On this edition of World Food LA, we’re going south of the border!! (And even a little farther than that) because we’re eating food from EL Salvador!!!!!!
Before chowing, I wasn’t familiar at all with Salvadoran cuisine (or culture for a matter of fact), but when I had the opportunity to dine at Gloria’s Cafe, an authentic Salvadoran hole in the wall on Venice Blvd., I couldn’t pass it up.
Going into it, I didn’t know what to expect. I thought to myself, “how much different could this be from Mexican food?” but boy was I very wrong. El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in flavor. The cuisine is influenced by it’s geography, so being a coastal country, there’s a ton of seafood (featured prominently on the menu) as well as most dishes containing some form of maize/corn (which I friggen love).
We started off with two orders of Salvadoran Tamales, chicken and carnitas.
The tamales were so thick and filling and because they use a different type of corn than regular Mexican tamales… it results in a much softer, sweeter exterior than the tamales you’re used to. Highly recommend it.
Then, for our entrees, we had to go for the sampler Plato Tipico. The sampler had on it a traditional, thick-ass, Pork & Cheese Pupusa, Yucca Fritta, Chicharron (Fried Pork), Curtido (Salvadoran Slaw), Fried Plantains, rice and beans.
The pupusa was the star of the dish and absolutely phenomenal. Just so much gooey pork and cheese stuffed into a heavy, heavy pancake-like bread (honestly, now I can’t imagine eating cheesy pork any other way). Imagine a stuffed Mexican-naan bread and that’s kind of what we’re working with here. The plantains were bursting with flavor but the chicharron was a bit on the chewy side. I kind of wished there was more meat than fat (but it still tasted great). Finally, we washed it all down with a classic Salvadoran beer, “Cerveza Suprema.” Overall, it was a majestic dive into El Salvadoran cuisine that left us exceptionally stuffed.
Get your Central America on and enjoy the wonderful ambiance and food at Gloria’s!
10227 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90034