Everywhere I travel, I always ask, “What’s the local food here?” Seems every place has something edible they’re known for, and our beloved downtown LA is no exception.

Among the classic downtown foods we enjoy on my “Disneyland” tour of Downtown Los Angeles, delicious eggrolls at Hop Louis, since 1941, fantastic French Dip Sandwiches at Phillipe’s, since 1908, mouth-watering, fresh strawberry whipped cream cake from the Phoenix Bakery, since 1938, and tasty taquitos at Cielito Lindo, where they’ve been perfecting the recipe since 1934! And believe me, they’ve perfected it! I call these shredded beef-filled, rolled, deep-fried corn tortillas served with green chili sauce LA’s original Olvera Street food

When mentioning to my mother recently that Cielito Lindo is a stop on my downtown tour and everyone gets a taquito, she said, “Oh, I remember the first time I ever went to Cielito Lindo. It was after I visited your Uncle Luke.”

I said, “Uncle Luke didn’t live near Olvera Street.”

She said, “No, he didn’t.”

I said, “Uncle Luke didn’t work near Olvera Street.”

She said, “No, he didn’t … Uncle Luke was in jail!”


I never knew Uncle Luke was in jail!


Cheers to Uncle Luke and local foods!

Charles Phoenix