Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Throw it up for La Raza:Tapatio cuisine in North Hollywood

Have a seat, and enjoy the lush tropical setting.

Tasty tacos de barbacoa

Torta ahogada, La Raza.

Tacos de papa

Go Chivas!!

Tortas Ahogadas La Raza has been around North Hollywood for many years hidden in plain sight.The restaurant appears to be more an ad for the Club Deportivo Guadalajara, known as the Chivas, with its red, white, and blue decor and dancing chivas mascots on the weathered sign atop this humble establishment. The outdoor seating, school lunch benches surrounded by a makeshift canopy and what look to be abandoned plants definitely don't make for a romantic setting.And, the tortas ahogadas sign that could let you know there was a restaurant there looks like radio station banner.They won't win any awards for restaurant design, but if you've ever been to Guadalajara, you will recognize the chefs cooking.

The tortas ahogadas are delicious and exactly as you would receive them in el centro historico, GDL.Tortas ahogadas(drowned sandwiches)are made with a bolillo, and a chile arbol based sauce and also a less spicy tomato based sauce.I got the mildly spicy tomato based version, but I'm sure it's not a problem to get them kick up the heat.They have tasty tacos dorados de papa(fried potato tacos)that are pure street comfort food.Tacos of barbacoa, while not the best I've had, are genuine Tapatio flavor and worth having again.Some other Tapatio treasures, botanas and tostadas of oreja(pig ear), cuero(pigskin), and pata(pig foot) are rare and magnificent versions here at La Raza.

There are a couple of shrimp standards, al mojo de ajo and empanizado, not particular to Jalisco, but this chef, la cocinera, can make good food so give 'em a try.For dessert, jericallas,Mexico's answer to creme brulee and gelatina(Mexican jello).

Come experience a taste of Jalisco, superb tortas ahogadas, tostadas, tacos, and botanas(snacks), another great regional option for Mexican food in the San Fernando Valley.

Tortas Ahogadas La Raza
5938 Vineland Ave.(south of Oxnard St.)
North Hollywood, CA 91601
Think they close around 7PM, or until the chef goes home.

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