Chibcha: You Never Know Unless You Try
I have been finding myself in Echo Park a lot recently, vroom-vrooming on my Vespa up and down Sunset Boulevard as if red lights never existed. From East L.A and back, I observe each and every restaurant along the way and remember them better than than the street names that surround them.
So naturally, it is quite obvio (sorry I can't pass up the opportunity of using the Castillian Spanish pronunciation of obvious every time it comes up since my older brother taught me it, ha ha) that I have been frequenting a few of the local establishments. Few because well, I don't crave all that hipster shit all the time and would rather much drive out to K-Town, Thaitown, Scoops any where else for that matter.
Not to say that I don't love me a good Quinoa Burger or Soy Cheese Crepe and such but last time around the guest and I tried to eat this stuff, we couldn't help but feel a little lame. Thus, it was time to activate my foodblogger powers!
....try a uncharted random place!
The Menu At Chibcha: Please Be Good!!!
A great, Pulitzer-Award winning food writer once wrote to me "for every good meal, you will have 10 bad ones". And to top it off, my creature-of-habit guest and I were starting to become ravenous since it was hot as hell outside.
And I will admit, I was a little nervous upon stepping in to Chibcha Restaurante Colombiano. My guest had been with me through both bonk and wow before and I hoped against hope that this place was not going to be a bonk. It was peak lunch and the place was damn empty. But we were sat and the water was served, there was no turning back now.
Perusing the menu, I will be honest and say that it looked like whatevers eyy. I don't know much about Colombian Food, all I knew is that it was about damn time I tried an Arepa, the staple flat corn cake down there. Thus, an Arepa was imminent. My guest wanted a Arepa De Queso, an Arepa that was baked with cotija cheese.
Arepa De Queso: Toasted Cheese Can't Be Bad...Right?
And score! I knew toasted cheese wouldn't do me wrong! Albeit, a bit dry and hockey-puckish in texture. The whole thing tasted of those browned cheese edges that we all look forward to. And that alone was enough to keep us coming back for a little nibble more.
Sancocho De Cola: The Other Colombian Pride
With only a few dishes standing out of the glossy photo bunch, I decided to go with the Sancocho De Cola since I had recently had the Puerto Rican version in NY not too long ago. Cola translating to tail, these oxtails (at least 3 huge ones!) were slow cooked 'till that signature mouthwatering tenderness was achieved. The broth was a delicate one but full bodied with large chunks of creamy Yucca, starchy green plantains and cooked-through potatoes. A hand full of minced cilantro was thrown on top for a bright herbaceous contrast for the rich collagen-intensive broth.
Company For The Lonely Oxtail
As if it couldn't get any better, the soup is served with chewy white rice, half of a semi-ripe avocado and an Arepa! Finally. Although, my mouth was spoiled with the toasted cheese one by now. I found this regular one almost inedible due to its dry denseness...which all the better to dunk it into the oxtail broth!
By the end of the meal we were both smiling.
Chibcha Restaurante Colombiano
2619 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026