I went to La Hacienda on E. Lake St. for lunch today, and had a Carne Asada torta. Yum! Thanks, MSPD, for the recommendation.
The Carne Asada alone was delicious, and made for a great torta. I especially loved the cheese - it was an aged white cheese with almost a blue-cheese quality that was delicious with the beef. There were plenty of pickled jalapenos - a good thing, because they helped cut the richness of the meat and cheese and avocado.
I liked the La H. torta even better than a Manny's torta, because it's closer to the style of tortas I first fell in love with. (Manny's chipotle mayo is tasty but not what I'm looking for.) And it was bigger than a Manny's torta, so I couldn't finish it all. I did, however, eat all the carne asada out of the sandwich before I abandoned it!
It's still not the torta of my dreams, which has become almost impossibly delicious in my memories, but it's definitely good enough to recommend to my husband, Mr. Tastebud (aka the Torta Cubana fiend).
Thanks again for the pointer to La Hacienda! It's a great chowfind.