Tuesday, August 10, 2010

La Numero Uno

Once in a while, a restaurant comes along where you experience home-cooked food that's not necessarily simple, quaint or un-fussy—it’s just real. La Numero Uno is such a place, a small Salvadorian and Mexican restaurant that serves some of the best Mexican food I’ve had in a long time. The Mercado family, who are now the owners as of a month ago, are hands-on chefs.
On the Salvadorian side of the menu, they have delicious pupusas. We ordered the revuleta pupusas, which were filled with pork, cheese and beans and served with a side of coleslaw that was wonderful. The Mexican side of the menu is mostly recipes inspired from Mexico City , including classic dishes like mojarra frita, a simple piece of fried fish, and pollo con guisado, an exquisite chicken stew—both of these were sensational and satisfying.
One of my favorite dishes, and the best I’ve had in L.A. so far, was their chile rellenos. The chilies were fresh, the batter was light, and the red sauce delicious. When I asked our server what their most authentic and unique dish was, she said the salpicon, a traditional Mexican dish of shredded meat and chopped radishes served room temperature. They made theirs with ground beef, and though it was fine, I think if made traditionally with shredded meat, it would be outrageously good.
My friend Craig who lives in the building next door turned me on to La Numero Uno. He is trying to introduce them to using some organic ingredients, so he brought some tomatoes and peaches from the farmers' market. They served us some sliced peaches for dessert, a perfect ending for a great meal.
Besides just great food, the prices are unbeatable, and you can BYOB—another great plus. It’s also right down the street from the ArcLight on Vine, so it’s a great spot for before or after a movie or any other time as well.
La Numero Uno, 1247 N. Vine St., Hollywood, 323-957-1111


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