I’ve been waiting to submit this update on the current state of tortas, but I was missing a 4th addition to the collection. Oh well, I’m gonna wing it. It’s not like it really matters, right? Just some arbitrary number I gave myself, which I can also ungive (?) at a moments notice. ‘Ta bien? Sopa! Let’s take a look at the various ways in which we find this homely sandwich.
We start off this update with a look at the torta from a usually exemplary eatery, El Huarache Azteca on York. I’ve had their torta vegetariana many times and it’s always a fine specimen, but this day I had it “to go” and it was a bit lacking.
Q-vo? Mostly lechuga with some hints of beans and aguacate. Kinda weird that I chose this day to take a pic of their torta, since I’ve never taken a pic of it before, and now its all weak. It’s usually nicer, for reals. I hope to provide the image of its true nature at some point in the future.
This next stop I just happened to by chance, I was driving on Washington headed to somewhere and needing some food, scanning the streets back and forth. After a few blocks I figured I should just come back to try this place, called Gish Bac.
Damn! They have HR’s on a crispy tortilla! I’m gonna come back for this some day or other, but on this warm afternoon I was craving something along the lines of a torta.
The torta de quesillo, a typical Oaxacan style torta, is right up there as one of my favorites. The salty, stringy Oaxaca cheese is packed in with lettuce, tomatoes, beans, avocado, and some sliced jalapeños en escabeche. Plus they have a lil’ salsa bar too so you can accentuate your meal.
Uh, careful if you decide to take a pic of your meal or the storefront: the guy running the place will want to know why you did that, what your motives are, who you “really” are, etc. No matter what I said, I think he was convinced I was some spy for the health dept. Oh well.
Ye’ Olde Faithful. A most inadequate but perfectly adequate torta ala Llamarada. I’d just as well never have told all you fools about this torta, since you’d never run into it on your own. But I’m convinced yer not going to be convinced anyways, so onwards. Just look at those inappropriate jack cheese shavings! This torta is not for you.
But with its beans, rice, and pico de gallo, it is for me. I think this is a french roll. A very basic torta, but that’s why Llamarada is such a favorite with local working people, they provide simple food at reasonable prices, and its pretty fast.
Well look at this! I was working on this post last night but didn’t get it finished. Which is good I guess cuz I happened upon this eatery today in Huntington Park, some new Tortas Ahogadas place called “Guadalajara in LA” that just opened up a month ago. Kind of a strange name for a business, but it makes the point. They don’t have a yelp page yet, so some of you might want to run over to be first. Only after we were leaving did I see this Grand Opening sign.
There didn’t seem to be any veggie torta options on the menu, so I just asked if they could make one of their tortas “sin carne”. The waitress was a bit confused, but after suggesting maybe they could make one with just the beans she said she would ask. Yup, they can make it. Would you like some queso fresco in it? Okay!
And here we see a new menu item made to order, one with less ingredients but often available at most Mexican eateries. I went with the half chile having learned my lesson from a previous ahogada.
When the server came to deliver this new item she looked at it and said “torta de frijoles o algo asi”, like it was a joke. Uhh, that would be me. I suppose it is kinda funny, cuz I laughed to myself a bit. But then I let out an internal tear: when will they accept us non-animal chompers as normal human beings?!? We need to eat too! Sniff, sniff. Collect yourself CHAVO!, you are stronger than this! You cannot let them beat you down with their casual mockery of your flower munching ways.
Beans and some queso fresco, decent enough ingredients. Although I could suggest a few other things to make it an even better veggie torta ahogada. Maybe I should start working on my own version. Hmm….
They also offer up some tacos dorados de papa which are quite nice, its a potato filling with black pepper, fried to perfection. All you need is some toppings and some salsas, y estubo!
So that about covers this edition of the State of the Torta, future reports coming, uhh, in the future.