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Best Emergency Protein

L.A.’s Chinese and Vietnamese communities are riddled with artisan jerky shops, places where you can get not just a half dozen kinds of beef jerky, including one blown out to resemble sawdust, but pork jerky, chicken jerky and a yellowish curried jerky that leaves a stain on your fingers as indelible as that left by Flamin’ Hot Cheetos con Limón. But the many fine purveyors of Asian jerky in town have nothing on A&Z’s Nut Wagon in Boyle Heights, whose spicy beef jerky is crumbly rather than leathery, peppery rather than sweet, with a blast-furnace aftertaste that lingers half the afternoon. If you hit A&Z’s on the right day, you might also find discs of homemade cajeta, smooth, nut-spiked boiled-milk caramels good enough to give New Orleans’ most famous praline makers pause.

816. S. Lorena St., Boyle Heights, (323) 267-1695.


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