When it comes to knowing Los Angeles' food mainstays, those who are visiting for the first time could do themselves a big favor by studying episodes of TNT's Southland (which also happens to be the best cop show on television). There are a handful of main characters on this Peabody Award-winning ensemble series about the lives of LAPD beat cops and detectives: Ben, Sammy, Coop and the sleep-deprived new mom, Detective Lydia Adams (played by Regina King, whose poignant performance, veteran Los Angeles crime reporter Michael Krikorian has often said, is the best part of Southland).
| El Tepeyac in Boyle Heights |
And while it's the screeching car chases, breathless foot races and thudding perp tackles that give this hourlong drama its crackling energy, the air of unvarnished authenticity also has a lot to do with the ramshackle taco stands, dimly lit holes-in-the-wall and noisy barbecue joints where the show's cops pull over to grab a bite. Recently we caught up with Mike Haro, a Southland associate producer and location manager, and quizzed him about what it takes for a restaurant to be cast on the show, where the real-life Southland gang meet for dinner and whether TNT will grant this criminally underrated gem another season. More »