Saturday, May 05, 2007

Eating Our Way Across Southern California

At least once a year we make our way back to Southern California toe see Jill’s family and my family. As on any trip one must eat. The joy, or at least part of the joy is being able to go on what Jill has dubbed “the eating tour”

The great thing about the L.A. area are the restaurants. Whenever we head back to visit I always try to hit one of the eateries that I use to frequent. I try to avoid chains if possible. On occasion I am able to meet friends at these establishments. One of the restaurants that I try to get to is Macho Café. I’ve known the people that own the place and that still work there since I was 10. Originally the restaurant was Macho Taco and was owned and operated by Jesus Salmandiego. At one point there were 3 branches in the Los Angeles area, but over time he pulled back to just the one location in San Gabriel that happened to be the distance of a 9 iron from the place where I grew up.

I’m not exaggerating here when I say that the food is fantastic because I’m biased, but the food is incredible. The meat that is used in all of their dishes is cooked to perfection. The have a pork that they make there called Al-Pastor. The meat is cooked on a rotating spit and sliced off once it is ready. He seasonings are a loin kept family secret. I’ve been around the world and can honestly say that I have not encountered nearly anything as good. My mom noted that I inhaled my plate of tacos at the restaurant.

One thing that Phoenix lacks despite having a healthy Jewish population is a good Jewish deli. Whenever in L.A. I make it a point to find a deli and order a matzo ball soup or a kreplach (it’s like a Jewish version of chicken won-ton soup with the kreplach being the won-ton).

This last trip that we took in January we were able to visit a couple good places to eat. Of course we can visit them all, or I’d be bigger than I already am.


Mr. Middlebrow said...

Ah, what fond memories I have of Macho Taco. Home of the 'muy good' carne asada, IIRC.

Thanks for introducing me to them all those years ago. And for this nice little second helping. It really is my reference standard for authentic Mexican/taqueria fare.

BTW: Is San Gabriel still a "City with a Mission"?

Ed said...

It was a fun trip and of course going to Macho is always a high point.

San Gabriel still has a mission, since 1750. It's better that neighboring Rosemead's motto which is "Rediscover Rosemead" Which leads me to ask, you mean somebody actually discovered it in the first place?