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Maya's Mexican and Salvadorian Food

Los Angeles CA

1600 n alvarado st, los angeles CA 90026
breakfast, lunch, dinner

Agua Verde

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Rating: 84
Price: $

Maya's is a nice place on the outskirts of Echo Park serving great food. They have both pupusas (my all-time favorite food) and tacos (my professional passion and guiding light in a world of darkness). They've got a nice restaurant, though the bathroom does lack a sink. However, if you're sick of watching looking at hipsters and ducks at Echo Lake, this is one of your options to escape the crowds and get yourself a Cactus Cooler.

I ordered 1 beef taco (their clever code name for carne asada), 1 pollo taco, and 1 pupusa revuelta (containing cheese, beans, and pork). Service was quick and I could watch the pupusas being freshly made and laid on the grill. As a prelude, we were served marinated cabbage, a pupusa tradition, along with chips and salsa. The salsa came in two varieties, a classic thin red pupusa salsa and a unusually small and unusually spicy orange salsa. The orange salsa was a real surprise, especially it's spiciness per unit volume.

The tacos themselves came garnished with the traditional onions and cilantros, but also included a nice avocado-y surprise. The asada was a bit chewy and didn't have a great blend of seasonings. The chicken, however, was just a little peppery and tasted great. The avocado was a nice touch. Unfortunately, both of the two salsa options were clearly intended for use on pupusas rather than tacos. While the red worked pretty well, it clearly desired to be ladled over something with a higher corn/filling ratio.

As a side note, the pupusa was excellent, though it was unfortunate to have just two options - cheese and revuelta. Perhaps I've mistakenly grown accustomed to pupuserias with all sorts of fillings, but I'm a man who wants what he wants. As an additional side note, don't enter the male bathroom planning to wash your hands - the sink is pretty blatantly just for decoration. Maya's got a 'B' health rating for a reason (luckily, as a rule of thumb, 'B' stands for 'Best' in the world of Southern California Mexican - with 'A' standing for 'Acceptable' and 'C' for 'Choleric').

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