Saturday, April 23, 2005

Do you REALLY like garlic?

I like garlic a lot. I find it really odd that people are always warning you to stand far away from others after eating at Versailles or Zankou -- if those people can't handle someone who's just eaten at Zankou Chicken, maybe I don't want to know them anyway. I love the Thai garlic pepper dishes where little heaps of golden fried garlic puddle around the shrimps, providing the perfect garnish for the rice after the shrimp is gone.
I had a hankering for some camarones al mojo de ajo (garlic shrimp) after work the other night, and stopped in at Marisco Colima. It's a tiny shack anchoring a carwash on Beverly, which looks like it should be on an Ensenada street corner, with a basic menu of Mexican seafood straight up -- there's the cockteles, the caldo, shrimp with ranchera or diablo sauce, and some fried whole fish. That's it. And these aren't Ensenada prices either -- the place may be a hole in the wall, but it gets an A rating, and shrimp don't come cheap anymore. So I got my $11 camarones to go, and opened the to-go box at home to find huge snowdrifts of garlic covering a medium-sized pile of shrimp.

Unfortunately the corn tortillas had fused back into masa on the drive, so making shrimp tacos was out. I quickly polished off the tasty, garlicky shrimp, garnished with avocado slices. I didn't feel like rice or beans so I started scooping up bits of garlic with the shards of tortillas I could salvage. This went on for sometime, until I had probably consumed about half a cup of minced garlic in an unidentified oily, buttery sauce, tempered by a bit of tortilla.
The verdict: Marisco Colima makes a nice plate of shrimp. After finishing the shrimp, put down the fork, and walk away. All that leftover garlic is to give the shrimp flavor, not to be eaten plain. You have been warned. Will be back for the caldo (fish soup), perhaps -- this place makes me feel like I'm in Mexico.
Marisco Colima
4002 Beverly Blvd.
(213) 385-2828


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