In a recent thread about tortas started by Neta, Hugh Lipton suggested that the best tortas could be found at El Mercado in East LA on 1st at Lorena. I think other people have posted about tortas here before as well.
So I went today to check it out - tortas are one of my favorite foods and I've been doing an informal survey of them all over Los Angeles. So far, Ana Maria's in Grand Central and King Torta on Valley Blvd are my favorites, and that's out of about a dozen different places.
What I didn't realize was that there are at least 3-4 places serving tortas there. Hmmm. Anyway, I checked out La Nueve Fuente (the southeast corner on the 2nd floor). I had an al pastor torta with a small jamaica ($4.50 altogether).
I wasn't that impressed. The al pastor wasn't very good (not flavorful, gristly at times), the tomato underripe (yes, I know it's Jan) and the bread weak. The avocado was perfect and the pickled vegetables that came on the side were excellent.
The service was great and the Mercado is really interesting - awesome selection of cowboy hats on the first floor. And what an array of chorizo and other meats at that meat market on the 2nd floor, not to mention all the incredible looking mole pastes. And easy parking is nothing to sneeze at in this town.
So, where did I go wrong? Where should I have gotten a fantastic torta there? I'll definitely go back. Any suggestions would be very welcome!