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99 Things To Eat in L.A. Before You Die: Huarache de Cabeza

99 Things To Eat in L.A. Before You Die: Huarache de Cabeza

Anne Fishbein

On Thursday the Weekly will publish our Restaurant Issue: 99 Things to Eat in L.A. Before You Die. For the days leading up to the issue, we'll be posting a few of Jonathan Gold's items on the blog. Check back each day as we count down.

Huarache de cabeza:

A huarache, the definitive unit of Mexico City street food, is a flattish, concave trough of masa shaped like a size-12 sandal, pan-fried or deep-fried, then smeared with beans, sprinkled with meat and layered with lettuce, grated cheese and cream. Part of the fun is eating the thing -- a huarache is too brawny to attack with a flimsy plastic fork, and you will

either burn your fingers or wait for your lunch to cool into corn-flavored cement. Emily Post provides no guidelines for eating a huarache. You can have a huarache topped with almost anything, from the black corn fungus called huitlacoche to standard-issue steak, but I like it best with cabeza -- rich, gelatinous meat pulled from a cow's head and cooked down into an ultraconcentrated essence of beef.

El Huarache Azteca #1: 5225 York Blvd., Highland Park; (323) 478-9572.