32: Pupusa Revuelta at Atlacatl.
All hail the pupusa, in its crisp-edged, cheese-oozing glory. Enjoying this Salvadoran staple has long been an essential part of Los Angeles' culinary tapestry -- no matter what neighborhood you inhabit, there's a good chance a superb pupuseria is just a short drive away. (And that's not even counting the dozens more vendors who set up streetside griddles on weekends throughout Mid-City and Pico Union, pounding out handfuls of masa into little corn frisbees.)
Even with all that variety, though, our favorite is still the venerable Atlacatl -- a spacious cash-only dining hall that cooks up steaming pupusas the way Detroit used to crank out Cadillacs. The standard order is the revuelta, stuffed with the Salvadoran version of chicharrón (pork cooked down to a dense paste) and a portion of white cheese that all but liquefies in the intense heat. For a few cents more you can even add loroco, a mild green flower bud popular in El Salvador.
No pupusa is complete without curtido, a crunchy cabbage and carrot slaw flash-pickled in vinegar and a spoonful of salsa roja -- not the spicy stuff you might find at most taquerias, but essentially a thin mild tomato sauce enhanced by a sprinkle of oregano. It's not uncommon to see plates fly out the kitchen stacked three pupusas tall. Hungry regulars pour on the salsa like it was maple syrup on pancakes. ¿Cómo se dice short stack?
Also, for more fun with pupusas: 10 Best Pupusas in Los Angeles.
Check out the rest of our 100 of our favorite dishes. Suggestion? Write us a comment.
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