Ever since a trip to Florida several years ago, I’ve been searching for mofongos here in LA….with no success. So when I saw the sign “Mofongo’s” I had to stop.
It’s pure New York-Puerto Rican.
It’s small, with only 20 seats inside and another 4 on the sidewalk. The server (owner?) arrived from NY 8 months ago and speaks Spanish to all the guests. And there’s a 4x6 foot mounted photo of Manhattan on the wall.
It’s also adorned with Puerto Rican flags on the walls, as well as on all the tables.
The menu has lots of Puerto Rican dishes, but I was there for the mofongo.
A mofongo is a mashed green (not sweet) plantain that’s shaped into a little cake. In this case, it’s made into a little cup and the center is filled with a stew.
What’s interesting about Mofongo’s version is that they mix the mashed plantain with cracklins. You can have either pork or chicken cracklins. This adds occasional very interesting crunchy, salty bites as you make your way through the dish. I chose the pork cracklins.
The chicken stew filling is replete with green olives, tender, stringy chicken and sauce. There is also sauce on the plate around the mofongo. But it’s still a relatively dry dish that would benefit from a little more sauce. Thankfully, on each table is a bottle of Tabasco sauce that springs to the rescue.
It’s served with your choice of tostones or maduros, both variations of plantains. The tostones are savory and fried, while the maduros are sweet and not fried. I chose the tostones, which were tasty but also needed some sauce.
The horchata is unusual in that it’s made with sesame. So instead of the spicy-cinnamon flavor normally associated with this drink, there’s a very refreshing sesame flavor, and sesame seeds as well. I really like sesame, so I really liked this.
Judging from the fact that it was full on a Saturday afternoon at 3:00, and that everyone spoke Spanish or was a recent NY transplant, it appears to have garnered a nice clientele of ex-NYPR’s.
5757 Lankershim Boulevard (N of Burbank Bl.)