Food Fashion and Flow: Chichen Itza Restaurant (LV's LA)   

Friday, October 18, 2013

Chichen Itza Restaurant (LV's LA)

In Los Angeles there is no shortage of Mexican Restaurants, but there is definitely one that will make you realize that there is more to Mexican food than tacos and burritos. Chichen Itza will make you want to pull out your passport and fly straight to the Yucatan.

  The Yucatan food of the Mayans is Mexican food like you have never had it. 
Years ago a friend of mine who knows about my love of Island food and culture, said: “I have got the perfect spot for you.”  When I saw the location I was taken aback, but when I took my first bite of Cochinita Pibil, my taste buds started dancing like they were about  to enter a merengue competition.
I noticed  similarities between the food of the West Indies that I have always loved and this delicious Mexican food that was unlike anything I had ever had, My friend who was from Southeastern Mexico  said that when I told her I loved Jamaican food, she knew I would love Yucatan too and she was so right.
  The restaurant is named after Chichen Itza, which is located in the eastern portion of  the Yucatán in Mexico

The location of this hidden Los Angeles gem is in the Mercado La Polamo Complex, which is basically strip mall meets community compound.  Believe it or not, you will have a 5 star dining experience, minus the white tablecloths and  gloves. If there were ever a place that needs to be on your bucket list of restaurants to try in Los Angeles, Chichen Itza is definitely one of those places. 

The restaurants signature dish is the flavorful and succulent Cochinita Pibil, pork marinated with achiote, sour orange juice, spices, cooked in banana leaves, and topped with pickled red onions. The meat is so tender that you just poke it with your fork and it collapses into a blanket of fragrant spices. The dish is bright and citrusy and when accented with the house made Habanero sauce, bold and fiery.

 The Habanero pepper is nothing to play with. This is heat on another level. The Habanero and the Scotch Bonnet Pepper of Jamaica are among the hottest peppers on earth

No words for how good this is. None

This is not for wimps. I repeat: "Habanero sauce is not for wimps"

The orange jicama salad is light, refreshing and has the right amount of crunch and a subtle hint of heat from red pepper. This is the perfect way to start your meal or cool your taste buds if you are crazy enough to try the habanero sauce:-)

Sweet, juicy, tart, spicy

The grilled chicken is flavorful with achiote, topped with pickled red onions  and comes with a delicious slaw, black beans, rice, and sweet plantains along with freshly made warm tortillas.

 The traditional black beans and rice prevalent in Latin culture are costars in most of the dishes here. There are plenty of chicken and fish dishes if you don't eat pork and lots of options if you are a vegetarian.

These sweet plantains are so tasty along with the savory dishes

 Come to this restaurant expecting to taste a side of Mexico you may not have experienced before. There are some familiar items such as Tortas, tacos and tamales, but they are prepared in the Yucatan style. You will also see items you have never heard of, but I promise you, E-V-E-R-Y thing is Deeeeeelicious!

The food is definitely the star here, so don’t come expecting ambiance. The food is absolutely amazing and worth a stop if you are in the area, or swing by and get some takeout to enjoy at home. The food is insanely good and it is quite healthy with most of the dishes grilled or steamed, rather than fried. Yucatan and Jamaican food have always been my favorites. And since Yucatan is light and flavorful, I could eat it everyday.

If you are in the Los Angeles area, this is a must try place. And if you don't feel like dining in this community compound, meets strip mall, meets fine dining sorta place, just call in your order and take it home. Your taste buds will thank you. And now I think I need to find my passport...

Chichen Itza
3655 S. Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90007



Emmylou said...

That grilled chicken looks sooooo good! I shouldn't read your posts when I'm hungry:P
Have a great weekend, LV:)

yummychunklet said...

Fantastic looking restaurant!

Kat asecondglance said...

Wow, I am now profoundly displeased with the cereal I'm eating as I read this post.

Trinka Polite said...

Beautiful pics! Food looks DElish!:-)

We Are Not Martha said...

I love habanero peppers and everything about this post looks awesomeeee.


Sincerely Mally said...

WOWW as an island girl this post just made me hungry as ever!!! Everything look so good!


MarkD60 said...

Looks great! I've been to Chichen Itza. You should definitely go if you can.

Miss Dre said...

My mouth is watering looking at all of the beautiful pictures. I would love to dine at a place like this!

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