Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Jaragua Salvadoran Restaurant - Los Angeles

Jaragua Salvadoran Restaurant is located at 4493 Beverly Blvd in Los Angeles, CA 90004 (323-661-1985). A month or so ago we visited this restaurant with some friends who had gotten the name from a listing of the best Mexican food restaurants in Los Angeles. It gets 4 stars on Yelp with 142 reviews. I have only eaten Salvadoran food once or twice, so it was nice to experience it again. It has off-street parking, which is nice, and a large room with large tables. 
El Salvador's most popular dish is the pupusa, a thick corn or rice flour tortilla stuffed with cheese, chicharron (cooked pork ground to a paste consistency), refried beans or loroco (a vine flower bud native to Central America). Other popular dishes are pollo encebollado, which contains chicken simmered with onions, yuca frita, which is deep fried cassava root served with curtido, pickled cabbage, onion and carrot topping, and chicharron with pepesca, fried baby sardines. 

Judy got the ensalada drink which was amazing. I've never had anything like it. It apparently has a pineapple base with an assortment of cut fruit mixed in it, such as apple. The base was delicious and the cut fruit was so different and nice - a really good combination. I got the orange Cuzcatlan Cola Champagne, which I understand is a staple in El Salvador, and is kind of sicky sweet, like bubblegum., although it is not quite as strong as the Peruvian Inca Kola. One bottle was more than plenty. I would gladly have traded Judy for her ensalada.   
Ensalada drink.
Cuzcatlan Cola Champagne
A jar of curtido (pickled cabbage, onion and carrot) was brought to our table in a canning jar. We all liberally applied it to our pupusas. It is vinegary, the vegetables still quite crunchy, and not particularly spicy. I would have liked it spicier, but I still found myself going through great quantities of it. 
We got a number of pupusas, cut them into quarters, one piece for each of us, and were thus able to taste quite a few varities. They indicate that their pupusas are both corn and rice masa (I'm not sure which we had, or whether it is a combination of both) and they are quite thick. We got queso (cheese}, chicharron (pork), revuelta (cheese and pork), loroco con queso (loroco and cheese) and revuelta con toda (pork, cheese and beans). The cheese and pork and cheese were best.  
Pupusas with various fillings.
Pupusas smothered with curtido.
I got a coctel en salsa rosado (pink sauce shrimp cocktail) which had quite a bit of tomato, plump shrimp, onions and a thousand island type sauce. The combination was very nice, not too thick, not too runny and the sauce complemented the shrimp nicely. Another item I would get again. 
Coctel en salsa rosado
We shared a plate of fried plantains with beans and sour cream. It was good, but the same dish we had at Rinconcito Guatemalteco was better (the plantains were more mushy and flavorful). 
Fried plantains with beans and sour cream.
We also shared plantain empanadas with milk. They were like fried donuts coated in sugar, but in the shape of a potato, with a pudding like substance inside, which I think was milk and plantain. They were quite rich and I could only eat a little bit of one. 
Plantain empanadas with milk.
View inside the empanada.
If I were to go back, I would get the ensalada drink and probably venture out into other items on the menu I've never tried before. It was a great introduction to Salvadoran cuisine and I think I'm now ready for an upper level course. 


  1. I think this was the best Central American food we've had. It helps to go with someone familiar with the cuisine.

  2. Bonnie and I are big pupusa fans. We sometimes buy a supply from a Salvadoran family in Orem who sells them from their garage on Saturday mornings. We like having extra in the fridge for quick meals during the week. And yes, I love large quantities of curtido, which works out well because Bonnie skips it altogether!