Chapulines–a kind of dried Oaxacan dried grasshopper–are available in bags at Karina’s Mexican Bakery. They remind Melanie Wong of dried shrimp, but with a spicy, salty dusting of chile powder.
Karina’s appears to have gone through some changes recently. The tlayuda has improved, served with chunky pork, imported Oaxacan string cheese, guajillo-based chili sauce, and a fresh, crackly giant tortilla base. However, the tres leches cake has gone downhill and is now at a sub-Safeway level of quality. Two layers of coarse, dense, dry, crumbly yellow cake are barely moistened at all by the milks, there’s no custard, and the frosting tastes like chemicals.
The tamales are still good, though.