>> Channy Pan Y Comidas Guatemaltecas | Eat the World Los Angeles

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Channy Pan Y Comidas Guatemaltecas

GUATEMALA 🇬🇹
Hawthorne Blvd. facade

(Second location further south on Hawthorne Blvd. in Lawndale)

COVID-19 UPDATE: The small dining room is open for service.

Under metal lettering advertising a long-closed pupuseria, Channy Pan moved in almost a decade ago and changed this long, narrow space to a wonder of Guatemalan baked goods and prepared foods. But those wandering in for that most Salvadoran of treats will still be happy, as they are made well here. If you have ever been to Guatemala you will remember seeing them all over place, you would never guess they were the product of their neighbors to the south without knowing better.

With nearby Cafe Cuba & Cakes, this block of Hawthorne Blvd. is a powerhouse of breads and other baked goods. The long, narrow spaces are home to big kitchens with lots of room for baking. In the case of Channy Pan, the kitchen is so long and busy that they recommend you walk around the building outside to get to the restroom at the rear.

Full takeout order

Besides the posters advertising Antigua and Xelajú (the nickname of Quetzaltenango) and colorful photos of Guatemalan wildlife and handicrafts, the first thing you will notice is the long list of available pan (bread), which runs from the countertop almost down to the floor. A case holds some of these, but those familiar with the delicacies by name definitely have a leg up when ordering.

In addition to breads and sweet pastries, you can get a range of sandwiches popular to Chapines put on good breads. Ingredients range from longaniza to eggs to beans, and they also do a mean shuco, often called a Guatemalan hot dog but a mix of many more condiments as well with a chopped up link and bacon.

Caldo de gallina

Even more exciting are full meals made in the kitchen and tamales ($4.50 each, far left of photo above), available in chicken or pork. Guatemalan tamales, like those of other Central American countries are wrapped in banana leaves for steaming, which holds in all the fats and drippings from the large chunks of meat which are then soaked into the masa for a flavor explosion.

They make caldo de gallina ($15.95, above) daily, not just on weekends and serve it with rice and a potato salad that may have more mayonnaise than all the other ingredients combined. The soup itself can be served with a thigh or breast, which is roasted and served on the side, while the broth has necks and gizzards for flavor. Taking a first sip almost makes you want to be sick so you can be even more comforted by its hug.

Hilachas

There are certain types of people that can never leave a Guatemalan restaurant without an order of hilachas ($14.95, above), and those that are will be very happy with their meal at Channy Pan. A superbly rich tomato-based stew that must have been simmered for three weeks with tender shredded beef and potatoes. This is what all beef stew should be.

Sometimes the cuts of beef can seem cheap and worthy of throwing away in hilachas when the kitchen is cheating, but here although this is not prime it is not an afterthought. Use the thick corn tortillas that come with most meal orders to dip in the stew or pick up pieces and you will have enough energy, carbs, and protein to get through two days of work.

Pepian de gallina

Sometimes you can get pepián with beef, which is incredibly lovely, but almost everyday the pepián de gallina ($14.95, above) is available. This focuses almost solely on the thick stew of pumpkin seeds and spices. A few pieces of green beans are in there, but any carrots or chayote are omitted in favor of a hen leg with foot still attached.

Again do not be afraid to get the most out of your tortillas, as dunking them in the thick sauce coats all sides of any piece submerged and lets you savor it without the addition of the taste of meat. If you have ever had the bread products from the bakery, please tell some of your favorites below. The article will be updated with future visits to test these and the sandwiches.

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