>> Chichen Itza | Eat the World Los Angeles

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Chichen Itza


For almost 20 years, the Mercado La Paloma, a stones throw east of the 110 has been a successful response to the needs of the surrounding community. During its formation, nearby residents wanted a market similar to the ones they left behind in their countries of birth.

The food court is of course where my interests are, and Chichen Itza is possibly the most unique, attracting hungry patrons from the south of México since its opening in 2001. Others began to follow a few years after that, curious to find out about these foods. As the name might suggest, the food here is yucateco, from the state of Yucatán. They of course have cochinita pibil, but other foods on their menu should not be skipped as well. The taste of traditional foods is a combination of importing some ingredients and making the others from scratch every day. Meats are still cooked over a wood burning grill as you would find in Yucatán, part of their secret.

The base of a salbute (above) is a puffy deep-fried tortilla, topped often as you see here with lettuce, tomato, and avocado. Made to order with your choice of meat, this antojito is common in Yucatán and surrounding regions including Belize. The standard offering here is a combination of shredded turkey and pickled red onions, used in many dishes in the state.

Cochinita pibil sometimes gets the English translation of pulled pork, and this does not exactly do it a disservice, but also does not get to the spirit of the famous Yucatecan dishes. Shown here as an order of two tacos, the achiote-marinated shredded pork is topped once again with pickled red onions and really does not cry out for salsa unless you see fit.

The owners here are now also running a Yucatecan seafood stand in the market, and I am looking forward to exploring some of the other stations in the food court. If you have any recommendations let me know!


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