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Old San Juan, Atwater Village

Will Owen | Aug 25, 201310:08 PM

I'm the first to post on this; my guess is the rest are in some post-prandial flan-induced fog.

The space was one we'd been in a few times when it was a Guatemalan restaurant, a very clean-limbed place with plenty of natural light at the corner of Fletcher Drive and La Clede just north of San Fernando. The staff are all very personable, the menus informative, the prices mid-reasonable. We had a gang of Chowbuddies, most of whom had attended many such gatherings and knew the drill, plus a couple of nice newbies that fitted right in.

Some of us started off with "cocktails", the quote marks indicating the sort of drinks one can get at a place with a beer & wine license only, but the mojitos etc. were at least palatable. A couple of sample appetizer platters got passed up and down the table; Patrick and I had zeroed in on the bacalaitos, salt-cod fritter, but he pretty much let me finish it, and if you like bàccala I suggest you get it. On the other hand, the salt-cod stew in banana leaf, an entrée under the Seafood portion of the menu, was extremely salty and chewy, probably authentic but not to my taste, with a lot of raw flavors that never really got together. I did get to taste a stuffed chicken breast, and although the flavor was excellent the meat was very much overcooked.

I hope a number of our fellow diners will punch in here, to amend, correct or augment this report, especially as it was a long table and the Owen hearing ain't what it useter be.

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