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Restaurants & Bars 5

Colombian Food in Silverlake--CHIBCHA (long)

rabo encendido | May 2, 200512:18 AM

Long standing curiosity about this place finally sated Saturday evening.

Non descript, graffiti-splayed storefront gives way to inviting, tile-floored room, replete with hand-painted murals and lazily spinning ceiling fans. One waitress, no customers.

Ms rabo, machine-gun Spanish and passing familiarity with comida Colombiana in tow, handles ordering duties. First up, empanadas.

Three for $1.25 each, these are perhaps the finest I've had. We crunch our way through light, corny exteriors, and discover a molten, juicy pork-cheese interior. Healthy dollops of jalapeno-redolent, fiery green salsa applied.

I get bandeja paisa, a yacht-sized platter containing the following:

CARNE ASADA---a little tough, excellent flavor
PLATANOS---plantains, two ways: fried and sweet; mashed, deep-fried, savory.
AREPA---cheese-filled, pupusa-like corncake. Griddled, slightly charred outside. Nifty, tasty.
MORCILLA---absolutely delicious. An exercise in cruelty, as you are given one, lonely little link.
CHICHARRONES---allow me to wax rhapsodic for a moment. Imagine a large pork harmonica, deep-fried to a perfect golden brown. Succulent, meaty chunks, jutting out vertically, tease and beg to be torn off and devoured. Then you chomp on the remaining "brace", which is basically crispy, pork-flavored fat. Rhapsody in Pig.

Also squeezed onto plate: stewed red beans (excellent), white rice, hard fried egg. Singularly unhealthy, highly recommended.

Ms rabo's mojarra frita, whole fried tilapila, is less of a success. Looks terrific, encased in browned crust, but is seriously undercooked. Horrified waitress returns platter to kitchen, which re-emerges twenty minutes later. A shade greasy from being twice deep-fried, but still pretty tasty. An unfortunate error on what likely would have been a terrific plate of food.

All of the above + 3 cervezas, 1 coffee, 1 flan = $43. Customers pepper the joint by our departure. Lone waitress a little frenzied.

If you live nearby, or are passing thru, worth a visit. Bring patience, roll with the punches, come hungry.

Chibcha Colombian Restaurant
(213) 483-8072
2619 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

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