>> Birrieria El Guero | Eat the World Los Angeles

Sunday 3 March 2019

Birrieria El Guero

๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ Mร‰XICO (Michoacรกn)

EDITOR'S NOTE: An updated version of this article (08 December 2023) is available as part of the Historical section of our Substack page. Check that out here:
Thanks to GPS, travelers in South Los Angeles often times end up on Alameda Street on their way to points north or south, stuck between 18 wheelers and a thick blanket of black exhaust fumes. While traffic flows nominally better than other parallel streets from Vernon to South Gate, those that prefer a nicer drive, and the chance to roll their windows down without choking to death, usually switch to other avenues.

But if you do get caught, the first respite on the way south from downtown is after about 15 minutes or so and comes at the busy intersection of Alameda and Gage. Along with a lingerie store, a barber, a florist, and a donut shop, the Robin Plaza is home to Birrieria El Guero. The simple setup is complemented by a simple menu, basically birria in all its forms, cooked in the style of Michoacรกn.

After opening the door, you are faced with the menu at the back and two rows of booths and tables. Murals on the walls show rural scenes from Michoacรกn, where goats are being cooked, turned into meals, and eaten. Fresh masa is pressed and made into tortillas cooked on a comal next to farmland and topped with birria by smiling staff. Where is this heaven?

I did not meet "El Guero" while visiting here, a term used for folks with light hair or skin, but the excellent kitchen staff was doing the shop proud and replicating those idyllic scenes as best they could on the smoggy Huntington Park thoroughfare. Tables here all seem to have orders of birria as soup, piled up on its own, and as tacos, a trinity that can satisfy each member of the family.

An order of tacos de birria ($1.75 each, above and below) come on fluffy and fragrant house made tortillas and are topped with your choice of cut. Those shown here are surtido, or assorted, bits of meaty strings and fat and everything else. You can also get maciza, more "solid" pieces of leg only, and aldilla, what might be called the love handle of a goat just below the ribs.

You can use bowls of soup for dunking, but also get a small cup of consomรฉ (free, not pictured), the broth created by the cooking of the meat. Rather than load up the tacos with salsa, it is even more delicious to dip into this oily neon liquid.

They also have a few other taco options for customers that are not feeling like goat during their visit, but none of these seemed appropriate for now at least.

What is unquestionably necessary as part of the meal is a bowl of birria en caldo ($13, below), which somehow tastes as lovely as the deep brown-red broth looks. It may also be worth getting an extra order of their tortillas for $1.50 to give the fatty hunks of goat another home.

The caldo can also be ordered with different cuts, so select your favorite and enjoy.


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