Not every meal has to involve luxury items to stand out. In fact, most don’t, which is fine by me. Luckily, my new office is within striking distance of Boyle Heights, where the streets are practically lined with high-value, grab-and-go foods like burritos, tacos, tortas, and tamales. One of my favorite spots so far for tamales is La Mascota Bakery, Boyle Heights institution that dates to 1952. The air is thick with the enticing aroma of fresh baked pan dulce, and if you ask, they’ll retrieve house-made tamales from the back.
La Mascota’s Tamales ($1.50 each) are cradled in plastic wrapped corn husks, which steam fluffy masa folded with various ingredients. I enjoyed one tamale with a liberal helping of molten Monterey jack, spicy sliced jalapenos, and light tomato sauce. Still, let’s get real, since they have a deluxe Pork Tamale, you should clearly start there. Tender chunks of shredded pork shoulder are slathered with a mildly spicy salsa crafted from red chiles California.
By all means order a tamale featuring chicken, beef, or cheese, but since they only cost $1.50 apiece, you might as well order the royal flush. As always, in any hand, pork is the ace.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.