One of the great pastimes in our sprawled out city is finding the perfect "combo" evening of Event and Food. For example.....go to the Egyptian Theater, and visit Musso and Frank's or Skooby's afterward. Or....go to its cousin the Aero theater and visit Father's Office...
In search of a Food Experience to go with a Dodger game, we were trolling along Sunset and came across Alegria, which I had heard about. Entering one is immediately greeted with a relaxed vibe, very Eastside in the best sense of the word. A warm and friendly woman, who seems to run the place, comes out and takes your order, and she seems genuinely happy you've arrived.
Some chips and salsa are immediately brought out, served in a little brown bag - very cute. The salsa is simple and fresh, chunky tomato and onion. I don't know about you all, but I'm a bit like a horse with the chips - you eat whatever is put in front of you. I appreciate a place like Alegria where they give you a reasonable amount of chips so you don't gorge prematurely.
What to order? The dinners looked large, so we both went for burritos. I ordered the chicken, my friend the veggie. They were nice enough to substitute pinto beans for the black beans, and hold the rice!
The burritos arrived quite quickly, which was good because we didn't want to miss the game. The first bite revealed a rather tasty burrito.....lean but flavorful simmered chicken, and a tomatillo-ish "wet" sauce ladled on top, but sparingly. However...a few more bites and the salt began to hit me. Is this thing salty? How about yours? We exchanged bites, and indeed - the veggie was salty too. Not just a little salty, but.....SALTY! If I hadn't been so hungry I might not have been able to finish it. Oddly, if this makes sense, if I mentally removed the salt, I could taste a very unique and delicoius burrito underneath.
A week or so later I decided to give Alegra another chance. Aside from the salt it was the perfect little spot, I felt. Of course, I knew that the salt thing was a fluke, so not to worry. This time it was later in the evening, and the place was filled with happy people who had brought in their own brown bottles of beer, and were sharing large servings of guaccamole. I spied some sort of mole dish on a guy's table, and right away knew that was the thing to get.
The mole soon arrived - this was chunks of chicken smothered in black mole, served with flour tortilla and a little cup of beans. Portion size: massive. How nice to have mole without having to sift through pieces of bone. This was going to be great.
A few bites in, though.......SALT! Just as bad as the burrito. Man, what a disappointment.
So, to Alegria on Sunset, I am sure the time will again come when I patronize your hospitable spot with the down-to-earth clientele, gently funky decor, and unique menu. Maybe pre-Dodger game. If you read this, see if you can ease up on the salt. I want to love your restauarant.
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