Question: In 1976, friends took me to Josefina’s in Venice, where I had a dish I still think about: beefsteak Jalisco-style. Shredded beef in chile-flavored reddish broth, chopped white onions and soft corn tortillas. Fragrant, simple, satisfying.
Where could I find this dish in Los Angeles today?
—Karen, Los Angeles
Answer: I’ve never come across anything specifically called beefsteak Jalisco-style. And the dish you describe sounds a little like a variant of the famous Jalisco dish birria, which is roasted goat served in a reddish, chile-flavored broth with chopped onions, cilantro and freshly made corn tortillas. There are dozens and dozens of great birria places in town, but my favorite is still probably El Parian on Pico near Union.
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But lately, I’ve been craving the carne asada en su jugo at Valenzuela’s in El Monte, a big pile of browned beef flavored with bacon, plumped out with beans, seasoned with finely chopped onion and cilantro, and moistened with a spicy puddle of juice — maybe as much for the charred chiles served alongside as for the meat itself. Carne asada en su jugo is an unusually compelling dish, smoky and spicy and tart with lime, and almost nothing goes quite so well with an icy bottle of beer. 11721 E. Valley Blvd., El Monte, (626) 579-5384.
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