>> Sabor Nicaragรผense Restaurant | Eat the World Los Angeles

Friday 31 December 2021

Sabor Nicaragรผense Restaurant

Western Avenue facade
COVID-19 UPDATE: The dining room is open. Takeout or pickup orders do require coming inside and waiting in line.

While a country that has coastlines on two oceans and the largest lake in Central America certainly does enjoy its seafood, much of the cuisine revolves around fruits, vegetables, dairy, and land-based meats. The bold advertisement on the side of the building is actually leftover from a Mexican mariscos spot that was in business here almost a decade ago, with a short-lived Honduran restaurant in between.

If that is what brings you inside, you will not be disappointed with the choices, but you might be swayed by some delicious things you see on other tables. Sabor Nicaragรผense seems especially busy during breakfast and early lunch hours, when diners sit hunched over nacatamales ($5.99 to go, a bit more to eat in, below top middle), Nicaragua's impressive entry in the world of tamales.

A full takeout meal

The fatty moist masa of a nacatamal is combined with tender hunks of pork, peppers, rice, potatoes, tomatoes, and onions, wrapped and cooked again inside of a banana leaf. There is no quicker way to feel transported back to Nicaragua then with a steaming nacatamal, a soft bolillo, and a cup of coffee in the morning.

A plate of platano maduro frito ($9.99, above top left) is another breakfast favorite, fried sweet plantains joined by a healthy portion of Central American crema and a side of creamy beans. Bean lovers should make sure to have at least one side of these in any order as they are perfect.

Pollo en salsa jalapeรฑo

You can also get more platanos maduros when ordering many dishes like pollo en salsa jalapeรฑa ($14.99, above), but if you already have them, try instead a side of tajadas, thin and crispy fried plantain chips. You also have a choice between white rice and gallo pinto, the "spotted rooster" that is claimed by both Costa Rica and Nicaragua but is now enjoyed throughout most of Central America. More than just a combination of rice and beans, this is savory from cooking the rice with onions, garlic, and peppers.

Found throughout the country, this creamy salsa can be found on various meats, but especially in Granada make sure to eat this Creole-inspired favorite. Despite its main ingredient, the spice is very mild in the base of sour cream or heavy cream. A hunk of Nicaraguan queso frito is there to be used as desired.

Sopa de gallina

In recent cold weather when sniffles are more of a threat than they used to be, there is no better remedy than sopa de gallina ($14.99, above). This hen soup is a bit different than those of Nicaragua's neighbors, with an infusion of mint, a hunk or two of taro, and even sweet potato joining other vegetables like chayote and corn.

This soup is great alone or with white rice, and can be doctored with cebollita, the Nicaraguan pickled onions that are served with just about everything.


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