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Restaurant Review: Gloria’s Café

A popular place to get your Latin Fusion is Gloria’s Café.  Gloria’s Café, a fusion of Mexican and Salvadorian cuisine, was pretty packed the Sunday afternoon I visited.

I ordered the homemade guacamole, as a starter.  It was creamy, as guacamole should be, but I disappointed at the size–it appeared to be just a scoop. For $4, that seems unfair.

Pupusas filled with pork and cheese

My main course was two pupusas revueltas, and two Mexican tamales.  I loved the enormous pupusas, which were about  5 inches in diameter. The pupusas revueltas were made of a corn masa (dough) filled with pork and cheese. The buttery crunchy texture of the dough complimented the cheesy, soft, meaty center.

Chicken with red salsa filled Tamales

However, the Mexican chicken tamales were dry. The red salsa had no flavor and did not provide enough juiciness. The chicken was arid, and it even overwhelmed the dryness of the holey masa.  When I think of Mexican chicken tamales, green sauce usually pops up, but they served the tamales with red salsa, which cut my cravings for it.

I invited a guest, to critique Gloria’s Café.  Susana Figueroa, a 4th-year international development studies student, is too familiar with the restaurant business, having working about seven years in multiple position such as waitress to kitchen aid.

She ordered the Salvadorian Plato Tipico.  This dish is served with one pupusa, yuca frita (fried yucca plant root), chicarron (fried pork rinds), curtido (pickled cabbage salad), platanos (fried bananas), rice and black beans.

Plato Tipico serve one pupusa, yucca frita , chicaron, curtido, platoons, rice and black beans.

La Boquisabrosa: “What did you like about the plate?”

Susana: “I like that it had a huge variety of food, and I like that I didn’t have to order a extra side of platanos, because it came with it.”

LB: “Do you like the plate?”
S: “Yes, I really like the plate.”
LB: “I know that you are half-Salvadorian.  Was the plate true to Salvadorian roots, or did [restaurant] play with it, since it is a fusion restaurant?”
S: “The [menu] said it was typical Salvadorian…[it] was true to what I’ve grown up with, the platanos, the pupusas, the beans, were all normal. And the yucca–that I’ve never tried before–was a good first time. It was really good.”
LB: “So do you recommend people to going there for a true Salvadorian plate?”

S: “Yes.”

Overall, my guest and I agree that Gloria’s Café is a delectable place for Salvadorian food and not so yummy on the Mexican side dishes.

Rating: $: Comida Cómodo

Gloria’s Café Website

Con Amor, la boquisabrosa,

Maria

P.S.  I am in the quest to find the perfectly yummy and true Salvadorian restaurant and any Latino or Latino-inspired restaurant.  If you know of a place, please feel to email me at [email protected]

Bella Vista Pizzeria

In the midst of the Venice Boulevard, between Sepulveda and Overland, stands a pizzeria  between a leather shoe store and a tattoo parlor.  What do they have all have in common?  They take pride in their Brazilian culture.  Bella Vista Pizzeria takes one of Italy’s greatest exports (pizza) and gives it a twist.  In Bella’s courtyard I’m surrounded by tall trees that semi-block the light from the window roof; beyond there were the cattle-skin chairs I sat in, setting up an image of the environment of Brazil.
I ordered their specialty: all-you-can-eat for only $12.99.  The workers will come to my table several times with different pizzas, serving you as many slices as you like.  I tried several types as follow:

Carne Seca
Dry beef, leeks, mozzarella cheese and black olives pizza.  I am not fan of the briney taste given off by the dry beef, which overwhelms the mozzarella.
Margherita
A typical Italian margherita pizza made with mozzarella, parmesan, basil, and tomatoes.  It has the delicious classic taste of margherita, the only difference is the ingredients are exported from Brazil.
Vegetarian
Mozzarella cheese, corn, mushrooms, broccoli, bell pepper, and black olives.  A perfect option for vegetarians, the delightful taste of the bell pepper doesn’t overpower the taste of the other vegetables.
Romana
Mozzarella cheese, anchovies, tomatoes, black olives, oregano.   I usually dislike anchovies, but the taste of this pizza had such a zesty taste that I forgot I was eating them.
Strogonoff
Beef  strogonoff and potato sticks.  Beef strogonoff is (Russian) sautéed beef. The combination with the potato sticks gives it a crunchy texture.  This is definitely on the top of my picks for pizza.
4 cheese
Mozzarella cheese, catupiry, provolone, and parmesan cheese.  This is the cheesiest of them all, and quite a delight. Catupiry, a cream cheese made in Brazil, makes this unique.
Pepperoni
The classic is ok.  If you are eating here, I will advise you not to chose this option because it is like any other.
Rúcula com Tomate seco
Mozzarella di buffala, dried tomato, arugla. The aroma given by the arugla complements the sweet taste given by the dried tomato.  A must have.

If these taste are too much, the all-you-can-eat comes with dessert.  Not after finishing all of the pizzas they offer, but in between each round of pizza.

Banana com canela
Mozzarella cheese, banana, cinnamon.  At first when I heard that they make dessert pizza, I was pretty surprised.  The combination of the cheese, banana, and cinnamon is pleasant.
Brigadeiro com Morango
Chocolate and condensed milk, and strawberries.  It was first mouth-watering, but by the second bite the condensed milk and the chocolate give an overpowering taste of sweetness.  I don’t have such a sweet tooth, so this type of dessert is for the admirer of super sweets.

Overall, Bella is the place to discover new types of pizza, too mingle and to watch fútbol, if you are fan.  I recommend this place for exotic pizza.

Rating: $: Comida Cómodo
Com Amor (Con Amor), la boquisabrosa,
Maria

http://www.bellavistabrazilianpizza.com/index.html

$: Ajy, it’s pocket friendly!
$$: Comida Cómoda
$$$: la dolorosa