I was heading over to Tandoori USA for those wonderful tandoori chicken sandwiches on naan today, when lo and behold, across the street I saw Kaliente, a Salvadoran restaurant I had read great things about on this board. But, the Kaliente I had read about was on El Portal, not on San Pablo Dam Road.
Nonetheless, with visions of pupusas and fried plantains, I veered to the right and parked. Now, I remember on a previous post, the writer heard the sound of the thick tortillas being patted in the back of the restaurant. Not so, here. But, still, the pupusas were terrific.
The thick corn tortilla/torta of the pupusas was not at all greasy, which I have found to be the case sometimes. Chewy and filled with chicken, pork, cheese, beans, or vegetables, I had a hard time making a choice. But, you know I did. I ordered the pupusa de pollo y queso (chicken and cheese) and a pupusa revuelta con frijoles (pork, cheese and black beans). The chicken and cheese was not very flavorful, but the pork, cheese and bean pupusa was delicious. Slightly smoky and with a tiny bite, lip smacking. ($1.75 each)
The pupusas were served with the traditional pickled cabbage and salsa. Darn good, if not spectacular.
My girlfriend also ordered a Salvadoran tamale. With green olives embedded in the maiz, the tamale itself is steamed in banana leaves and comes with a chunk of potato as well as pork or chicken fillings. This was a tasty morsel-- the banana leaves added a nice background flavor. ($2.50 each)
Now, the fried platanos. Yep. They were good. And, only $3.00 for five of them. We ordered them a la carte, but they also come with sour cream and refried beans ($6.95).
The service was friendly and quick; the restaurant itself clean and bright. BTW, they have a happy hour, oddly enough, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00, but I'm not sure what it consisted of.
Kaliente on SPD Road, like its sister (?) on El Portal, has a Mexican menu, but who cares when pupusas are for the taking. Kaliente SPD Road also has a bakery and a realllllllly tiny mercado on the premises.