There’s this new, snazzy food mecca in downtown Culver City where Ford’s Filling Station, Wilson and Fraiche rub shoulders. Then there is this funky ethnic neighborhood where the locals eat. Sazon Latin Fusion is one of those places that locals hang out who can’t afford Fraiche prices. Chef Claudia has taken over the spot once home to Tacos Mexico. And taken over, she has. She’s a feisty cook who commands a firm hand over foods in her own earthy fusion style. Not content with the ordinary Mexican cooking of her ancestors, she brings a healthier, lighter touch to her foods. Sazon means seasoning and Claudia is deft at seasoning but light on salt. I stumbled on it after a trip to B&B Hardware. All I wanted was the daily special, hot chicken soup. For 2.99 I was served a good-size steaming bowl of Mexican penicillin that was enough to take home for an other meal. Little dots of herbs floated to the top bringing flavor and boldness to the chicken and rice. This was so tasty that I ordered a plate of birria. Claudia makes it with beef instead of goat. The sauce defines the dish, not the goat. I returned with a couple of buddies and ordered a saucy barbacoa, my friend had the Sazon salad with shrimp and took half of it home. I enjoyed my meal so much I returned with a few friends from Pleasure Palate. Our little party of 13 managed to taste the majority of items on her menu, plus some extras that may soon be available. We loved it. We tasted 14 dishes and never came away feeling over laden with cheese, or beans fried in lard. It may serve you well to know that Mofongo is alive and well on the Westside. Sazon serves it in a wooden cup lined with mashed plantains and filled with a stew of shrimp or chicken. I can recommend the Pescado Tropical, white fish, served on spinach mashed potatoes. It’s lightly breaded and gently sautéed then drizzled with a delicious little sauce. Nothing is over-the –top from her kitchen. When you crave a healthy Latin dish, I suggest you go here. And when it’s all over, try one of her desserts, capirotada (bread pudding or natilla (egg custard). On my driving scale of 1 – 10 miles I would drive 15 miles for some of this comfort food that’s kinda’ like Mom is in the kitchen, cooking up a storm, but she’s watching your cholesterol and going lite on the salt. But there’s shaker on every table for those of us who want to live la vida loca.
Sazon Latin Fusion
12406 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90066