If I live/work in California can I create an LLC in Delaware (or
I've read that it's much cheaper and overall a better idea to have an
LLC in Delawar[e].
It is definitely not cheaper, indeed, it is substantially more expensive, not just to form an entity, but to maintain one year to year in annual fees from the state and from hired registered agents, and is further more expensive because internal LLC disputes would have to be litigated in the chancery courts of Delaware which would be very expensive for California based parties.
The argument that it is a "better idea" to have an LLC in Delaware is dubious at best. The main benefits of Delaware entities involve its case law and statutes applicable to publicly held corporations, for whom Delaware litigation forums, high formation fees and annual filing fees are trivial.
If I created an LLC in Delaware would I receive all of the protections
that being a corporation offers?
Would there be any tax implications that I should know about?
You would not be subject to Delaware state income taxes simply by having a Delaware law organized LLC.
Delaware does impose significant registration fees on its LLCs (hundreds of dollars a year).
Also, if you have a Delaware LLC you must also register to do business in California and pay California Franchise Tax Board taxes in connection with doing business in California. California and Delaware are two of the states that most heavily tax doing business as an LLC.
It is very unlikely that you would benefit in any way from having a Delaware LLC unless you intend to do something radical (and probably foolish and problematic) like eliminating all fiduciary duties of the managers to the LLC, or you have a very elaborate ownership structure, or you are a division of a publicly held company incorporated in Delaware.