After a business meeting, had the opportunity to eat at La Barca Mexican restaurant in the city of Bell (Southeast LA). Apparently, from the menu, this is a small family owned chain that bills itself as producing fresh home-cooked mexican food.
We ordered birria-which is slowly stewed goat meat. The portions were not huge, but definitely filling. The meat was fork tender, served in its own juices. The meat was prepared with a bevy of spices, potentially including clove, cumin, cinammon and a variety of dried chiles, including ancho and guajillo. The intricacy of the spices, slow cooking and complexity of the meat was a rather pleasant surprise. The dish comes with rice, beans and excellent homemade tortillas.
An additional note:The chips, fried on site; the salsa is made at the restaurant. There were 2 salsas served with the chips: a tomato, onion, chile and cilantro salsa that was flavorful but mild, the second being a tomatillo based salsa made with dried red chiles called chile de arbol which was tangy and very spicy.
The place has an extensive menu, full bar, is clean and efficient. I will definitely return to explore the menu further.