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Restaurant Is Pairing Shochu Cocktails With Creative Dishes Like LENGUA Loco Moco

This content is intended for audiences over the age of 21+. 

Loco moco, a plate of ground beef patties, rice, eggs, and gravy, is one of the ultimate Hawaiian comfort foods. That classic dish is getting a unique twist, though, as a restaurant is subbing the patties out for lengua, or beef tongue.

This Lengua Loco Moco was crafted by chef Nikko Marquez at The Recess Room in Fountain Valley, CA. His take holds true to most components of the Hawaiian classic, but swaps out the traditional patties for braised beef tongue.

The lengua takes 3 days to make, starting with a brine of salt, brown sugar, black pepper, coriander, soy sauce, parsley, thyme, chile de arbol, bay leave, and garlic. That marinates overnight before it’s braised, cooled overnight, and then seared on day 3 to get a crunch on the outside.

For the actual plate, Marquez starts with a 24-hour beef demi-glace, and layers on cipollini onions, slices of the beef tongue, pickled cucumbers, and rice seasoned with togarashi and furikake. The dish is topped off with another slice of lengua, a crispy seasoned fried egg, green onion, and nori.

The dish is paired with a cocktail featuring Nankai Shochu called the Ohana. The flavors of Nankai’s shochu, caramelized pineapple, vanilla, lime, rum, and blackstrap bitters balance perfectly with the richness of the loco moco.

Marquez’s Lengua Loco Moco paired with the Ohana headline a new menu now running at Recess that features dishes paired with Nankai Shochu cocktails. In total, there are 4 drinks and 8 dishes in this lineup, with two dishes pairing as a “course” with each individual drink.

The full list of pairings is as follows:

Course 1

Chicken Fried Mushrooms – maitake mushroom, Louisiana hot sauce, house buttermilk sauce
Wagyu “Poke” Tartare – American wagyu beef, shoyu, sesame oil, togarashi, Okinawa potato chips

Paired With: The Olive Garden – Avocado infused Shochu, olive brine, salt, celery

Course 2

Grilled Persimmon – avocado, fish sauce vinaigrette, shiso, sesame, coriander
Lengua Loco Moco – Braise Beef Tongue, furikake rice, veal Demi – glace, quick pickled cucumbers, crunchy fried egg

Paired With: The Ohana – Caramelized pineapple, vanilla, Rum, lime, Shochu, black strap bitter

Course 3

Pork Belly Smoky Risotto – Bulgar wheat risotto, smoked dashi, delicata squash, cumin carrot puree, pickled mustard seed
Bone Marrow Mac n Cheese with a Shochu Bone Marrow Luge Shot – Bacon jam, mozzarella, Swiss, cheddar, gruyere, white parmesan

Paired With: The Xocolate – Shochu, Sherry, Porto wine, Campari & xocolatl mole

Course 4

Duck Confit Noodles – Chinese five spice cured duck leg, soba noodles, bok choy, scorched rice tea
Cowboy Steak – American Wagyu Bone-in Ribeye, ponzu butter, charred red onion, grilled cabbage, crispy potatoes

Paired With: The Ugly Duckling – Sesame seed-infused Shochu, cold brew, orange juice, clove, lemon & nutmeg

If you’re interested in trying the Lengua Loco Moco, the Ohana, or any of the other creative dishes and Nankai Shochu cocktails on The Recess Room’s limited-edition menu, they’ll be around for the next month.

Created in partnership with Nankai Shochu. 

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Breaking Down 5 Taco Meats You’ve Seen But Never Tried

If you’re not terribly familiar with Mexican food and the different meats offered at taco trucks, the menu might look a little intimidating when you step up to the register.

It doesn’t help that a lot of these meats don’t sound super appealing when translated to English. For example, cabeza does mean head, but it’s not exactly what you’d expect.

I get it, carne asada (marinated steak) and pollo (chicken) are safe bets when you order your tacos. Hell, you might even trust carnitas thanks to Chipotle (who would have ever thought?).


We reached out to Angel Tamayo, owner of Tacos El Venado, one of the more successful taco trucks and stands in Los Angeles, as he offers 11 different kinds of meat, and puts love and care into all of them.

Tacos El Venado is a staple in the L.A. taco scene, and attracts people in droves, as hungry taco veterans know a good one when they see it.

Tamayo helped lay out some of the intricacies of each meat, so that you and I know exactly what we’re getting into. As you’ll soon learn, we’re getting into something tasty.

If you’re someone who’s deep in the taco game, you’re probably already keen to these meats, but this is for the guys and gals who want to take the next step from al pastor and asada.

I’m here to focus on some of the lesser-known meats that you see at taco spots, and give you a little insight on each, so you can make a more informative decision next time you’re at a taco stand and are feeling a little adventurous.


Cabeza is one of my personal favorite taco meats, as it is a tender cut that is typically braised, or steamed, then shredded.

Yes, it is the head of the cow,  but that doesn’t mean you’re eating up eyeballs and skull fragments. Butchers will typically clean up the head for you, as with any part of the cow, basically letting you work with the meaty portions of the head. The head of the cow is actually very meaty and fatty, so when braised, it becomes fall apart tender.

Braised cabeza is arguably one of the softest taco meats, and has a supple mouthfeel to it.

Tamayo’s method of cooking cabeza is “al vapor,” or steamed, which yields similar tenderness, but is not quite as delicate to the bite as when braised.

Not that you’re counting calories when eating tacos or anything, but it is a very heavy taco, if not the heaviest of the bunch.



Suadero is actually beef brisket, according to Tamayo. The meat comes from the lower chest of the cow, and offers a comparable mouthfeel to cabeza.

