L.A. the Blog: What’s up with graffiti in Hollywood?

Everyone knows you can get a good look at some of L.A.’s graffiti artist by cruising Melrose between and around Fairfax and La Brea Ave., but if you’re interested in digging a bit deeper, just off the beaten path in Hollywood some real treasures exist.

Los Angeles - street style

For instance not less than a half mile from the well-known shopping area on North Gower Street tucked behind Paramount Studios sits a plethora of industrial spaces transformed from the dull white or gray into something out of the 80’s.

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It looks like most of the wall space along Gower in the area has been taken for all you fledgling street bombers out there, at least all the wall space that hasn’t been painted over or buffed. Of course you can always buff and paint over, but then you risk the wrath of angering some of the most notorious street graffiti crews in Los Angeles: AWR, MSK, and who knows who else …

We Hate All You's

Curious L.A. the Blog sent an e-mail to Paramount to find out if any of the work was commissioned by the studio or of any of it found its way into the movies. We will keep you updated as we plague the studio with phone calls.  Anyway check out the picks below (you win a prize if you spot Filter Magazines office in the pics):

The next hidden street gallery, though only consisting of two real walls that have been exploited is much closer to the Melrose shopping district, on the corner of Melrose and Highland Ave.

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Most notably you can find Buff Monster’s 10-year anniversary piece.  You know Buff Monster, the cute bubbly guy:

Buff Monster 2011


Last in this piece (ha, get it piece!) is another new location that is still under work and put up in 2010.  It is at the corner of Edgewood and La Brea Ave rivaling the Paramount spot in breadth and variety.

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The spot is further than the other two location, but definitely worth the drive.  If you go be sure to travel a little further down on La Brea and you can catch MBW’s send off to the Academy Awards (and most likely Exit Through the Gift Shop), Storm Troopers and all.  Before it was a tribute to Charlie Chaplin.


L.A. the Blog is trying to figure out if MBW licensed the storm troopers from Lucas Films LTD.  We will keep you updated.

Please look at a complete set of pictures in the gallery below.  While there are numerous spots in Hollywood to look at great graffiti, we will try to bring them all as we come across them.  Best!

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LA The Blog: Hollywood Cheap Eats – Cactus Taqueria

It is safe to say that in Los Angeles these days it is hard to find a cheap, good meal.  Not on Vine between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue.  I am talking cheap, good and as authentic as you will get for Mexican food.  I am talking Cactus Taqueria and it ain’t your higher priced organic / healthy style of Cali-Mex-Whole Foods fair, not one bit.

Cactus Taqueria

Cactus Taueria sitting on Vine

When I say cheap I mean $1.25 for a taco, and the tacos are damn good!  Just like the one I had in Tijuana a few years back.  Of course if you are a taco fan you probably know of this joint that opened in 1992, and sits across the street from the grade school that Marilyn Monroe attended.  The LA Taco blog puts Cactus as the #1 Taqueria – Hollywood, and while I would not go that far (I like the Mex-Whole Foods style) I definitely rank it the cheapest and best for the $ in the area.

Cactus Taqueria Signage

Cactus Taqueria logo stating the best taco in Hollywood

Oh yeah if you are vegan I would stay away : (

While I have only had the beef and carnitas tacos, I can guarantee from the long lines at lunch, and the jam-packed lines during the weekend that Cactus makes millions of people happy each year.  The red sauce is HOT, so be warned unless you go that way, and a ten-year veteran of Cactus tells me the beef burritos (a little more pricey at $7) are his the best in the city.  That is if you can afford them!!

If you are wondering why I am blogging about old cheap restaurants in Los Angeles, well just look at how Google sold out when you type in Hollywood Cheap Eats.

Google Screen Shots

Is Yelp and Urban Spoon really the only people talking about cheap eats out there?

All you get is Urban Spoon that lists Cafe 101, or In-N-Out Burger.  Both relatively cheap but they all break the $5 mark (and 101 breaks the $15 dollar mark jeez!).  Yelp isn’t much better.

So to sheer away from the Google advertising blitz I bring the truly cheap that is worth eating.  So next time you are in Hollywood and you only have some parking change left and you need to eat, and you can’t seem to find your favorite taco food truck, then Cactus Taqueria can fulfill your need.

Cactus Taqueria – 950 Vine St. Hollywood, CA 90038 – open late

CORRECTION:  The above posting mistakenly referred to Cactus Taqueria as the #1 spot in Hollywood ranked by LA Taco, when in fact I have been informed that Cactus Taqueria #1 is actually just the full name of the Taco joint.  Per the comment below left by LA Taco they rank it as not #1.  My bad!!!!

UPDATE:  I have come to understand that this location is called Cactus Taqueria #1 because there is Cactus Taqueria #2 at another location in Los Angeles.  Location #2 is located at 4370 W. Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles.

School that Marilyn Monroe attended

LAUSD Vine Street Elementary School where Marilyn Monroe was said to attend grad school.