|Garnachas, Guatemala's answer to sopes, at Amalia's|
Take dishes familiar to Angelenos like tamales and chile rellenos and add a tropical feel with avocado, plenty of plaintains and a distinctive set of spices, and you’ve got Guatemalan cuisine.
Starters include tamales that differ from the large, corn-husk wrapped Mexican varieties: Tamales de chipilin are small ones with no filling, made for dipping, while chuchitos are small and filled with chicken or pork. Another good starter is garnachas, fried sopapilla-like discs topped with ground beef and curtido, or cabbage salad.
|Amalia's sampler plate with longaniza sausage, carne asada, chile relleno and more|
For a taste of several main dishes, try the Plato Amalia ($19). The good-sized sampler platter includes Carne Adobada—deliciously tangy pork marinated in Guatemalan spices; carne asada; local Longaniza sausage with pork, green onion and mint; and a chile relleno stuffed with ground meat and vegetables that’s lighter than the Mexican version. Alternate bites of the meats with flavorful refried black beans, fried plantains, guacamole and freshly-made corn tortillas.
Amalia’s, 751 N. Virgil Ave., 323-644-1515