It is also a fatty piece of meat, which makes sense if you’re familiar with brisket. It’s a good kind of fatty though. Think of it as a tasty kind of richness that’s there on purpose, not just because someone was too lazy to trim the fat.

Suadero can be offered soft or crispy — but both are equally tasty — as the flavor isn’t compromised, either way.

Suadero isn’t offered at all taco trucks, but when you do see it on the menu, you definitely have to go for it.


Beef tripe is kind of an uncommon meat in most taco meat selections, so I understand why someone would have reservations about it.

In layman’s terms, tripas are the lining of the cow’s stomach, and one of the chewiest meats taco trucks have to offer.

While it depends on preference, Tamayo says that most of his customers prefer that the tripas be crispy, so they are pan fried by default.

Sad to say, of all the meats on this list, tripas are the easiest to get wrong. Tripas need to be properly cleaned out and stripped of a good deal of fat. Because it is time consuming to clean it, some taco places don’t do it.

As you can see, tripas have an excess of fat that needs to be trimmed.

Tamayo stressed the importance of cleaning the tripas inside and out, as it makes the difference between a tasty taco, and a forgetful experience.

Honestly, for tripas, you have to have trust in the taquero, read Yelp reviews, or find out through word of mouth. If you’re not sure that the place does their tripas justice, don’t go for it.

If anything, Tamayo’s Tacos El Venado surely cleans them, so if you want to try tripas for the first time, that is one spot where you can start out.

It’s understandable that Tripas are probably one of the strangest meats on the list, and it’s not for everybody, but they’re worth the old college try. If clean and crisped up properly, they might end up being your new favorite.


I think lengua is one that scares people the most, because they think they’re going to see Gene Simmons’s slimy tongue laid out on a tortilla. That’s not how tongue tacos work, though. The beef tongue skin is peeled and cleaned, so what you’re actually getting a is a tender meat that’s been marinated and diced.

You might be sensing a trend with the meats on this list, as a lot of them are tender. If you’re into melt-in-your-mouth meats, you’ve been blowing it by sticking with carne asada all your life.

Lengua is another beef that is typically steamed or braised according to Tamayo.

You’re for sure doing yourself a favor by getting a lengua burrito next time you go to a taco truck.


Buche, like tripas, is also stomach, except it’s pork not beef. It is typically cooked in lard, and slow-cooked up to two hours.

While probably not as chewy as tripas, it is still chewier than most taco meats, and that’s just something you have to be OK with.

Buche is also a lot simpler than tripas, as it does not take an arduous amount of cleaning, but still requires patience in its cooking, to ensure it is tender and ready to be dressed in a taco and salsa.

The texture is actually similar to cooked tofu, as it has a slightly toothsome chewiness to it. Unlike tofu, though, it’s a lot heavier, seeing how it was steeped in fat for two hours.


Hopefully this guide encourages you to try a new taco meat. Every part of the animal is fair game, and tastes good when cooked correctly. There’s a reason that these meats are popular in the taco scene, just make sure you’re going to a good taco spot that puts the TLC needed for a delicious taco.

Don’t be scurred.


Korean Girls Try Authentic Mexican Food For The First Time [WATCH]

You haven’t tried Mexican food until you’ve tried the authentic stuff. No, we’re not talking about a sizzling plate of fajitas, a pair of taquitos, or even a chimichanga. We mean the hardcore dishes like menudo with fat pieces of tripe and tacos with beef tongue.

The folks over at DigitalSojuTV are at it again, having Korean girls try foods from different cultures for the first time. You may remember the time they tried American BBQ and pizzas for the first time.

Now, they get to experience the magic of authentic Mexican food. Some of the dishes include tacos with various meats (lengua, chorizo, carnitas, tripas), horchata, seafood tacos, menudo and tamales.

Check out their reactions to the tasting experience.



Watch Kids React to Seeing Raw Cow Tongue for the First Time


In a new web series KIDS vs. FOOD by the React Channel, an uncooked cow tongue is place in front of a group of children. They’re then filmed reacting to the uncooked mystery meat in front of them, tasting a prepared version of the meat and their final thoughts on it. If you’re looking for something scintillating and insightful, this probably isn’t the video for you. If you’re looking for a chuckle or two, then by all means give it a watch.

From the video, you can definitely tell which kids are going to grow up comfortable around food and which kids will stay in their comfort zones. While cow tongue may seem gross, it’s definitely something that grows on you over time. Lengua tacos in particular come to mind. Drool. I wonder how these lil’ food critics will reach when someone throws a suadero taco in front of them.

Nonetheless, it’s still pretty damn adorable.

H/T Grubstreet

Food Trucks

Kogi BBQ Truck Launches a “French Kiss” Hot Dog

The Southern California-based Kogi BBQ Truck has just announced their latest feature menu item, the French Kiss hot dog. This Hebrew National frank sits in a toasty bun with Dijon Mustard, lengua meat, Salsa Azul and itty bits of goat cheese throughout.

The new item will run you $7 at any of the four roaming Kogi trucks.


Craving: Beef Shank + Smoked Lengua Sandwich

Some people get aroused with drugs, some with a nice video clip found in the depths of the Internet (hey, don’t count me out on this though!), but for me, it’s pictures like this that get me going! We’re looking at an amazingly disgustingly sensual picture of a beef shank and smoked lengua sandwich, sitting on brussel sprouts, topped with a punctured fried egg and sitting between two halves of an Omega Olive Oil roll. My guess is, you’re probably craving this now too! (PicThx GroceryEats)