Winning Ticket: Guilty Pleasures of Loteria Grill's Chicharron de Queso
If you are a fan of Mexican food, crunch and extremely well-done cheese, the chicharron de queso at Lotería Grill may be a dish you have waited for your entire life. Paper-thin sheets of toasted cheese are peeled straight off the griddle and served straight away with guacamole and freshly made tortillas; you crumble the cheese into a handful of orange shards and fold them into tacos. It’s like the burnt stuff that collects around the edges of an overfilled grilled-cheese sandwich intensified by a factor of 20, a guilty pleasure multiplied into lunch. Lotería Grill is the kind of restaurant you’d think there’d be dozens of by now, a sleekly modern dining room levered into a double-height Hollywood storefront, with a huge tequila selection and a first-rate nopales salad, a rotating selection of aguas frescas, tacos made with hot house-made tortillas, a big selection of chilaquiles and huevos rancheros at breakfast, and for lunch and dinner a vast array of stewed meats inspired by the recipes of chef Jimmy Shaw’s mentor, Diana Kennedy. You may know this food from Lotería’s long-running stand in the Farmers Market — so far, the menus are pretty much the same — but there is a level of refinement in the cooking that was sometimes lacking at the older facility, and perhaps even more pleasure. 6627 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd., (323) 465-2500 or www.loteriagrill.com.
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