Its Sunday morning (or rather afternoon in my case), you just woke up and you find yourself absolutely famished. To say that you’re stomach is ready for food is a different argument, its not very happy with you after how you treated it last night. Was it beer before liquor or liquor before beer? Throw in a 3AM snack of Soon Tofu soup or Tacos de Tripa and it doesn’t really matter anymore.
Hmm…what to eat, what tooo eat?! A plate of 2+2+2 doesn’t sound too appetizing; you’ve had eggs every other day this week. And Menudo? Well, you’ve never really been fond of the offal soup to be honest, and you don’t feel like getting full of the pure hominy yet again…it’s a childhood thing.
What is left? Barbacoa.
Lamb: Its What's For Breakfast!
Whole pieces of lamb, roasted in Maguey Leaves and seasoned according to region. Its food for the sake of mere sustenance, meaty protein seems like a godsend when you’re all cruda (hungover as all hell). Its just something about food you could just gnaw at, you know, hold it by the bones and abandon table manners for while . The time of hunters and gatherers is long gone but at least you get a feel for it for it with the bone-in, Guajillo chile rubbed Barbacoa at Guelaguetza.
Here, it is served with generous sides of lard-kissed black beans, a light Tomatillo infused Guacamole and a broth chock full of al dente string beans, carrots and comforting chunks of potato.
To wash down—and help your poor little liver detox—a splendid Oaxacan style horchata. B.S aside, its my favorite version at the moment, with an opaque pink hue thanks to the dash of tuna (“red prickly pear”) syrup and a handful of neatly chopped pecans pieces, the version here is sans milk, giving it a more rustic texture and interesting, lighter taste.
Last time I was here was a lamb-intensive week though, wasn’t craving the gamy beast actually. So, I decided to be annoying and ask if was possible to make me a custom version of Pulpo Endiablado. They did. It was splendid, chock full of smoky, lean chunks of cephalopod and braised onions. And now, its on the regular menu…
The 8th st. restaurant location has just recently been passed down to Fernando Lopez Jr. , the twenty-two year old son of the founder of the Guelaguetza empire. He is part of the new generation of restaurateurs, working those daily ten hour shifts with ceaseless bravado...and still partying 'till the break of dawn.
Embroded Emblem, White Collar And All: Fernando Doesn't Mess Around
Its always a good thing to see a restaurateur eating his own food, I think. What specifically does he eat?
Chapulines: Grasshopers Can Be Comfort Food Too!
He makes me a simple taco bite of his favorite way of having them. He smears some freshly steamed tortillas with those unctuous black beans, sprinkles a pinch-full of the bugs, and finishes off with some salty Quesillo (Oaxacan String Cheese) that Guelaguetza imports themselves.
Un Taquito De Chapulin: Beautiful
As I relish the bug taco. He tells me about one thing he "always has to have": Sweets (as he points to his food baby impregnated stomach).
Desserts At Guelaguetza
Golden fried plantains in condensed milk are crispy in the edges here. And flans come in every flavor, traditional, coffee and a ChocoFlan where it suddenly becomes a strata with a layer dense chocolate cake.
I love this guy.
(Barbacoa only available on Weekends)
3337 ½ W. 8th st.
Los Angeles CA 90005
3014 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90006
11215 Long Beach Blvd #1010