Thursday, July 23, 2009
Olvera Street: Carnitas at La Luz del Dia
Since summer weather has finally come to LA, and it feels a bit more like vacation time, I'm in a mood to celebrate the city.
I'm also in a mood to save money, since going out to eat takes its toll, so I'm going to share an old family favorite: the #6 at La Luz del Dia, a Mexican restaurant at the plaza end of Olvera Street. The #6 has a healthy portion of tender carnitas, served with real rice and beans (which means lard, I'm sorry to say) and fresh salsa and guacamole sauce - and handmade corn tortillas! This old school place has lots of nice ladies serving the food (who probably have worked there forever), beautiful tiled tables and wooden chairs, and regular mariachi bands roaming through it.
It is also located right next to a plaza that will have free entertainment on your average weekend day, including these folks, who I could have watched for hours:
And across the plaza is the small, free Chinese American Museum that is worth a few minutes of time; true to this neighborhood's history, the entire museum is in English, Spanish, and Chinese.
So, one of these sunny summer days, take the Metrolink downtown to Union Station, cross the street to Olvera Street, wander the street market, enjoy the free entertainment in the plaza, explore the Chinese American Museum, and eat some good carnitas (and maybe a churro after). And heck, Chinatown is only a few streets over, so you could spend the afternoon looking around and have Chinese food for dinner. LA doesn't have to be expensive!