Sunday, November 1, 2009

Antojitos Bibi: Honduran Food

I was looking for a good Honduran food restaurant recently as Ryan Richey is going on an LDS mission there and I wanted to take the young men out to try it. The best reviews in the Los Angeles area seemed to belong to Antojitos Bibi, located at 2400 W. 7th Street in Los Angeles, across from MacArthur Park. It was too far to take the young men, but Judy and I went to Westwood on Saturday to visit Andrew. So we took Andrew and Lexi there for lunch, and it is a great find!

We ordered mostly based on what we read in reviews from Yelp and Chowhound. The following is a balleada, a flour tortilla with filling.

I pulled it open to show the filling of beans, cream, avocado, egg and sausage. You can order different combinations and I ordered this one based on a recommendation and it was very good.

Next we had a chicken tamale (we ate all of the food family style, which was nice as we were able to simple a little bit of everything). I am not a real fan of Mexican tamales. I'll eat them, but don't really enjoy them. I find them dry and tasteless. The Honduran tamales are cooked in banana leaves and they are very moist and flavorful. I really like them.

We got an order of catrachitas, 6 small tostada type tortillas with a ground beef layer, followed by a layer of cabbage and pickled onions (the red on top). They are good, but nothing I would go out of my way for.

The next picture shows a little nibble of baleada, top, chicken hanging out of the tamale, left, and a catrachita.

Next we had pastelitos, like a small turnover or pot sticker, filled with ground beef and covered with cheese, cabbage and pickled onions. They were good and different, but again something I woudn't go out of my way for.

Below, a small piece of remaining pastelito, showing the inside, and in front, cabbage and onion.

We had a cheese papusa. The cabbage it came with was not as marinated, and it also came with a separate bowl of red sauce which was nice on top. The papasu was bigger and better than the other papusas I've had before.

Below, a portion of the papusa, showing the cheese inside.

By far the best thing we had was Tapado de res, a soup served in coconut milk, plantains, yucca and, best of all, beef short ribs. It is only served on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Now that is worth a drive, a long drive. Lexi pronounced the short ribs the best she's ever tasted. Judy seconded her thought. The short ribs were wonderfully tender and melt in your mouth good.

The soup came with a couple of tortillas and rice, and we followed the recommendations of other bloggers and put the rice in the soup. FANTASTIC! The coconut base is rich and creamy, the fat from the beef adds flavor and the plantains are nice and mushy and swallow without chewing.

The other recommended soup was Sopa de caracol, conch soup. It was also good, but not on the same planet as the Tapado de res. The conch was a little rubbery and chewy. It was also a coconut base broth and had yucca, carrot and potato. It was not as spicy, a little more sweet and understated. It was good, but because the other was so good, we did not eat anywhere near as much of it.

It was really a blast having a menu of items I've only tried once or twice before, and many items I've never even heard of. It was so good that I'd like to go back and systematically try the entire menu. However, on a weekend, I'll be hard-pressed to avoid the Tapado de res. That is one fantastic bowl of soup!


  1. Don't forget the drinks. I had cashew juice. Andrew had a papaya shake. Lexi had a cantaloupe shake. Bob had yellow cherry juice called "nance." I think Lexi's melon shake was the best.

  2. Wow, looks incredible! I suspect my son-in-law will be very jealous too.

  3. MMM tapado de res. I've been looking for a recipe, but they all have fish and pineapple. oh and milkshakes! What an amazing meal.