This evening, in my ongoing quest to sample L.A.'s tastiest oysters, I rumbled over to La Playita (in the 3300 block of Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica). This place is much-beloved by chowhounds for its seafood, its street-wise ambiance, and its low prices. Also, in keeping with the quest, a fellow 'hound, Bob, had recommended it for its cheap-but-good oysters.
Sadly, there were no oysters on the menu tonight. Perhaps it was too late in the day, or perhaps oysters are a weekend-only offering? In any event, I decided to console myself with a few of La Playita's other delicacies. So, I abandoned surf for turf, and ordered a few pig tacos.
I'm delighted to report that the BBQ pork taco was quite good, and overflowing with meat, and the carnitas taco was even better. Dang tasty: very juicy meat, doled out in abundance, with a nicely-balanced application of onion and cilantro, and some orange-colored sauce (Tapatio, I think).
For dessert, I had an order of seafood ceviche. Disappointing: it was much too sweet for my tastes.
The total bill was a princely $3.75. Gosh darn, I love this city.
Anyway, I was so happy with this meal, I've set aside the oyster quest temporarily, and taken on a new mission: to try all La Playita's piggy tacos. Next round: hog maws.
Not being familiar with this particular "cut" of pig, I had to look it up on the web. Turns out it's pig stomach (I'd thought it might be the jowl meat or some such.) Here's a colorful description of it, from another food site:
"...What a specialized organ the stomach is -- three layers of muscles that reminds one of corrugated cardboard, with smooth layers inside and outside, and convoluted muscles in between. The inside and outside smooth layer will have muscle fibers perpendicular to each other. "
Mmm, mmm, MMM.
As part of my mission, I'll also be trying the tongue and brain tacos, although I'm not sure if they come from the mighty pig, or the cow. Cow, pig, whatever; I'm eating them. But I'd love to know which beast provides these treats. Anybody know?