Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pal Cabron: Cemitas are big time sandwiches

Pal Cabron, a Mexican restaurant in Huntington Park, specializes in Cemitas & Clayudas. For the uninitiated, Cemitas are large Mexican sandwiches on a roll that include avocado, meat, cheese and salsa. Clayudas are flat (like a pizza) and are made with a crispy tortilla with a layer of beans and pork fat on top, with meat and/or cheese added to taste.

Pal Cabron is the creation of Bricia & Fernando Lopez, part of the local restaurant dynasty that owns the Guelaguetza chain of Oaxacan restaurants in Los Angeles. (This location was formerly a Guelaguetza.)

Last week, I drove out to Huntington Park to try a cemita and see what all the fuss was about. I had met Bricia at La Descarga at a party to celebrate the drink which is named after her. Coverage here. I had the "La de Barbacha" with quesillo ($7.25), which is a lamb barbacoa cemita with quesillo (Mexican string cheese) and chipotle sauce. The sandwich was large, and quite good. The different flavors all came together to create a unified whole. There was nothing dainty about this sandwich and those with small appetites need not apply. I had originally planned on making the most of my trip to Huntington Park by pairing my visit to Pal Cabron with another meal at a nearby restaurant but a friend told me that wasn't possible, "You can't pair Pal Cabron with anyplace else. It simply isn't possible to eat another meal after eating at Pal Cabron," he said. Boy was he right.

What better to wash down the sandwich which ate Huntington Park than a horchata, the traditional Mexican beverage made with rice and cinammon and no shortage of hearty ingredients. There would be no sense to serve a wimpy horchata with the Hercules of sandwiches, and Pal Cabron's is up to the challenge.

The restaurant is covered with murals, including pictures of LA Weekly critic Jonathan Gold and local blogger Javier Cabral, Teenage Glutster, above. There are also murals of Steve Livigni and Pablo Moix from La Descarga

There is ample street parking at meters and the prices are very reasonable for the cemitas & clayudas. The only drawback about Pal Cabron for me is that it is over 16 miles from my house, so it is just far away and a long drive to get there.

Pal Cabron is located at 2560 E Gage Ave (just west of Pacific) in Huntington Park. Phone: (323) 277-9899 Website:
Huntington Park is 5 miles South of downtown Los Angeles.

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