Perfect Honduran Stuffed Plantain Unearthed at Homely Lempira

"Like the woman who doesn’t dress in the latest fashion, or the girl who’s constantly teased because she looks different, sometimes all it takes is a simple hello to find out these social outcasts are the most beautiful of all," says lil mikey. Like Lempira—a run-down-looking little treasure with no website, no advertising, in the back of a half-abandoned strip mall. The menu is Honduran.

Many of the basic antojitos are OK but nothing special. The same with many of the standard Central American dishes. But a lot of places like this have a special dish, and lil mikey found it: platano maduro con carne molida, a Honduran specialty of meat-stuffed plantain.

"What you get is a whole plantain about 7 inches long, baked, and sliced so as to avoid it splitting in two. So it makes a little plantain boat. It’s filled with seasoned ground beef (like taco filling) and the other stuff, which combines to make the most delightful bite you can imagine," says lil mikey. "The seasoned beef is perfectly matched with the sweetness of the plantain. And the softness of the plantain and beef is countered by the crisp cabbage (it’s not lettuce as it says in the menu). The sour cream is thankfully sparse, but nonetheless adds creaminess, and the salsa over the top provides another layer of freshness and acidity."

It costs $5, and it'll do for lunch.

"I'm glad I kissed this frog," say lil mikey.

Lempira [East Hollywood]
4848 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles
323-662-2927

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