Gentle cabrones:

There are many small miracles in life, and one of them is your generosity.

Not just for subscribing to my newsletter, but for donating pesos to me. Over the 77 or so cantos I’ve sent out, ustedes have amazingly donated nearly every week through my Paypal and Venmo accounts, which I include at the middle and end of each newsletter.

In fact, ustedes have given every week except three. Sometimes, it’s just $5; sometimes, a little bit more. And for that, I profusely thank ustedes, even if Paypal never lets me send you an email.

Just three weeks without a donation — gracias! BUT…last week was one of the zero-donation weeks.


So, to make up for no donations last week, I’m instead asking ustedes to donate mucho dinero this week.

But not to me, but rather causes and writers that I support. And I’m going to do this twice a year, because the causes and writers I like deserve your love, too.


Hey, Oliver: Never any shame in asking for more! But just watch it for Fagin…

First time reading this newsletter? Subscribe here for more merriment! Buy me a Paypal taco here. Venmo: @gustavo-arellano-oc Feedback, thoughts, commentary, rants? Send them to

So below is just a partial list of people you can subscribe or donate to. If you can show me you became a member to all of these, lunch is on me at my wifey’s Alta Baja Market in SanTana, along with autographed copies of all of my books. Ready, teddy? GO GO GO and GIVE GIVE GIVE!!!

Los Angeles Times: The paper that employs me and lets me do my journalism, my way. You like me, right? So get a digital subscription already — I get enough subscriptions, I might get a bumper sticker from my union!

KCRW: My radio home for over a decade, the place that lets me do food reviews for Evan Kleiman’s “Good Food,” my weekly “Orange County Line” commentary (only regular radio segment in Southern California devoted to OC news) AND my #TortillaTournament. Become a member, and support the best public radio station in Southern California — and, by default, me!

Alta Journal: I serve as a contributing editor for this quarterly magazine, where I contribute usually about every issue (have an INSANE longform essay appearing in the Winter issue). Get a subscription and read great California journalism.

Gravy: Did you know I write a column about the South called “Good Ol’ Chico”? Of course you didn’t! I do it for the James Beard-winning Gravy the journal for the Southern Foodways Alliance, which commissions oral histories and woke documentaries about Southern cuisine. Become a member, and you’ll get a subscription to Gravy — and, by default, get to read me.

LibroMobile: Want to buy a copy of my book? Don’t go through Amazon; instead, buy it through this cool SanTana bookstore run by my comadre, author Sarah Rafael Garcia. They always have my books in stock, and can special order most books — hit them up!

L.A. Taco: Run by the homie Javier Cabral, the Taco is Southern California’s premier street journalism. I’ve written for them in the past, and will ALWAYS rep them — so become a member!

Living the Dream”: Beto Duran is too proud to ask for money, and really doesn’t have to because he’s a hustler. But do subscribe to his podcast, where I’m Darlene Love to his David Letterman #betosabe

Illyanna Maisonet:  Awesome Boricua writer from Sacramento who frequently writes for the San Francisco Chronicle and is working on a book about Puerto Rican food. She just started a newsletter, so subscribe to it and give her some Paypal and Venmo #respect.

Azucena Rasilla: Awesome Bay Area reporter, specializing in culture and food of the East Bay. Wrote this awesome analysis of Roma’s use of music for my website. She just started a Venmo account, but follow her on Twitter and hit her up to donate!

River of Love: I wrote a blurb for this great novel about Southern Colorado Chicano life, so visit the website of author Aimée Medina Carr and get yourself a copy!

I can plug more, and I will give ustedes a new batch in about six months. And if you want to donate a taco to moi? Not this week — donate to others. But starting next week, back to your regularly scheduled generosity.


