>> ...donde Angie? | Eat the World Los Angeles

Monday, 30 May 2022

...donde Angie?

ECUADOR 馃嚜馃嚚
Valley Blvd. facade

COVID-19 UPDATE: The restaurant is open for indoor dining.

Back in the beginning of February, a flagpole was constructed just outside a new restaurant on busy Valley Blvd. The bright, tri-color flag of Ecuador is probably the best advertisement in a town starved for Ecuadorian food, especially since the recent closing of Silver Lake's El Caserio. Inside is now the only true restaurant featuring the food of the country in Greater Los Angeles, although a terrific home chef and some vendors exist elsewhere.

Be careful as you slow down and turn into the small parking lot, for the 18 wheelers of City of Industry (which completely surrounds the restaurant starting with the train tracks across the street) will most likely be right on your rear bumper. The location is an interesting choice, but eventually the owners want the restaurant to be a community hub for Ecuadorians coming from different parts of town. On weekends, they are already getting good turnout for Ecuadorian league football, with fans of Guayaquil rivals Emelec and Barcelona SC showing up in the strongest numbers.

Ecuadorian flag posted on Valley Blvd.

For now there is still no menu, and especially on weekdays there are just a few items available daily which they are happy to tell you all about if you are new. Weekends see more dishes like the delicious bowl of caldo de bola available on Sundays. Bring cash or have your Zelle account ready, as those are the two forms of payment available for now.

Probably available daily is the Guayaquil and coastal favorite encebollado de pescado (below), usually made with a type of whitefish but here full of meaty slices of tuna. The name alludes to the cooking of the stew with plenty of onions, which fill the flavors of the broth and are used raw for topping as well. As customary, the encebollado is served with a cup of freshly toasted chifles, thinly sliced plantain chips, and plenty of limes to squeeze into the soup.

Encebollado de pescado

You can also ask for a small side of white rice if desired to further fortify your stew, dipping the grains in the broth is somehow very pleasing. There is yuca in the mix as well, but it is not overloaded as you see in some bowls, the fish makes up the bulk of the offering.

On the Thursday afternoon of this visit, another main course available was seco de pollo (below), a stewed chicken dish served with a drumstick. The gravy or stew can look like this without being very saucy and can even sometimes read more like a soup, or somewhere in between. Of course everyone has a different recipe but there is always naranjilla fruit and a traditional fermented corn drink called chicha, which today is often substituted with beer, especially outside of Ecuador.

Seco de pollo

The dish is always served with particularly Ecuadorian rice, tinted yellow by annatto powder, and full of oils and butter. It is flavorful enough to enjoy on its own, but even better with the garlic, onions, and variety of herbs and spices in the gravy.

Another dish you can try daily is the bol贸n de verde (below), available in both cheese and pork versions. These large balls are made of mashed green plantains and the ingredients of your choosing, here shown in pork but sometimes seen with chicharr贸n or chorizo if you are at a place known for making a variety of them.

Bol贸n de verde

There might be no more typical breakfast in coastal regions than combining a bol贸n de verde with a fried egg and a fresh cup of coffee. The deep fried ball satisfies the cravings for something greasy in the morning and provides enough calories for a hard day's work.

Returning on the weekend for their specials and also the communal atmosphere is looked forward to and any reports will of course be updated here and announced on Twitter and Instagram.

馃嚜馃嚚馃嚜馃嚚馃嚜馃嚚

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