>> El Chalet Tortas Hula Hula | Eat the World Los Angeles

Tuesday, 29 March 2022

El Chalet Tortas Hula Hula

E. 87th Street residence

📍 1130 E. 87th Street, Florence-Firestone, South Los Angeles
(On Google Maps it will be close, but this address should be used)

COVID-19 UPDATE: Outdoor kitchen and bright blue tables at a private residence. Orders can be taken to go if you prefer not to eat close to others.

For a variety of factors which all food entrepreneurs in Southern California face, the setup of Tortas Hula Hula has necessitated a frequent bounce from place to place around South Los Angeles. Thankfully, the new setup has literally brought owner and chef Oscar Cortez home to a quiet street between busy avenues at the southwestern edge of Florence-Firestone. Surrounded by a beautiful old Datsun and all the other stuff that comes from living in the same place for decades, his weekends-only Salvadoran sandwich stand is still going strong and is now called El Chalet Tortas Hula Hula.

The offerings are the types of things that most non-Salvadoran people might not find destination-worthy, but the smiles on the faces of expat customers tell a different story. These people are busy being carried back to their childhoods with some common foods they took spare change to after school to buy from vendors on the street. The stand is named after a specific torta that was named after a specific park in San Salvador where street chefs first started selling the creation.

Torta estilo hula hula

The meats inside a torta hula hula ($10, above) are a freshly-griddled hamburger patty cut in half and placed on each side as well as a couple slices of deli ham. The tastes that make this so much like those found back home are the pan flauta it is all put on, and the combination of homemade curtido mixing inside the bread with mayonnaise and ketchup. An avocado has been spread on each side of the bread as well. Some bottles of mostly Mexican hot sauces are on the table, but do not pass the chance to try some Trompa de Chucho, which has a growling rottweiler on the front and bills itself as the hottest sauce in El Salvador.

If the heat gets to you, order a big glass of their homemade horchata ($5, not shown), more nutty and earthy from its use of seeds compared to rice in the Mexican version. You can also add more curtido to each sandwich as their is a giant tub on each table. On a second visit or if you come with friends, try another popular sandwich called mata niños, which if your Spanish is limited you may think is an option for children. The name has many theories about its origin, but you can just play around making up your own and it will probably be just as close. Also called panes cheveres in parts of El Salvador, this sandwich has mortadella combined with curtido, mayonnaise, and ketchup, and is just as popular as the hula hula. Please do not harm any children.


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