Sunday, November 20, 2011

Delectable Antojitos

We had lunch this weekend in Highland Park at a little place on York Avenue called Antojitos Guerrero. Antojitos are Mexican street food for when you're hungry - the word antojo means "craving." The food is casual, fast, and cheap.

Antojitos Guerrero is housed in a tiny hillside storefront next to a neighborhood beauty salon. Inside, there's the kitchen, a counter, and a handful of tables. Out a metal screened door to the side, a covered area holds a few more booths, and in front of the cheerfully orange-painted storefront a few more tables with umbrellas grace the sidewalk. Although York Avenue has scores of tempting restaurants both grand and tiny, we chose Antojitos Guerrero because we had Jack with us and needed outdoor seating.

It was a blustery fall day - dark clouds in the northeast, but bright sun where we were, and a brisk chill breeze. We tied Jack up to the umbrella base, and he settled down beneath our table. I wondered if we'd have to order at the counter, but we were brought a menu by a smiling and welcoming waitress.

I was in the mood for ceviche, so I ordered a tostada with fish. I also ordered a huarache with carne asada. [The Man I Love] opted for a shrimp ceviche, and ordered costillas de puerco - pork ribs - in colorado chile sauce with strips of nopales cactus, served with rice and beans. I ordered a jamaica agua fresca, and he ordered a Mexican Coke.

Our drinks came first, with a basket of chips and two salsas. One was a bright, fresh green salsa, and the other a deep smooth red chile salsa.
Shrimp ceviche in the foreground, fish in the back
Our ceviches were served first - and I was amazed! I'm used to taco truck ceviche tostadas, with a thin layer of ceviche on a crisp tortilla that you crunch up while waiting for your burrito. These were lavish, overflowing, the tortillas piled high with chunks of fish, tomato, onion and cucumber, garnished with orange and lime and perfectly ripe slices of avocado.
Costillas de puerco
My huarache was good, but unremarkable. What was really a knockout was the costillas de puerco - I could smell the complex flavors of the salsa colorado across the table. These are short ribs - stewed together with nopales in a finger-staining brick-colored unctuous red chile sauce fragrant with spices. Best of all, it was served with a basket of handmade corn tortillas - tasty, chewy, and utterly delicious.

The people who ran the place were friendly and welcoming. They brought a bowl of water for Jack. While we enjoyed our meal, we listened to the ranchero music from the restaurant's stereo and the chatter from the ladies in the beauty parlor next door.  Skateboarding kids flew past. So did SUVs with booming sound systems.

Jack got a few tasty bites, too!
 We counted ourselves lucky to have stumbled upon a great find. The servings were so abundant we took them home for dinner, and we also ordered another half-dozen tortillas.

L.A. is full of hidden treasures. I bet your hometown is too. Explore them!


Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

OMG I am now starving and it's only 7:45am here in Redneckistan!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Aunt Snow said...

Thunder, Chicken Boy is not connected with La Fuente - he's actually on the roof of the building next door. He has transcended his origins - he is no longer advertisement, he is now Art.

I want to transcend my origins, too!

P.S. I don't think we have good, cheap Mexican food like that in Columbus. You either pay $$$ for something good, or settle for something cheap that isn't very good.

Max said...

Mmmmm, now I'm hungry. We've got some good places like that here in Salt Lake, and the street vendors have some great, inexpensive food too. I love that kind of find!

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Those ceviches look beautiful. It sounds like you really had the luck of the draw!

Gary's third pottery blog said...

OH SO TASTY looking :) Our wee beagle has been known to pull those tables, chair, umbrellas across the sidewalk when she is tied up and wants to get crumbs on the ground....

spokalulu said...

Those homemade chips look incredible. I'm not even hungry, and I could climb through the monitor just looking at them!

M. Bouffant said...

York Avenue is about the newest happening spot in L.A. proper, if you can call many blks. a "spot."

May try Antojitos Guerrero w/ the insignificant (I kid!) other, who lives in the area.