Man, but it's hard to write when you're sleepy from a meat-high.
We went to La Parrilla today: one of those Mexican restaurants where you don't want your typical combo meal, but want home-style, no-frills comfort food, where people come in for their Sunday morning menudo. Rancheras are softly playing over the speakers, the women are wearing lacy white dresses, the bricks are painted gaily and the place is decorated to the gills. There are stations where someone is making fresh, thick, homemade corn tortillas, and excellent guacamole.
There is even a little burro (named Brasero, assuming the waitress understood me correctly when I asked if the burro had a name, and assuming I understood her reply) standing atop the long island running down the middle of the restaurant.
You start slowly and without a bang at La Parrilla. Bianca had a can of Tecate, I had iced tea, which arrives in the biggest damn plastic glass you ever saw. The two salsas are a dark, almost brown spicy salsa and the chopped onion/cilantro/serrano, although the chips aren't terribly warm. The soup is a thin but flavorful vegetable affair, but I suspect that it's more for repopulating your lost vitamins from whatever you were doing last night, rather than to blow your mind with a soup experience.
Today Bianca had the chile verde just to try it out; the pork was rich and swimming in sauce, and the beans were what she described as silky. I had the Platon de Patron. Good Lord. Grilled steak, nicely black around the edges. Oh, and grilled chorizo on top of it. On top of that? Chipotle pork tenderloin. Heap some of that atop a fresh corn tortilla, pinto beans and a little rice and guacamole, and you too would be as stupid and sluggish as I am right now.
La Parrilla also specializes in parrilladas, which are grilled dishes that come piled on a fajita-like metal grill, and dishes such as enchiladas de nopal, which satisfy one's occasional craving for cactus. We also recommend the molcajete arriero: shrimp with cactus, panela cheese and onions, covered in a molcajete-made sauce (a molcajete is the stone mortar used for grinding spices).
They're open every day until 11pm, and they have four locations (we need to try the one on East Side on Cesar Chavez). At the Silver Lake location, park on the street or in the tiny lot next to El 7 Mares.
The service can be slow, but relax. You're in a Mexican restaurant on a warm day with older gentlemen calmly strolling by playing guitars. Are you in a hurry?
( Categories: Cuisines (by Region), Mexican, Los Feliz/Silver Lake/Echo Park )
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