Time is the enemy of the soft tortilla

Chichen Itza restaurant used to be on 6th Street across the street from Lafayette Parkin the Westlake District of Los Angeles. They are now in an interesting space south of Trade Tech College, a bit over a mile from the dealership where I get the Fiat serviced. It’s an old warehouse space that has been transformed into the Mercado La Paloma: filled with mostly restaurant stalls and a few handicraft spaces. There is interesting art on the walls and chance encounters with friendly people. When I approached a woman who looked the image of my longtime friend Maryanne from the back, she shook my hand and said she was sorry she wasn’t because I looked like someone who would be fun to hang out with.

Anyway, there’s an emphasis on fresh ingredients at all of the restaurants and really friendly staff. I ended up with an off-menu plate of 3 Yucateño items and an orange and jicama salad.

  • A Panucho is a tortilla that has been fried, filled enfijolada style (thinned black bean purée) and topped with lettuce and shredded turkey
  • A Salbut – a fried corn tortilla, topped with lettuce, shredded turkey, pickled red onions, tomatoes and a slice of avocado.
  • A Cochinita pibil taco. THIS is reason enough for me not to keep kosher. Better than bacon, marinated and slow roasted, achiote seasoned and topped with habanero pickled red onions.

I saved that last for last and the lovely soft fresh tortillas were starting to go. I was forced into the embarrassing situation of eating it with a fork like a gringa. Deep sigh***

This was where Ricardo Zarate had his original Mo Chica before moving to downtown. There is a sign that says he is working on a new concept. I can’t wait!

On the walk back to pick up my car I passed an LA landmark…

…and for dinner to balance the meaty richness? I made my new favorite greens. BROWN half an onion in a tablespoon of chicken fat. [I render my own from chunks of organic fat that I get from Whole Foods. Caloriewise at least, a tablespoon of fat is give or take 100 calories. Chicken fat is super tasty and I won’t miss the meat at all.] I had about a 1/4 pound of mushrooms so I sliced them and added them along with a minced clove of garlic. Then in go the diced stems of a whole bunch of Swiss chard. When that all softens a bit I add the chopped up leaves. Yum. And really healthy!

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About floricooks

I cook; I feed; I eat
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