This is the feature where I take your questions about ANYTHING. And away we go…

Mi espouse and I moved from Long Beach to the San Luis Obispo area a few years back, I grew up in Northern California and she in Visalia, so really good Mexican food restaurants have always been a part of our life… so riddle me this Mr. Mexican (with glasses), why are there no damn good Mexican food places in San Luis Obispo??!! Seriously, NONE! (Don’t get me wrong, we’ve found some really great ones in “the area”, but why literally none in San Luis “proper”?)

I must admit: I’ve never been to SLO. I do know that the better-than-good Taco Works tortilla chips are from there. But the answer is easy: Because all the good Mexican food in San Luis Obispo is in Santa Maria, just like all the great Vietnamese restaurants in Villa Park are actually in Little Saigon. Get thee to Santa Maria already!

Got a question for Guti? Email me here.


Enough rambling. This was the semana that was:

IMAGE OF THE WEEK: Me in rehearsals for just ONE of the two plays going on this weekend where I star — read below…

LISTENING: “Corrido de Chihuahua,” Lucha Villa. One day — one glorious day — I’ll write about music more, and I’ll definitely write about this beautiful song about the northern Mexican state, which I’d put in the Top 10 of any listicle about Mexican state songs. All the greats have sung it, but my favorite version is by Lucha Villa, ranchera semi-legend with a throaty, vivacious voz that captures all the glories of her home state here.

READING:“Catechism of the Waters”: I’m a bit backtracked on my own subscriptions, so just got to this Harper’s story on sea lions taking over the Columbia River and wrecking havoc on the salmon population. A quintessential Harper’s article — easy-reading yet elegant, and ultimately maddening. Still got to get published with them one day…

Gustavo Events

Oct. 1: “The Chicharron Chronicles 03: ALIMENTAR // NOURISH // MAG-ALAGA”: I’ll be the moderator for an event that talks about the shared heritage between Latinos and Filipinos. Event at Porridge & Puffs  2801 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles. 6 p.m. Event is FREE, but you gotta reserve your tickets here.

Oct. 3: “O’Cadiz Moctezuma: El Artist”: I’ll be giving a lecture starting at 1 p.m. on the life of pioneering Mexican artist Sergio O’Cadiz Moctezuma as part of an exhibit on his life at the Cypress College Art Gallery, 9200 Valley View St, Cypress. In the evening, I’ll go give a lecture on the depiction of Mexican food in American media at 7 p.m. at the Choi Auditorium at Occidental College, 1600 Campus Rd, Los Angeles. Both events are FREE.

Oct. 5: “Canto de Anaheim”: I’ll be the host for a radical production: Members of the Pacific Symphony will tackle the history of Mexican Anaheim through a play scored by classical music! 7 p.m. in the beautiful Cook Auditorium at my alma mater, Anaheim High, 401 N. Lemon St., Anaheim. Last time this will ever be staged, probably. Event is FREE — GO GO GO!!!

Gustavo in the News

Su Teatro’s Interview With a Mexican Hits Boulder Tonight”: Denver’s venerable alt-weekly, Westword, publishes a short interview with me with the news peg that the play based on my career, Interview with a Mexican, is going to go national next year.

Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Radio”: I talk about my Eater road trip eating nothing but chile from Las Cruces to Denver.

Get your grub on! Tucson Meet Yourself kicks off Oct. 11”: Gonna be in Tucson that day, and this story says why!

Family Pride Night and other Boulder-area events Sept. 27, 2019”: A plug for Interview with a Mexican.

City Council Tightens Restrictions on WeHo Sidewalk Vending”: My work on street vendors in Los Angeles in the past gets a brief mention.

La fiebre del aguacate en Estados Unidos no baja”: Spain’s biggest newspaper discloses to the world that I don’t like avocados haha

Gustavo Stories

OC Line: What are homeowners and businesses doing about rising sea levels?”: My latest KCRW Orange County commentary tackles the reality affecting our coast.

You made it this far down? Gracias! Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram while you’re down here. Buy me a Paypal taco here. Venmo: @gustavo-arellano-oc. And don’t forget to forward this newsletter to your compadres y comadres!