Showing posts from July 10, 2011

A Surprise in Nearby Palms: Latin American Cuisine at La Cocina del Gagaguey

Speeding down Venice Blvd. heading to the 405, it's easy to miss La Cocina del Cagaguey

Open for less than a year, La Cocina is tucked away in the back corner of El Camaguey Meat Market (10925 Venice Blvd, Palms, between College and Midvale; a mile east of the 405). Much more than a butcher shop, El Camaguey has a wide selection of packaged goods, beverages and produce that are Latin American favorites. Strictly for take-out, La Cocina del Cagaguey has an extensive menu of Latin American dishes, some familiar like arroz con pollo (rice with chicken), some like encendido (braised oxtail) sound exotic. Call ahead (310/839-4037) and Ilonka Garcia, chef and owner, will have your order ready for you by the time you park in front.

As she sauteed fresh green tomatillos in a giant cast iron skillet, she explained, "The market started out being mostly for Cubans and Spaniards, but over time expanded for a larger clientel. Now you can find food that appeals to Brazilians, Peruvians, …