Best of L.A. -- Food and Drink
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Food & Drink

BEST VIRAL SNOOK Los Angeles 2009 

Mariscos Chente

You know those indie bands that become megahits online, but never fully catch on with mainstream pop culture? It happens to restaurant dishes too, and this year's version is the pescado zarandeado (whole grilled snook) at Mariscos Chente. What began with a review from the much-esteemed food blogger and Mexican cuisine expert Bill Esparza (Street Gourmet L.A.), reached frenzied heights on Chowhound, where its followers were known to offer up their experiences in a trancelike state, written, seemingly, in tongues. The praise was warranted. This fish, as well as their delightful shrimp, taste different from the ones every other chef is working with, as theirs are hand-delivered weekly from Mazatlán. The snook marinade is a mixture of chipotle mayonnaise and soy (among other things), but frankly, when you start digging into the flat, crispy beast, you wouldn't care if you were told it had been soaked in raw sewage — as long as you got to keep eating it. While you may find yourself simply picking at the thing with your fingers, it'd be best for you to realize that it comes with tortillas and a buttery onion sauce. Regardless, when you do go to eat there, bring friends, since the rest of the menu is pretty great too, and buckets of beer are just $20.

—Noah Galuten

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