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Thi N. | Apr 2, 200305:48 PM     5

Obsession with saltados (Latin American stir fries of meat and french fries) has found at least one holiness.

Many mediocre saltados have been had at places I have now forgotten.

Runners up: El Caserio (Ecuadorean), Rincon Criolla (Chilean?).

Best saltado yet: Mario's Peruvian Seafood. A seafood saltado. Man... man... man... this one hit the hunger centers straight on and I don't remember much about the experience except the first bite activating a pure burning beam of ravenousness in me, and then just sheer, exultant satisfaction afterwards. And I went in NOT HUNGRY - I'd had a sandwich just before and I thought I'd just get an appetizer. This tore through a full stomach and forced me to become hungry.

Also, a very satisfying spicy... guacamole? Something green and good. Nat, my dining companion, commented that it was about ten times better than El Pollo Inca's equivalent spicy guac sauce.

Also, beautiful bread. Fresher and sweeter 'n hell. What is it with East Hollywood Latin American joints and their bread? Rincon Criolla had extraodinary fresh rolls, too.

-thi

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