There are a billion things that I miss about living in Los Angeles, but one of the biggest is the food choices. There are some amazing little hole in the wall diners, cafes and the like that serve you any number of dishes. There was a little Filipino place on Western that I stopped in at least once a week for some take home at which point I’d hole myself up in my room and stuff until food coma ensued. It was completely amazing.
Part of the draw of a large city like Los Angeles is the international pot luck of people you meet. My friends were from all over the place! Goodie for me, because that meant that I got to sample some of the best foods ever.
Among my friends were a number of folks who had El Salvadorian backgrounds. At the time (and this was years ago) I was the type who believed that Central and South American countries who’s native language is Spanish all had similar types of food. Oh, please don’t label me, but how the hell was I supposed to know?!
One day Veronica and Alex and a number of our other friends went to this little El Salvadorian restaurant. They ordered a TON of pupusas and we proceeded to stuff our faces. I had never had one before, but they were insistent that I would “love” it. I was skeptical, especially when they jumped fingers first into everything in front of us.
“Uh… fork??” The woman who brought us our food gave me the blank stare. Y’know the stare… the “what the hell is this white woman asking for a fork for” look.
Along with the pupusa came this cabbage mixture (called curtido). It reminded me of kimchee. I hadn’t had much Korean food either, but kimchee is something I will always love and adore. It has a funny smell to it, and most people who don’t know what it is are afraid to try it. It’s not something that most people would like, sure, but oh ho ho ho, is it one of my all-time favorite things. So on that first pupusa adventure when the curtido was brought to the table, I smelled familiarity.
My friends ripped pieces off and dug right into the curtido. I, however, forked a TON of it on top of my pupusa, cut and forked it into my mouth.
And it was amazing!
After leaving Los Angeles I hadn’t had a pupusa in years. There’s no such thing as an El Salvadorian restaurant anywhere nearby, the closest is likely to be in the Bay Area (San Francisco) some 2+ hours away. I had random fleeting moments of remembrance, but I knew I’d likely never taste a pupusa again.
Until I started working with Norma. Now, she is Mexican, but she found someone who was El Salvadorian, and requested that she make some pupusas. I ordered a tiny amount and was content for a day or two. Yesterday, Norma asked me if I wanted some more for delivery today.
Um… lemme think… Fuck yeah!
So I ordered 20. And will eat pupusas for every meal this weekend. I will be gluttonous and fat, but oh, how happy I will be. And thankful to the lady that made me a little bit of Los Angeles for me to take home with me.Filed under memories | Comments (2)