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UCLA

Savoring Spring, Bruin-Style

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By Bekah Wright, Photos by Dave Lauridsen

Published Apr 1, 2012 8:00 AM


Pinches Restaurants: Tacos, Fresh and Al Fresco


Miguel Anaya Jr. '96 and Fernando Anaya '96 at the Culver City location near Washington and National boulevards.

The Anaya family has a taste for great food experiences. Miguel Anaya Jr. '96, Fernando Anaya '96, their other three siblings and various members of their extended family own and operate four Pinches Tacos restaurants: three in Los Angeles (West Hollywood, Santa Monica and Culver City) and one in Homewood, Ala.

"For our ancestors in Spain, 'pinches' translates as 'sous chef,'" explains Fernando, before admitting, "A lot of people use it as a slang word that means 'f-ing tacos.'" And the fillings of an f-ing taco? "Fresh, quality food like we make at home," says Fernando.

For the Anayas, this means a trip out to their retired chef dad, Miguel Sr., to gather herbs, chiles and tomatoes from his garden. Plus visits to the produce market several days a week for handpicking the best ingredients.

As for Miguel Jr. and Fernando, they share a new spring tradition—people-watching from the patio of Pinches Tacos on the Sunset Strip. This is the Pinches Tacos location that tugs at their heartstrings, as the d├ęcor proudly mixes UCLA regalia with loteria cards and papel picado flags.

Most days, Fernando orders up his version of the carne asada burrito, subbing in a whole-wheat tortilla, beans, queso fresco and chipotle salsa. Miguel Jr. switches between two favorites, the al pastor and lengua, or beef tongue taco.

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