Glassell Park resident Andre Guerrero now reigns as a successful restauranteur. Long-lines of customers wait for his “slow fast food” at The Oinkster in Eagle Rock and diners fill the high-ceiling dining room of Maximiliano, Guerrero’s contemporary interpretation of Old School Italian-American cuisine. While Guerrero helped his Filipino-American family cook at home, his first career track was headed in the direction of an art studio – not a restaurant kitchen. In an interview with Squid Ink, Guerrero talks about being a painter and majoring in art at UCLA. He even worked as an assistant to L.A. art legend Ed Moses. Guerrero was already having second thoughts about the art world when Moses gave him advice:
I remember him telling me, “Andre, you’re a very talented guy. But I’m going to tell you, in this business it takes a lot more.” I don’t know what he was trying to tell me. He was trying to discourage me somehow … I realized I could go to grad school, but what does that look like? I’m going to be a teacher’s assistant and I’m going to struggle for a long time, like I saw a lot of artists doing. Or else I can do something else for a while.
After Guerrero graduated, he decided he no longer wanted to paint and joined his family in opening a restaurant. “I don’t want to paint anymore. I need to do something. I need to start being an adult and taking care of myself.”