 70 . ".
"Aren't you the lady who used to have that little place on the 4 th, the lady who used to show up on TV?
The Trujillo beam.
She put her arm around Gonzalez. "Yes!
"It's me, it's me," she said.
"I'm Clarita from Clarita tortillas.
"Are you still doing your huitlacoche quesadillas ? "
"Of course," Trujillo told her . ".
"We have everything, we are here. Come visit us.
Gonzalez promised that she would have a big smile and believe her.
Photo: The Secret of esmeralda's success.
Bermudez @ latimes.