>> Restaurante Y Pupuseria El Maná | Eat the World Los Angeles

Monday, 19 July 2021

Restaurante Y Pupuseria El Maná

EL SALVADOR 🇸🇻

COVID-19 UPDATE:The small dining room is back open at full capacity.

It may not be the most beautiful stretch of Jefferson Blvd. in South Los Angeles, but the blue and white metal bars on the window, awning, and hand-painted signs are just a wave of what is in store for diners who choose to stop in and eat. Inside the door, and on the other side of the unused bullet-proof glass partitions that seem made for a different era, a small five table dining room is surrounded by paintings and pictures of El Salvador, a few Guatemalan handicrafts, and most interestingly a wide photo of Jerusalem.

But the menu does not stray from la patria salvadoreña, starting with breakfast, a wide range of pupusas, soups, seafood, and carne asada. Originally the business began in a local home, but got popular enough almost a decade ago that it needed to expand into its own space.

Opening at 09:00 six days a week, El Maná is a great and popular place for breakfasts, with many different options for enjoying your eggs. One of the most delicious ways is a plate of huevos con loroco ($11, above), which also comes loaded with beans, fried sweet plantains, crema, queso, and a slice of avocado like any reputable Central American breakfast should.

Loroco only grows natively in El Salvador and its neighbors, but thankfully Los Angeles is close enough and has enough demand to make sure that the edible green buds of this flowering vine are available for pupusas and scrambled eggs at Salvi restaurants. They are often enjoyed in pupusas but may be allowed to shine brighter when eaten like this in eggs.

Whether with loroco or with cheese, beans, and chicharrón, pupusas ($3 each, above) are all freshly patted out with the ingredients of your choice and expertly griddled. They tend to leave them on just a bit longer here, giving you plenty of crispy cheese oozed out and fried.

A tub of zesty curtido and squeeze bottle of tomato salsa are brought out automatically with any pupusa order and should be applied liberally. While there may be a fork and knife on the plate as well, do note that the proper way to eat these are with your hands, risking burning your fingertips when they come out fresh.


On a recent visit, another customer was receiving an order of camarones al mojo de ajo ($14, above), which looked and smelled irresistible. These freshly prepared big shrimp are zesty with a thin gravy of garlic sauce and are served with rice and beans. Spritz on a few slices of lime to play with the heavy buttery nature, and combined with bites of rice and beans there is pure bliss.

Next visits once the heat subsides just a bit will explore soups like the always satisfying sopa de gallina, more of the tasty ways they prepare shrimp, and pollo en crema. And of course more pupusas, which can also be ordered here with chicken, carne asada, shrimp, and flor de calabaza and made with rice flour if desired.

📍 2511 W. Jefferson Blvd., Jefferson Park, South Los Angeles

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