Catching Up with Clarita Trujillo

There’s a wonderful profile of Tacos Clarita proprietress Clarita Trujillo in today’s LA Times. Trujillo is an old Boyle Heights celebrity who used to make the rounds on Spanish language TV back in the day. She got her start in the 80’s serving huaraches on paper napkins to Jessica Maldonado on “Hola Los Angeles.” She was soon on almost every station in the Spanish language TV world and even made the occasion trip to PBS.

Things aren’t going quite as well for the 76-year-old grandmother of 32 these days.

She charmed audiences on morning talk shows. She shared her recipes on the evening news. Her pambazos and huaraches, traditional dishes from her native Mexico City, drew crowds, even celebrities to her restaurant. They lined up for the food, but just as important, they came to see Trujillo.

Then, after 11 years, it all went away. She lost her lease and had to shut down Tacos Clarita. Trujillo disappeared.

Few of her once-loyal customers know that just five miles from the old spot, she and her family opened a new version. The restaurant, located between a tile supplier and a clothing shop, is barely surviving. A few weeks ago, Trujillo worked all day and made $5.

That sounds sad. And maybe it is. But the profile is a great read. Great enough that we’re guessing business should be picking up for Trujillo any day now. Like, today.