Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hog Heaven at CasaLinda

Being the fanatic foodie that I am, and being new to the area, it’s pretty guaranteed that I won’t often go to a place twice as am I discovering the vast culinary landscape of the various cities that make up Los Angeles. So I was surprised when I chose to take a fellow foodie freak to CasaLinda for my second time this week all for the love of pork. 

Located smack dab in the middle of Abbott Kinney, in the spot where Tortilla Grill used to reside, and owned by the same people who own Hal’s Grill, it is now relegated to become my quintessential neighborhood taco joint. I had already discovered the restaurant a mere few nights before when a friend and I were on the hunt for a place we could order out from that was walk-able from my house. Even though we didn’t eat there, I liked the non-pretentious and simple dining room where you could see the cooks making the food and the salsa bar with all different kinds of toppings including a nice avocado and jalapeno blend. 

But it was the Al Pastor pork burrito that I fell head over heels for.  Its merits lay in the super tortilla-soak-through greasy, tiny chunks of sweet caramelized pork that stuff the gargantuan burrito. Adorned with not much else but some rice and tiny, diced pieces of zucchini, it was a tangy, zesty, spicy delight bite after bite. I could easily just sit around with a bowl filled with that pork and no tortilla and be just fine. 

They have tongue and octopus and other exotic items beyond the regular, and affordably priced, normal shrimp and chicken taco fare but I am not sure if I will ever be able to get past the pork items to try anything else. Oddly enough, the pork quesadilla was a dollar more expensive then the burrito; a mystery because it’s not as much food, doesn’t have the vegetables the burrito does, and comes with only cheese added.

Now I know where to go when I have had too much fun, stayed up too late, and need something I can rely on to soak up all the revelry and put me to bed with sweetness in the belly. It reminds me of my favorite end of the evening joints in San Francisco’s Mission District.

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