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Loteria Grill Hollywood: review con pics


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Restaurants & Bars 17

Loteria Grill Hollywood: review con pics

lotta_cox | Apr 18, 2009 07:58 AM

Loteria Grill
6627 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 465-2500

D started with the tortilla soup. Eater beware. This is the most filling tortilla soup ever created, served in a gigantic bowl. It tastes to me like the tortillas are pureed into the broth, making it very thick and hearty. With queso fresco, tortilla strips, generous avocado and sun dried tomato bits all floating on top, this is an incredibly flavorful soup. But it is a meal. D, the bottomless pit, could barely touch anything else we ordered and we took a long walk down Hollywood to settle his overly full tummy.

First, I wanted the taco sampler. All 12 of their tacos served on silver dollar sized tortillas. One bite for most people, two for me. How fun is this? I will start with the vegetable tacos. Nopalitos. Fresh cactus salad with salsa verde and queso fresco. This was nice, but I would like to try a regular size one. I felt there was not enough nopale in to really get that slightly bitter flavor to pop. The calabacitas taco, with zucchini, roasted corn, salsa verde and queso fresco. This was a nice fresh bite or two. Nice flavor with the corn succotash. I love roasted corn. The champinones taco, with mushrooms and epazote, onions, cilantro and queso fesco. This was one of my favorites because I am a fungus whore. I didn't taste anything except mushroom, onion and cheese in this taco. I imagine with epazote I just don't know what flavor my mouth is looking for. This issue certainly deserves further first person research. This one I loved. Papa con rajas, supposedly potato with roasted poblano pepper, the queso and salsa. There was no potato on this. However, the wet velvety texture of the pepper was delicioso. I got two simple flavors here, the pepper and the cheese and it was good.

Going in order of the menu, I will address the chicken tacos next. Three choices here, the first being chicken in mole poblano. D ate this one and I am still pissed about it. I love mole. He doesn't. But since it is only one bite, there is no looking back or swapping plates. El sigh. I got to eat this one. The tinga de pollo. Chicken stewed with chipotle peppers, a little chorizo and salsa roja de chipotle. The flavors of this one were immense. Definitely worth revisiting.

I am missing a taco in my pictures. I get distracted by chile rellenos, margaritas and shiny objects. I am missing the pollo en pipian, chicken with a spicy pumpkin seed sauce and finely chopped onions. If you look at the pic with all these tacos, I believe it is the taco at 2 o'clock. I didn't get to eat it either. I am also a little confused because it looks like there is something green on that taco, so maybe the kitchen mixed things up while constructing the plata.

Beef tacos. Beef, good. Guacamole, good. Onion and cilantro, both good. In miniature taco, good. Albondigas taco. D scooped this up before I could say "Boo!" to a ghost.

Tacos de puerco. This had a really nice flavor as well. Cochinita pibil. It was really the pickled red onion that stood out and the habanero spiciness, all stood up nicely to the rich stewed porkiness. I am also having issues with my chicharone taco in salsa verde. Maybe that is the taco at 2 o'clock. Looking back at my photos and comparing them to the menu, a couple of these tacos don't add up and there is definitely something missing from my photo collection. I don't think I ate that one either, anyway. This one was really good, though. Carnitas in sauce morita, clearly with a huge slice of avocado. The silkiness of the avo with the spiciness of the smoked red jalapeno, a great combo.

Ever since we ate at Yxta when I did not order the chile rellenos in favor of ordering the cheese stuffed squash blossoms, I have been craving chile rellenos. These came in a dissimilar pairing. To the right of the photo is picadillo, with beef, raisins, tomatoes, peppers and whatever else they threw in. This could be its own dish. It was that tasty. I can see it with some rice, tortillas, crema can dream.

First chile. An ancho chile filled with black beans, goat cheese and chorizo. The filling was amazing spicy starchiness. Not a lot of chorizo, which is fine by me because sometimes chorizo is a little intense, overpowering other flavors. This was nicely balanced. I took pics of the filling, but it just didn't look that nice. You will have to trust me that this tasted good. It was the better of the two, in my opinion, largely due to the smokiness of the ancho chile.

And the second was the chile poblano. This was ingeniously filled with something surprising, plantains and queso fresco. I might have paired the plantains with asadero, traditionally used for chile rellenos, which mimics slightly a simple jack cheese. It was good though, and I enjoyed the surprising flavors.

All in all, there were a lot of hits at Loteria, simply from this small sampling of their menu. There were not true misfires, aside from the pokeyness of the service. I cannot wait to go again and try some different things from the inspired menu.

review with pics here:

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