Water, sugar, flour, butter, vanilla and cinnamon. There's nothing particularly unique or spectacular about the ingredients for their churros, yet La Casita Mexicana chefs Jaime Martin Del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu transform one of the most popular Mexican desserts into a sublime treat. Piped into 3-inch segments, they're deep-fried, filled with Jalisco-style cajeta and dusted with more cinnamon and sugar. Never too doughy, the sweet, crisp tubes ooze with rich caramel made from goat's milk. These churros are a favorite of Giada De Laurentiis, but local chowhounds don't need a celebrity's stamp of approval to make a trek to the restaurant that helped put Southeast L.A. on the culinary map. 4030 E. Gage Ave., Bell. (323) 773-1898, casitamex.com.

—Elina Shatkin

LA Weekly