Dear Mr. Gold:

Pambazo. I’ve gotta have one. Any ideas?

—George, Lomita

Dear George:

By a pambazo, I assume that you are referring to the central Mexican snack, an evolved version of the French dip sandwich where the bread is soaked in chile sauce instead of a thin beef jus, where the pallid slices of roast beef are replaced by dollops of stew, where the sandwich in question is often fried for a bit after it has been stuffed so that it tightens into a cohesive, amalgamated mass. (The sensations of a Guadalajara-style torta ahogada, while superficially similar, seem crude by comparison.) The Los Angeles area is not rich in pambazos for some reason, but you will find an excellent version at Taqueria Vista Hermosa in the Mercado La Paloma near USC, stuffed with potatoes and spicy chorizo sausage and drizzled with cream, a sandwich that threatens to deliver its red-orange payload right down the front of your shirt. If you’re still hungry, Vista Hermosa’s freshly grilled tacos al pastor are not half bad. 3655 S. Grand Ave., Mercado La Paloma, L.A., (213) 741-1251.

LA Weekly