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« Local Kine Stuffs in San Diego - From Nijiya Market | Main | China Max - This Time it's Dim sum »

Sunday, 18 September 2005



Looks great! Still havent tried a pupusa, but your pictures are really beginning to force the issue. Thanks for the post


Go for it Meal! Thanks to Kirk I FINALLY tried them at a place around the corner, they are awesome! The place we went makes them to order and you can watch the process. Fascinating!

Christine D.

I have yet to try a pupusa too! Whenever i see a post about them, i always regret not having one when I ate at a pupuseria a few years ago. I hope someone has some suggestions about any places in orange county!


Hi Mealcentric - Pupusas are pretty addictive...I look forward to you finding some soon!

Hi Jo - They are good aren't they? Actually both places I've been to make them to order - you hear the pat-pat-pat after you order - what did you think about the curtido? BTW this tamale was awesome!!!

Hi Christine - I'm sure they have them in the OC, it's just finding them.....


Hi Kirk,

I had Salvadorean food once many years ago when I lived on Miami Beach. I didn't think much of it then, so I'm assuming that the food wasn't really that good.

Now that you keep blogging about it, I'm wanting to try it again. There was a small place in Vegas as you drive from the Strip to Downtown called El Santaneco. It was the same, Mexican & Salvadorean, I wonder how the food is...


I think you are really brave for trying all of these places that most people drive right by! But you find some great restaurants that way!


Hi Reid - Don't know 'bout any other's been a fun litte trip for me here! BTW, let me know if you go to Vegas, I'll gladly meet you there - especially for Lotus of Siam.

Hi Beth - Nothing brave about it, just looking for some good "grindz"....


I'm not entirely certain Kirk but "totia chips," in south-of-the-border restaurants, are usually deep fried and therefore resemble more of a thick parchment paper, compared to the more crisp "baked" chips sold in grocery stores. That's probably the authentic way it's done even though the public is generally not accustomed to the oil-saturated chips.

I'm guessing that the reason for deep frying the chips over baking the chips could be that using ovens was a too inconvenient way to prepare chips wereas using lard was more utilitarian than having to forage for fire wood. (I had a brief stint at "Mama's Mexican restaurant" at North School St. in Honolulu, and that's the way we did it there deep-frying the chips in a french-fry hopper, instead of baking the chips.)

Also, by all appearences (photos), Salvadorians steam their tamales in banana leaves instead of the usual corn husks. I guess every culture has their own version of tin foil. I assume that since their totias are made itself from corn, that corn husks were just as available as banana leaves in the home country. Any reason for they using banana leaves over corn husks that you can think of?


Darn it, Kirk, you beat me to it. Last Friday on my way to Huy Ky Bakery I drove past El Salvador and made a note to stop there next time and check it out. Well, at least now I know what to order!


Hi RONW - The tortilla chips here in San Diego restaurants are all, or almost all fried. The banana leaf is what gave this tamale it's wonderful character.

Hi Angie - Well, don't let me stop you! This is a nice little restaurant - and on weekends they make some deilicious looking soups - I still need to try the fried Yuca as well.


mmm, that chicken tamal in the banana leaf and those empanadas look damn good. looks like i'll have to get me some salvadoran food real soon.


I'd have to say that the reason for using the banana leaf is first availability Ron. If I'm not mistaken (and I could well be) there is a lot of banana growing in that area. Second would be the superior flavor from the banana leaf. Speaking of which, the tamals at the place we went were wrapped in green plastic. Not horrible, but obviously no flavor enhancement there.

As for the curtido, we got our food to go and when we got home the, the pupusas were on a tiny paper plate with a piece of waxed paper seperating the curtido from the pupusa. Mike says that the curtido makes the pupusa worth eating. I thought it was very interesting. I want to try them both seperate, without being stuck together even for the few minutes it took us to get home. I'm not a big "sour" fan although I appreciate the flavor enhancements it offers. I go through a lot of vinegar in a wide variety of dishes. This curtido falls into my category of "fascinating". I didn't exactly like it, nor did I dislike it. The issue requires further analysis! ::laughing:: Typical? ;o)


Hi Pam - I'd have to say that the tamale was the highlite of the meal, I'm guessing it's pupusa-time for you again.....

Hi Jo - I'm pretty sure that you wouldn't want any "flavor enhancement" that plastic would add to the food! :o) I think that the curtido is 1/3 of the pupusa, along with the filling and the dough, if any one of these three is not good, the pupusa will not be very good. - I liked the curtido and the dough at El Salvadoreno better, but prefer the filling here. The Missus doesn't like the curtido or the salsa roja on her pupusa, she prefers it plain, so for her the filling is the most important thing - she does eat a large pile of curtido on her plate like coleslaw though! Go figure...


Okay...gotta try pupusas. It seems that I'm the only blogger left who hasn't posted about pupusas.

And Prof. Salt just posted a lead on the best pupusas he's had in O.C.


Hi Elmo - Not for long...not for long at all, right?

clare eats

Oh I wish that I could get them here :(
I haven'tposted on them but I haven't even seen an el salvordean restaurany :(


Hi Clare - I hope you find one there in Oz; a good one too!


Great find Kirk. I'll have to try this out someday.


Hey Jack - It's pretty good! Try those tamales in banana leaf and let me know, ok?


Oh the pupusa looks really good. too bad the curtido wasn't as pickled as you liked, but at least is wasn;t terrible! :> The empanadas looks really good. They looks so good you will have to send them to me! "look at the swining watch* "you are getting sleepy..." Oh wait that doesn't work on a blog. ;P :D

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