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Pupusas in Orange County

Professor Salt | Jul 1, 2003 12:53 AM

Have you ever gotten a chowtip from your Dept of Motor Vehicles examiner during a road test? I did several months ago, and finally got around to checking his rec this past weekend.

Pupuseria Cuscatlan is a tiny hole in the wall next to a car wash, and serves a mixed menu of Salvadorean and Mexican food. "DMV," for lack of a better nym, suggested the pupusas there were as good as they get, at least in this area. Now, I'm no expert on pupusas, but to my ignorant tastes, these were fine: thin, handpatted rounds of masa surrounding different fillings and griddled until toasty hot. Cuscatlan, in my opinion, excels because the masa forms a thin casing. Other pupusas I've eaten were encased in thick, clumsy, doughy affairs, a hooded down parka of masa where a windbreaker would suffice.

I chose three different fillings: loroco, a sauteed shredded vegetable of some sort mixed with cheese; frijol y queso, and chicharron y queso. I enjoyed all these because the fillings weren't greasy. Other places I've eaten (El Chinaco in Costa Mesa and the birria place in Tustin on Newport Blvd & McFadden) ooze grease as you eat the pupusas. Not so at Cuscatlan.

I'm also hoping that one of you can educate me on pupusas and Salvadorean food in general. What's the coleslaw-like stuff that accompanies pupusas called? I've never really enjoyed it before, but Cuscatlan's version is enjoyable: mildly sweet, balanced acidity, and a terrific side dish to pupusas. Also, what vegetable is loroco made from?

After this, I'm really looking forward to other pupusa rec's. My job takes me all over the LA / OC area, so I'm looking forward to your suggestions for really good places.

Pupuseria Cuscatlan
412 N. State College (between Lincoln and La Palma)
Anaheim 714-774-4858

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