...or "The Story of a Christmas Saved".
For a convenient and tasty Xmas Day din-din to go, the extremely pregnant mrs rabo had arranged for El Cochinito (Cuban joint in Silverlake) to cook up a little lechon for us and the visiting mama and papa rabo. To make a long story short, they failed to do so. Despite all prior arrangements, the place is shuttered and dark on the 25th, as closed as Siskel and Ebert's balcony.
After a few moments of intense, lip-quivering panic, we notice that La Parrilla, the branch on Sunset Blvd, is open for business down the street. We pounce.
I've never cared for this place, as I've had a couple of downright awful meals there in the past (their gringo-mex combo plates and mole are seriously half-assed). To be fair, however, and to also point out my occasional chow-idiocy, I had never sampled the two things they are most widely known for----la parrilladas (or mixed grilled items), and molcajetes (various foodstuffs cooked in stone bowls).
We order two parrilladas (each meant for two people)---one with chicken, pork, grilled shell-on shrimp, rice, and deep-fried potato wedges (unfortunately, the name escapes me, again illustrating aforementioned chow-idiocy). The second parrillada ("parrillada con langosta"---at $60 the most expensive thing on the menu by far), which contains a large lobster tail, dungeness crab legs, bacon-wrapped prawns, and deep fried hunks of whitefish. We are assured the food will be ready in a half-hour. We practically weep with gratitude.
Now, I realize that having your ass saved from a most humiliating catastrophe makes things taste better, but I have to say this was quite a special little feast. Everything in the langosta parrillada was especially delicious---the lobster tail was sweet and generous, as were the labor-intensive crab legs . The bacon-wrapped prawns---a cardiologist's wet dream---were moist, juicy, smoky: friggin' incredible. Other standout items included the wafer-thin, tender pork chops smothered in chipotle sauce, and the perfectly seasoned, crisp potato wedges.
All this, plus tortillas, rice, beans (pinto---soupy, herby, nice!), chips, and a truly evil black, burnt salsa (evil in the best possible way, of course), was $125. Enough food for seven people.
The chill, friendly staff, the all-around excellent grub---La Parrilla saved our Holiday hides. Meanwhile, El Cochinito, whom we were frequent patrons of, gets an industrial-sized lump of coal in their stocking.
3129 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles
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