Seven or eight years ago, there were dozens of vendors like Vasquez on Breed Street, most of whom congregated at the corner of East Cesar E. Chavez Avenue in the parking lot of the now-defunct Big Buy Foods. In 2009, after a series of small crackdowns, the city of Los Angeles finally put its foot down on this illegal street fair: don’t come back, or you will be arrested. The vendors were left to sell their products on the smaller side streets of Boyle Heights, East LA, Downtown, or whatever neighborhood they happened to call home. At least one opened a proper restaurant, Antojitos Carmen; some stopped vending. But they did as the city ordered and did not return.
Read on at Lucky Peach.