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BEST AUTHENTIC ARGENTINE EMPANADAS - 2010
It's not easy to find an authentic Argentine empanada in L.A.: a baked savory pastry filled with seasoned ground beef (the O.G. Argentine empanada por excelencia), or ham and cheese, creamed corn, cheese and onions, chicken, tuna or, only very occasionally, vegetarian-friendly fare. Some stores, even bona fide Argentine restaurants run by people who should know better, will sell you the fried version, but those are not the droids you're looking for. If you want the real thing you can get anywhere on the streets of Buenos Aires, go to Robertino Cucina at the Silver Lake Farmers Market every Saturday. Robertino Giovannelli ran the Larchmont Italian restaurant La Luna for many years, and now is a much-in-demand cooking instructor specializing in high-quality, pesticide-free, hormone-free cucina. Besides delicious, healthy basic ingredients, Robertino's secret weapon is wife Paula Carlotto, your typically stunning Argentine beauty who can bake a mean empanada de carne. Other flavors (and Robertino's pizza) are also available at their stand, right across from the great books-and-vinyl stall. 3700 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake. robertinocucina.com. —Gustavo Turner