A weird wave may be washing over Boyle Heights, but not at Primera Taza Coffee House, a business that Juan Romero founded in 2009 and sold to Chuy Tovar and business partner Antonio Segoviano in 2015. The space near Mariachi Plaza is warm and welcoming, with art-lined red, yellow, and blue walls, a workhorse three-group La Marzocco espresso machine, and a small sandwich selection. Occasionally, you’ll also find a rare Guadalajara specialty: lonche de lomo.
Tovar flies sturdy, baguette-like rolls called birote salado from Guadalajara to feature in Primera Taza’s lonche de lomo ($9) and lonche de panela. Now famous Belgian baker Camille Pirotte created the signature fermented bread for invading French soldiers and was rewarded with a mispronunciation of his name. At Primera Taza, staffers stuff birote salado with slices of roasted pork loin seasoned with clove, bay leaf and salt, made with a recipe from the family of Guadalajara-born Rosalinda Hernandez (Tovar’s wife). Cooling crema, pickled jalapeño, red onion, heirloom tomato, and avocado join the party. The whole sandwich is plated in a mild red “special sauce” crafted with a blend of three dried chilies. The capper: pickled jalapeño and carrot. Check Primera Taza’s Instagram feed to see when this destination sandwich is available.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.