Flavors of Belize is totally worth a visit, says pleasurepalate. And that's because there are plenty of oddball Central American specialties to try.
There's chimole, for example, which is also known as "black dinner" in Belize because it's essentially an inky black soup. The distinctive color and flavor come from a paste of charred chiles, annatto, and spices. "The soup flavor was smoky with a dark pungency to it," says pleasurepalate. "There's a complexity to that broth where I tasted a lot of different nuances, but what those nuances were, I had no idea. Be sure to dip your tortillas so that you can mop up all that black goodness."
Salbutes are also great. They're fried corn tortillas topped with chicken, shredded cabbage, cilantro, and tomatoes. Though they're delicious on their own, add some habanero-sauce kick, and they're elevated to perfection. An order of white rice and beans with oxtails is cooked with coconut milk, stewed kidney beans, and plantains. pleasurepalate says the beans are the best part because they have an unusual but delicious creaminess.
pleasurepalate also loved the chicken tamale, which is wrapped in a banana leaf—the masa and meat are tender and moist. This, too, is great with the sweet kick of the restaurant's habanero sauce.
Flavors of Belize [Mid-City]
1271 S. La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles