Monday, March 15, 2010

Pupusas in the Warehouse District

LA offers a lot of fancy dining for fancy diners and those with money to burn. Phooey to that. I did have an excellent coffee at one of the premier coffee shops for a small fortune, but only after they fucked up my order three times. Yeah, they made their coffee with a clover, they had an array of excellent quality beans, and I was fairly impressed. But I also considered throttling the cashier, hostess, and people sitting inside and out. Does great food and drink have to be so goddamn exclusive and intolerable?

I think what excites me the most about LA is the vibrant, diverse communities, not the hipness factor. If you want it you got it, but no thank you. From experience, the best food is often found in tight, cramped, humble places where neither writers for Sunset magazine nor aspiring actors spend their afternoons. Oh never mind.

While driving through the warehouse district I perked up when I saw a lively Sunday market. It was exclusively patronized by Latino families and there was a diverse spread of food and housewares on offer. We spied several juice vendors so we ordered a round of fresh squeezed orange juice right on the sidewalk, as it should be. This juice was less than half the price of the passed on juice at breakfast. I dare say it was probably fresher and better.

Moving on, we headed for food. Many comals were frying up a variety of masa based treats. I spied quesadillas, gorditas, and huaraches. I'd usually be willing to sell plasma for a fresh huarache but I gave them a miss. The most popular item being consumed were pupusas so we found a stall and dove right in.
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A round of cheese pupusas for four came to eight bucks.
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On walk back to our ride, we came upon a sweet couple from Mexico selling flan. The couple, from Jalisco , talked me into buying three for five dollars. A sweet deal if I ever saw one. We schlepped them back to the house where we fattened up with flan and coffee.
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The whole lunch and subsequent dessert was one of many reminders that wherever you are, great food need not be eaten in fashionable or comfortable restaurants. But you already know that. Looking back at a weekend in LA my favorite food by far, no surprises, was found on a sidewalk.

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