Stunning Mexican in Highland Park.
Memory. Sometimes it gets me.
No one’s putting me in the Food Bloggers retirement home yet, but rarely, occasionally, I have to hit a place a second time in order to finish a review.
Does that mean the place is not memorable? Hardly. It just means that my radar is jammed with all kinds of goodies and memories of restaurants past, and occasionally a few get squeezed.
Plus, going to El Huarache Azteca again means it doesn’t suck…
…for the most part.
Look, El Huarache Azteca has some fantastic food. It’s a small little shop with not that much room, and only a few people working the floor. What does that mean for you? Service gets scrambled at time.
The first time I walk in, I scrupulously checked for a sign indicating that it’s a Cash Only joint. I didn’t see one, and hey…you know me…I know how to look for these things. I didn’t see one. I whip out my card only to learn…cash only.
Really should have put up a sign guys.
So the experience is generally like that. Not rude, but not on the ball either. You may feel a little left out of things when you go to El Huarache Azteca.
Take my second visit…the one I’m on now. The one where I’m typing this very sentence. I walk in and try to recreate things as best I can. I’ve got plenty of cash. I go right to the Cash Register. I know what I want, and…
Excuse me, but…why are you helping the couple who walked in AFTER ME first?
There goes a star right there.
I got looked after, but I have the feeling it was because I was willing to sit outside (in the partial shade). I got my Huaraches coming. They’re made with pork. I should be happy.
Well, things got better, when the lady who took my order thought I was going to be uncomfortable standing where was, got me a chair and a small table. That was nice of her. Star restored.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: The first meal was Enchilada Verdes o Rojas, and it was tasty as all get out. Small Enchiladas cover in Green Salsa and a creamy white sauce. I remember that first visit well. I was filled with uncertainty and hostility, until that first bite. Then magically my complaints went away.
The next meal, I had was the Huarache. It’s got the name of the dish in the name of the restaurant, so it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Good idea now, that I keep on thinking about it.
Huarache (sometimes spelled guarache) is a popular Mexican dish consisting of an oblong, fried masa base, with a variety of toppings including green or red salsa, onions, potato, cilantro and any manner of protein such as ground beef or tongue, and then finished with Queso fresco cheese. This dish is most popular in its hometown, Mexico City.
Well, the manner of protein I went with was Pork, and it was a tasty combination as the Pork was cooked up first and sprinkled liberally over my Huarache. I also chose Green Salsa as my topping, and that worked magically as well.
Both meals came with tall glasses of Mexican Coke. Perfect top off to a great lunch.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Just go in knowing that El Huarache Azteca can’t make up its mind if it wants to be an order at the counter place or a sit and the table and wait for the Waitstaff to arrive place, and apparently, the mood changes from moment to moment. Today, I see people walking in and standing around as people eat at tables. Orders are taken, cash can change hands (again I was told you can pay now or pay when you get your food). Be prepared for anything. The Waitstaff inside are not being rude. They understand English (and Español) just fine, it’s that there’s absolutely not consistent way of doing things, so…beware.
Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, and apparently, I’ve got the littlest mind of all.
Oh yeah, it’s a cash only spot, but does have an ATM machine on premises.
PARKING: Sorta. There is parking in the back, but there are approximately four spaces. Five if you count the one handicapped one in back. Odds are they’ll be filled when you get there. Parking along York will be difficult as well. There is a Super A Foods across the street. I would advise that parking there is not a good idea, because it’s a Grocery store, and they’re justifiably watching their lot.
I wound up parking on N. Ave. 33, alongside the Super A Store. It was a legal space, and all I had to do was cross the street, and I was there.
El Huarache Azteca
5225 York Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90042
Tel: (323) 478-9572
Daily: 8:30pm – 10:30pm