Another strip mall prize, thanks to Heather P.
JP is tiny, a square space with well-considered color: walls of clay, mustard and aluminum, woven chairs, perpetual surfing on TV and a myriad of colors on the chalkboard menu. A blues guitar repents overhead, or southern rock. A casual island spot in the midst of sunblasted midwestern Valley.
The lanky saint behind the counter is John, who is a really nice guy. He's so pleasant that if I were someone's busybody old aunt I'd be introducing my nieces to him. People who come in seem to know him, and I expect that Johnny Pacific's going to be a hotly defended neighborhood treasure.
But what was I supposed to be talking about... empanadas! I scan the fingernail-chewing array of fried meat pie choices: ham and cheese, all melty and familiar. Kailua pig (which doesn't taste fried at all, and it reminds me of Hawai'i). Spinach and cheese. A pulled pork? Does anyone else do that? Damn.
The "JP Frittes" are Belgian style, in that they're seasoned and come with dipping sauces: I can recommend the Basil Aioli, the Sweet & Sour Thai, and the Chimmi-Churri that has a back-of-the-throat garlic kick.
Everything is served in boxes & paper, simply, sans frills. The drinks are various choices of freshly squeezed and homemade, such as the just-sweet-enough lemonade, but you can get a can of Inka Cola if you have a mind to.
There's even dessert empanadas... how about a "Flanada" with homemade caramel sauce? A chocolate & coconut? I'm going to have to run over to one of the Empanada's Place locations and do some comparative eating...
( Categories: Cuisines (by Region), Brazilian, American, The Valley, Argentine, Hawaiian/Oceania )
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