Restaurants & Bars

Los Angeles Area

Mi Indio Bonita and La Cabanita

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Mi Indio Bonita and La Cabanita

chris o | Nov 2, 2004 01:30 PM

These two restaraunts have nothing to do with each other, except that they're both Mexican, and I ate at each recently, and I need to concentrate on something other than the election for a few minutes.

I tried Mi Indio Bonita in East LA recently. It was saturday, so was unable to get the famous albondigas, but I did get a small bowl of pozole (pork only) to share with my wife, and the barbacoa. She had a chicken taco or something, whatever it was was unimpressive. The barbacoa was true comfort food. Just felt so warm and motherly. It was approximately the texture of butter. In fact, when you got a particularly fatty piece, it even tasted kinda like butter. Pozole was equally comfort-y. Salsa on the table was seriously hot, and made a great contrast to the soothing foods. The combination of these elements was somehow greater than the sum of its parts.

Been eating at La Cabanita (on Verdugo in Montrose) alot lately--quickly becoming one of my favorite eateries. The salsa alone is reason enough to reccomend this place: two bowls of salsa laid out with the chips. One is salsa verde. There seems to be two distinct types of salsa verde out there, one with overpowering sweetness and sourness,which I really dislike, the other with a mellow, melon-y flavor. This falls into the latter category, but it's a bright, fresh flavor that wakes up your mouth. The other salsa is a dark, almost mole-y salsa, with a deep, earthy flavor. Neither is exceptionally spicy.

Carnitas aren't particularly impressive, but carne asada is excellent. Seems to be marinated in something like worcestershire. Goes well with the dark salsa. I also had the chicharonnes taco, which is filled with guacamole and jalapenos. Very tasty, although I don't have enough experience with this dish to compare it to other versions. Goes well with the green salsa.

It took an act of supreme will to order something other than tacos, but I tried the enfrijolade (or something like that) last time. Sort of like enchiladas, but different: chicken or cheese (I got some of each, preffered the cheese) wrapped in corn tortillas, smothered in black bean sauce, and topped with cheese and that creme stuff, in a combination that tastes much like cottage cheese. Very good, but I'll probably revert to the tacos. Also good is something on the appetizer menu consisting of chorizo and cheese covered with thick corn tortillas. Chicken Pozole is good, but not as good as La Parilla (my favorite), although the chicken itself may be of better quality.

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