Dear Mr. Gold:
Dear Mr. Gold:
I was wondering where I could get some of those Salvadoran pupusas. I used to go to a random little dive in San Diego, but I can’t seem to find the right place in L.A.
—Ms. Lee, L.A.
Dear Ms. Lee:
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Is there a sound on Earth as joyous as the pat-pat-pat from a Salvadoran kitchen, the gentle rhythm of a cook slapping together a pupusa that just happens to be yours? The pupusa, a griddled disk of corn dough concealing a molten core of cheese, beans, stewed pigskin — or, most likely, all of the above — is one of the perfect foods of the Americas, all ooze and heat and crunch, with a cool yet fiery cabbage salad as its inevitable accompaniment. There are many hundreds of pupuserias in Los Angeles, and more than half of them are pretty good. I like the pupusas at the Texis chain — there’s one on Vermont Avenue at Seventh Street — as well as the ones at Atlacatl on Beverly Boulevard and El Amanecer on Eighth Street. Lately, though, I’ve been going a lot to the somewhat fancier La Caravana on the north side of Pasadena, because the freshly patted pupusas with loroco are exceptionally fine, and because it serves an odd chopped-apple drink, ensalada, that is one of the most refreshing things in the world. La Caravana, 1306 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena, (626) 791-7378.