Tuesday, October 7, 2008

This doesn't end well

But it starts well.  On Sunday we headed to Olvera Street for lunch and frivolity.  

Olvera Street is the oldest area of Los Angeles and houses several historical buildings.  In the 1920s, it was converted into a Mexican marketplace and offers several places for dining and shopping.  It is also the location for cultural celebrations - when I was in elementary school, every year we would travel to Olvera Street for Cinco de Mayo and watch the beautiful folklorico dancers on the center bandstand.  Then we'd buy candy and eggs with confetti inside them and throw them at each other's heads.  But I digress.

This time around, we browsed the small shops with vendors selling their colorful wares.

I thought these little leather sandals were pretty cute.

Yo quiero candy.  This is the place we'd hit up when I came here with my elementary school.

Musicians serenaded casual diners grabbing a quick bite with folk songs. The singer had a wonderfully rich alto... reminded me a little of Olga Tanon.

We also checked out the Avila Adobe, the oldest standing house in Los Angeles.   Its owner, Don Francisco Avila was the richest cattle rancher of his day and owned thousands of acres of land that stretched all the way to the La Brea Tar Pits.  The walls are built from adobe (i.e., mud) bricks that are 2 1/2-3 feet thick and the ceilings were supported by wooden beams.

The sala, or living room, had furnishings from Europe and lots of windows, which was a rarity during those times.  The plates on the table hailed from China and the Avilas did lots of entertaining here.

Don Avila's first wife died at the age of 29, leaving him with three young children.  He married 15 year old Maria Encarnarcion Sepulveda and had 3 more children.   

The office where Avila conducted his cattle ranching business...  I loved these furnishings.  Vintage California Hacienda style.

Bedroom for the Avilas.

The kids bedroom looked rather shabby by comparison. I appreciated the chamber pot under the bed.

The kitchen and oven were located outside in the courtyard under a breezeway.

We eventually made our way to La Golondrina.  Pay no attention to the "B" rating... lol

The obligatory chips and salsa... the salsa was fresh tasting and delicious.  Mr. Insomniac requested a spicer version, but I was content with mild.

Drinks abound - I got a mango margarita made with real mango puree (not that damn nectar) and Mr. Insomniac got a top shelf margarita.  Says the menu: "Fresh mango mixed with Jose Cuervo 1800 Gold, limejuice and Triple Sec. Sweet, strong and delicious." Damn straight. And we got our usual tamarindo.
Our table was on a rather steep incline - which explains the maragarita looking like it's about to spill.

Now comes the food.  I was deciding between carnitas, cochinita, or lamb.  I ended up with the cochintia pibil, "succulent pork marinated overnight in Achiote and fresh citrus juices, baked in banana leaves, served with rice and beans and tortillas."  It was very tasty... a nice hint of citrus and falling off the bone tender.

I ate about 6 forkfuls and was full.  So I wrapped it up, eagerly anticipating this for dinner and lunch for work on Monday.   (foreshadowing alert!)

Mr. Insomniac pronounced his pollo con mole ("homemade rich chocolate, chile and seasoned gravy, served over chicken breast with rice and beans") delicious and stated that it had the perfect hint of chocolate.  (He always gets that.)

As you can see, we've yet to master the skill of taking pictures before we dig in to feed. I suppose we used up all of our delay of gratification stores in graduate school.

We left full, but when I saw Mr. Churros, I knew I had to pay it a visit.  I love churros, but have had to resign myself to the substandard, desiccated churros that you get at amusement parks.   You know, the ones that have sat in the hot box for hours...  These churros were fresh and piping hot, with a guy making them as we watched.

You could get them filled with strawberry, caramel, or cream.  Purist that I am, I opted for plain.  And it was the best churro of my life.

Now this is where the tragedy unfurls itself.

So I had saved about 3/4 of my dish.  I had carried it around Olvera Street, even though it began to leak pork juice everywhere.  I located a box to store it in, when Mr. Insomniac said he wasn't going to get pork juice everywhere and began to look for a homeless man to give my food too.  I got it home safely.  And then I put it on the counter.

We were watching TV, probably Amazing Race, when I noticed Doggy Insomniac was nowhere to be found.  I heard something in the kitchen, a rustling sound.  Mr. Insomniac went to investigate, and said, "you're not going to like this."  I didn't have to go in the kitchen to know what had happened.  But I did, because I'm a masochist.  There was my dog, licking the remainder of any errant juices from the banana leaf.  He had polished off the rest of the dish a while ago, apparently, and was just licking the plate clean.

Bad dog.  Stupid insomniac.  


Dunc said...

Oh tragic - I hope Doggy Insomniac thanked you for the delicious meal, at least.

grace said...

I too loved my elementary school field trips to Olvera Street. Your blog entry brought back some great memories. =)

Since our HM in Cozumel, and eating churros daily over there, I now scoff at Costco churros, lol. I need to make a trip out to Olvera St soon!

WeezerMonkey said...

It ended well for your doggie!

Mr. Monkey used to be a churro boy at Magic Mountain.

Ann Marie said...

Never trust a puggle around leftovers.

Mia Cortez said...

I loved reading about your Olvera Street visit. I haven't been in years and I too remember going there on elementary school trips!

I have to take the girls there soon!

Sorry about the leftovers. More reason to go back and have more mango margaritas!