Thursday, September 18, 2008

El Tejado:Mariscos from the lime capital of the world, Tecoman, Colima

A little stretch of Tecoman in LA

Otra cerveza, porfa!

Ceviche de camaron, Tejado

Chacales zarandeados with all the trimmings

Fun with friends and family, El Tejado

Having worked in Colima city and Manzanillo before an auspicious occasion brought me to Tecoman, Colima a few years ago.This plane often enters my thoughts. In the home of the lime capital of the world where the Mexican key lime and Persian limes that cook raw seafood in aguachiles, ceviche, cocteles, combine with achiote paste for marinades, tenderize Sonoran beef, and are submerged in millions of Mexican beers by frat boys, and Mexican construction workers alike. the lime has endless uses in Mexican cuisine, and the air in Tecoman is laced with citrus, tropical humidity, and the scent of coconuts.It's one of those places in Mexico not on any tourist map, full of the hospitality and warmth found all over Mexico in the small towns, a place of enchantment.

El Tejado, one of a handful of Colimense restaurants in Los Angeles, Colima being a lesser known jewel of the Pacific coast of Mexico.But, this is the only one claiming Tecoman style, and the owner(dueno)hails from the lime capital and has brought forth a substantial restaurant familiar(family style restaurant)serving a variety of mariscos.The scene is amusing, a grungy industrial neighborhood south of Boyle Heights next to the Sears complex at Soto and E. Olympic.The parking lot is full of Ford F-150's, Range Rovers, and other symbols of Latino machismo where valets will drive your truck down the street and park it next to an abandoned warehouse.Mexican families,retired OG's, cholos sagging and posturing with their requisite voluptuous latina girlfriend glamorized by sandals, faux sunglasses, and tank tops fresh from the nearby Fashion District,A Nortena band throwing down some Tucanes de Tijuana,flower and stuffed animal hawkers, and attractive latina waitresses wearing tight fitting white pants and matching red shirts evoking a Salon de Bailes in Colima permeate your field of view. The place is packed on weekends, inside an outside of the joint.

The most popular items are the shrimp cocktails and the mariscadas(esp. the cielo, mar, y tierra) served on braziers at your table along with buckets of beers. There are also ceviches, many other cocteles, filetes done in predictable styles, along with the many usual shrimp offerings:al mojo de ajo, a la diabla, rancheros, emapanizados, etc.The ubiquitous pescado veracruzano from Vera Cruz is present. Colima shares many of the Pacific Coast dishes with Jalisco, Jalisco, Nayarit, Guerrero, and Sinaloa.These all looked great, but there was a little something extra:chacales zarandeados(langostines),tacos de pescado estilo Colima,huachinango a la talla(whole grilled red snapper), huachinango a la talla relleno(stuffed), pulpo enamorado(octopus in love-in a salad with mayo), pulpo al ajillo(garlic chile sauce),riquisimo salmon, pescado zarandeado estilo Tejado(red snapper),and Colima style ceviche de pescado(chopped with finely chopped carrots added). These made the day for me, to see something from my trips to Tecoman, Colima(the city), and Manzanillo.

I had the ceviche de camaron, by mistake.I ordered the pescado and was having such a good time listening and watching that I was half way through my tostada before I realized it. No worries, it was solid and I was putting away the Modelos waiting for my Chacales zarandeados! I'll verify the authenticity of the ceviche Colimense another day, soon.The chacales came looking fabulous along side white coastal rice, a delicious cole slaw, and a simple salad. The flavor of the langostines zarandeados was sheer pleasure, and I am once again pleased to find a Mexican seafood restaurant that properly presents mariscos traditioanlly.No refried beans and spanice rice to upset the balance.All elements executed to satisfaction.
El Tejado is a place to bring friends and family on a Saturday or Sunday to experience the Mexican family style restaurant in all its splendor.A great showcase for the hometown limes, some special Colimense dishes, and different take on some of your favorites the Tecoman way.Let the locals enjoy their shrimp coctails and mariscadas, as they are a bargain and quite filling.The waitress may even tell you that the huachinango a la talla will take a while, the kitchen clogged with mariscada traffic, but have her bring you another round while you wait.All you have to do is ring the buzzer.Do indulge in the sprinkling of unique dishes from Colima and the charm of El Tejado on a Sunday afternoon.Vale la pena!

Marisqueria El Tejado

1426 Soto St.Los Angeles, CA 90023


No comments: