Honey Bee’s Sweet Salvadorian House Of Breakfast

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We are always amazed at the bounty of families coming to Los Angeles to set up tiny restaurants where they share traditional cuisine from their native countries. One such treasure is Honey Bee’s House of Breakfast.

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The quaint space is warm and inviting with dark woods and burnt orange walls.  And yes they do serve breakfast, but what we found most intriguing is the Salvadorian food that permeates the menu.

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Great prices, homestyle cooking, overflowing plates and charming hosts make Honey Bee’s a place we feel right at home.  We warmed up our palate with pupusas, thick corn flat breads stuffed with a variety of ingredients.

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There are a number of pupusas to try and being unable to chose we went with the rebuelta, a blending of cheese, beans and pork inside a firm, thick corn packet. The warm, melted cheese filling is gooey and delightful interspersed with fried pork and creamy beans. Served alongside is a crunchy mix of cool, mildly pickled cabbage and vegetables, adding a refreshing tang to the comforting pupusas.

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El super clásico breakfast offers a traditional taste of Salvadorian specialties. First a green pepper, tomato, and onion scramble of creamy eggs can be enhanced with a few shots of salsa to pop the flavors, although that is hardly necessary. Also on the plate we found fresh avocado slices, a hunk of hard, crumbly, salty cheese, a mix of starchy rice and beans called casamiento (married, referring to the union of the two), sausage, sweet caramelized plantains, crema and two thick corn tortillas.

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This substantial meal radiates with textures as well as sweet and savory flavors.  The coarse sausage, snap under the teeth and provide a mild, yet well spiced experience that adds a smoky essence to the platter.

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American breakfasts of pancakes, waffles, eggs, ham, bacon or omelets are available to mix and match with any of the Salvadorian dishes.

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For early breakfast, brunch or lunch in an adorable, homespun spot where overflowing plates are both exciting and extremely satisfying, Honey Bee’s House of Breakfast is a sweet spot to start the day.

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Honey Bee’s House of Breakfast, 4715 West Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90016       Phone – 323-731-7203      web site – honeybeeshob.com

 

 

Our New Favorite Pupuseria

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Walkng into Con Sabor Pupuseria we noticed pupusas on every table. That’s no coincidence, so we followed suit. Pupusas are Salvadorian, thick, handmade, cornmeal tortillas stuffed with a variety of fillings.

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The small clean restaurant has an extensive menu and two full pages of pupusas to choose from.

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All pupusas are filled with a heavy layer of white, creamy cheese which can be enhanced with a variety of meats, beans, vegetables, eggs, seafood or fruit.

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We are crazy for strong flavors and chose from the special menu, cheese with garlic and cheese with onion were too tempting to resist.  The cheese with garlic hits hard with an intense wallop from the sharp bulb. While the cheese and onion has a more mellow, yet clear oniony flavor that inhabits the cheese stuffed corn tortilla completely.

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Pupuspas are traditionally served with a Salvadorian tomato sauce. This one, after the initial tomato essence, continues on with a nice tingle of chili and spices.  Not particularly hot as much as offering a flavor filled tang on top of the pulpy fruit.

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The real heat comes from the chili infused, fermented, shredded cabbage and carrot slaw called cortido served with the pupusas. This healthy side salad is great all by itself and shoots the pupusas into the realm of tantalizing.

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We can’t resist a plate of fried plantains with their soft sweet centers and crisp browned edges. This version comes with a salty, sweet bowl of black beans and dollop of creme that tastes like a mild, soft whipped cream cheese.  Both add depth and dimension to the already soul satisfying starchy fruit.

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A small side salad rounds out the meal for us, creating a dream vegetarian dinner. We identify as omnivores, yet felt completely satisfied with the variety of flavors, textures, tastes and varying spicy heat levels coming from these dishes.

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A colorful medicine chest by the register offers cookies and pastries. We chose the one with a heap of pineapple inside for .35 cents and were quite pleased with its flakey, sweet finishing of our meal.

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For those who have been underwhelmed and wondering what all the pupusa fuss is about, we think a trip to Con Sabor Pupuseria will clear that up with the first bite. It certainly did for us. Enjoy.

Con Sabor Restaurant, 5105 Venice Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90019             Phone – 323-936-0231

 

 

 

 

 

 

Westside Mexican and Salvadorian Temptress

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Tonight we checked out Manoly’s Bakery on Santa Monica Boulevard. A couple blocks west of Barrington, in the heart of west LA, we were thrilled to find fantastic tacos, tamales, flan and pupusas, not commonly encountered in these parts.

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The small shop painted electric green, forces the walls to vibrate against the red signage. A case of Mexican sweet breads sits along the wall as we entered.  We then came upon an ice cream case filled with Thrifty brand ice cream sidled up to Latin crafted exotic flavors.  A cold pastry case also thrills with sweets such as napoleons and flan.

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The menu has a selection of American offerings but based on the decor, staff and recommendations we went right for the Latin food and hit pay dirt.

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We were especially thrilled with the tacos of al pastor and carne asada. The pastor is juicy, spiced pork carved off a rotisserie, edged with fat and brimming with the flavor that only comes from slow cooking grease trickling down and imbuing its essence into the meat. This al pastor is particularly remarkable for its very distinct infusion of sweet pineapple juice that adds a citrus sweetness perfectly complementing the porkiness.

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The carne asada  (roast meat), is a cut of fine beefy steak that is well marbled and spice balanced. Succulent enough to eat alone, the meat transforms with the addition of onion, cilantro, avocado and salsa, into the taco of our dreams.

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Speaking of salsa, Manoly’s has a slightly spicy molcajete, coursely ground salsa, that celebrates the roasting and burning of fresh peppers and tomatoes by incorporating their smoky goodness into the condiment.

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We used the molcajete on everything achieving stunning results. Its freshness enhances all it touches, including the chicken in red sauce, tamales Oxaquenos.

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Outside on the sidewalk, Salvadorian pupusas are prepared on order and grilled, not a regular sight on Santa Monica Boulevard at this end of town.  They take about twenty minutes and combine simple cheese, cheese and calabasa (pumpkin), pork or beans.

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Customers choose their fillings which are slapped into corn flour and grilled.

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A red tomato sauce and curtido (pickled cabbage relish), top the oozing, grilled cheese filled packages.

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The beans add a hit of saltiness to the basic homey flavor.

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Desserts abound as this is a bakery, which we briefly forgot as we dug into some of the best tacos we’ve had on the westside. Napolians and fat cakes temp.

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As do the enormous Mexican sweet breads, that will surely throw us off our carb free diet with the force of a freight train.

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We were able to pass the breads this time, but the flan proved too tempting.  They have two kinds and we fell big time for the large round of homestyle flan, whose eggy richness is enhanced by the sweet caramel syrup that it floats in.  This flan is amazingly light and rich at the same time with just the right touch of sweetness.

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This physics defying dessert, is the perfect finish to any meal.

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For an emersion into the enchantresses of Mexico and El Salvador, Manoly’s Bakery proves to be a revelation, escorting the exciting flavors of Latin America to us in the most rewarding of forms.  Thank you Manoly.

Manoly’s Bakery, 11771 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Phone – 310-473-0622