You know Danny Trejo as the hardcore tough guy in films like Machete and Spy Kids, but did you know that he’s also the owner of a rapidly growing chain of restaurants called Trejo’s Cantina? Born in Echo Park to Mexican immigrants, Trejo has achieved the American Dream and then some with his restaurant empire—and it looks like there’s no stopping him!
The Restaurant Empire
Danny Trejo is no stranger to the restaurant business. The actor-producer has been in the industry for years, but only recently has he started to make a name for himself as a restaurateur. In March 2016, John Anthony Torjano opened Trejo’s Tacos in La Brea, and he’s since added three locations in Santa Monica, Hollywood, and the Farmers Market. Trejo’s Coffee & Donuts in Hollywood features delicious flavors such as Mexican chocolate and nacho, among others. In 2020, he also found time to write Trejo’s Tacos: Recipes and Stories from L.A.: A Cookbook.
In 2019, Trejo’s Tacos were served at 21 venues as part of a partnership with Live Nation. Following several successful ghost kitchen pop-ups held in Chicago, Dallas, Miami, and Houston in 2021, Trejo’s is researching opening restaurants in Dallas, Houston, Denver, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City. Danny Trejo intends to keep Trejo’s Tacos family-run and modest. He wants the world to know that he’s serious about changing how people eat. Trejo knows that families take their children to eat fast food because it’s inexpensive, easy, and enjoyable. But the ill effects of unhealthy eating are severe. Trejo has experienced several health scares, including liver cancer and bleeding in his brain, and he believes a change in diet helped him recover. He’s committed to offering better food to people in his restaurants.
You can enjoy boldly flavored Mexican food at the restaurants, without feeling weighed down by it. The original Trejo’s Tacos menu was consulted by L.A. chef Daniel Mattern, and the team at Trejo’s Tacos has kept things exciting ever since. You’ll find a verde slaw, a citrus marinade, and pepita pesto on the steak tacos. A Baja-style cod taco, spicy shrimp, and a mashup of Indian and Mexican with a chicken tikka with rice, pico de gallo, and mint escabeche cream top the tacos and burritos. In addition, tacos are available with cauliflower, jackfruit, and Asada-style mushrooms. All tortillas, beans, and rice are vegetarian, and there’s no lard used in the preparation. In addition to horchata, kombucha, strawberry-lemon, and guava-lime agua fresca are other refreshing beverages.
A rain-soaked monsoon morning, or a windy cold one, nothing can better start your day than a steaming glass of ‘Adrak Ki Chai.’ For those who don’t know, it is an Indian specialty of spiced ginger tea. Tea is extremely popular as a morning and also evening beverage throughout Asia. Though tea has less caffeine than our morning coffee, this particular version has a special revitalizing effect due to its spice content. So, ditch your common coffee or bland green tea, and make a cuppa full of this easy delicious homemade concoction. It works better than a blanket, truly!
Ingredients (1-2 servings):
• Water, 1 cup • Whole Milk, 1 cup • Black Tea Leaves of your choice, 3 teaspoons • Fresh Ginger, 1-inch piece • Sugar, as per taste
• First mix the milk and water in a deep pan and bring it to a boil. Low-fat milk can be used also, but full-creams heighten the taste.
• Cut ginger into very small pieces. You can also use a grater for this.
• When the milk and water mixture begins to boil and rise gradually, reduce the heat. Then add the ginger pieces or grated ginger.
• Let this mixture rise to a boil once again. At this moment, add the tea leaves. Allow the mixture to rise for one last time, and turn off the flame.
• Lastly, cover the tea and allow it to brew for another 1-2 minutes. Be careful not to over-boil the tea, as it can produce a bitter taste.
• Then filter the tea through a strainer and sugar as much or less as you want. You can add the sugar beforehand too while boiling the tea. Sugar substitutes like honey or agave can also be used.
• For the best flavor, use any strong tea like Darjeeling, Assam, Ceylon, or Nilgiri. • There’s another secret spice mixture you can add to the tea to elevate its taste. Take a few cloves, 4-5 green cardamoms, and a little piece of cinnamon. Add all these with the ginger into the milk-water mixture. The final concoction will become the ‘Masala Chai’ or ultimate spiced tea, which will not only taste better but also cure common colds and coughs.