Blood & Dumplings
A criminal and gastronomical excursion into the San Gabriel Valley, Blood & Dumplings rolls through Alhambra, Temple City, Monterey Park, Rosemead and El Monte, revealing dozens of weird, forgotten crimes and oddities from the valley’s past.
Highlights include the mysterious Man from Mars Bandit, the lesbian couple whose bickering over spending cash resulted in one pumping the other full of downers until she died, the young bride who spent her wedding day buried under her parents’ house, the battling neo-Nazis of El Monte, Phil Spector’s spooky castle and the little bar where James Ellroy’s murdered mother Jean had her last drink.
Plus: the Diary of Vilma. Her daughters bring a lost world to life with insights and diary entries from the sassy El Monte teen, including her adventures in the 1950s dating and rock and roll scenes, and her flamboyant life as a Clifton’s Cafeteria camera girl.
The tour includes a selection of dumplings from one of the San Gabriel Valley’s best Chinese restaurants. (Vegetarian passengers, please let us know your food preference several days before we depart.) If using a gift certificate, please note that this tour has an additional dumpling fee, payable in cash or check at departure.
“I’ve taken the famous ‘Ghostly New Orleans’ and ‘Mysteries of Venice, Italy’ tours and also enthusiastically enjoyed London’s ‘Jack the Ripper of Whitehall’ tour, and I assure you none surpasses Richard Schave and Kim Cooper’s Esotouric “Blood & Dumplings” excursion into the bizarrely memorable but rarely-visited regions of East Los Angeles. As humorous and constantly entertaining as it is thoroughly researched, this lovingly crafted 4-hour tour is essential for any tourist or long-term denizen who wishes to comprehend the many fascinating characters and their dark, odd-ball deeds which have contributed to Los Angeles’ nutty history. Very comfortable, carefully prepared, weirdly funny, and unforgettable.” (F.A.)