Colonia Publica - Wow


#1

I find myself stymied for words to express how wonderful the place is. Perhaps the only fideo hut in the country? If this is what Mexicans eat as their cheap family meals that they have been hiding from the restaurant scene (I think Jonathan Gold claimed this), then they are an even more wonderful culture than I previously imagined.

It seems like the word is pretty much already out, but this place is worth the trek to Whittier. I overloaded my bowl of fideo with all manner of oddities from chicharrones to tortilla strips, garlic shrimp to cilantro chutney, plus chorizo and smoked sausage, and plenty of avocado. The depth of flavors and texture is remarkable. It all feels somewhere in between pho and boat noodles and kind of posole-ish, but humble, and insane all at the same time.

Their custom micheladas are also fascinating, and the appetizers seem well-executed and quirky judging purely from the other people around me.

But the bowls of fideo are just something else. One of the most unique, enchanting dishes in all of Los Angeles.

Anyone else been?


#2

You say you loaded your bowl with all manner of oddities. Does that mean the broth is already cooking and you add whatever you like? Or did the bowl you order just have all of that included?


#3

You pick what you want them to add to the base of noodles (fideo) + broth via a scoresheet/checklist kind of thing.


#4

I assume you tried the meat-based broth; did you happen to notice if they’re offering a vegetarian base, too? (This place has been on my list for sometime - we need to head east, soon.)


#5

In fact, they do offer a vegetarian broth option!

I can’t speak to whether it is as good as the meat broth, but there are plenty of vegetarian things you could load up the soup with (corn, nopales, crema, cilantro chutney, avocado, pico de gallo, beans, just off the top of my head).


#6

Thank you! The menu is certainly appealing - and yes to the variety of add-ins. Are they included in the price or priced separately?


#7

There are also eggs, hard-boiled, or fried. Kind of odd there is no drop option or soft boiled, but maybe that plays to the homestyle of it all.

The add-ins are not included in the price. It’s $6 for the broth and noodles, and then add-ins vary in price.

I ended up paying $13.25 for my bowl, but I had an abnormal amount of add-ins as far as I could tell from how others were getting their bowls.


#8

If you go to Yelp, you can see an example of their order form for the add-ins(i.e picture #24). Each add-in ranges from .25 to $1.50.


#9

I tried this place when it was still a pop-up. Good to see that it’s a grown-up now.

That said, having since tried fideo in Manhattan, I must say Diaz’s version seems rather lacking in both flavor and body to this n00b.


#10

One can only hope fideo becomes a major food trend.

Where is it served in Manhattan?


#11

Quite a few places actually. Bar Jamón, Fonda and I think I’ve also had it Tablao.

It was also served to us at the Chef’s Table at Empellón Cocina.


#12

I wonder why it has taken so long to make it to LA given the massive Mexican influence here?


#13

You should get out more.

Colonia Publica is hardly the first, much less only, fideo purveyor in LA.

Tere’s has it, as does that travesty of a restaurant Red O, and even Loteria Grill. In DTLA, BS Taqueria has had it as does Bar Ama.

Don’t let a hipster chef fool you into thinking his shit smells any better than any of ours. Well, ok, maybe mine.


#15

Ipsedixit- First off, what was your favorite of the Manhattan spots?

Second–was Chef’s Table at Empellón worth all that cash? Is it similar to any LA spots?


#16

All of the places you just listed are hipster joints.

When you say fideo, you mean literally just the noodles, or the actual Mexican soup dish as presented at Colonia?


#17

I don’t know if I have a favorite. The fideo at Bar Jamon was quite interesting b/c of the seafood, but I’m not good enough with fideo-ness to really make a totally snarky dogmatic self-righteous statement about it.

I really enjoyed our meals at EC. Been to the Chef’s Table twice and each time at least in my estimation it was worth the price of admission (I was not paying). The fideo at EC was very nice as well, as we were told that the noodles were not only first slightly browned in lard but were also carefully added to the broth in layers (in the way of making proper Spanish paella) so as to avoid either mushy noodles or crunchy ones.

No real places immediately come to mind that’s comparable. Maybe Taco Maria, but the vibe is so different, that you’d be comparing the proverbial apples and oranges, even though one could argue both are fruits.


#18

This sounds how we do it at home. We add a bit of tomato paste into the broth to help bring out sweetness and richness. It helps the starchy broth caramelize.

–Dommy!


#19

Can I come over?

I swear. I’m house-trained. Most of the time anyway.


#20

The latter.


#21

LOL!!! Well lets put it this way, my home made 'spaghetti-os" using a similar technique lead P. to wife me… :wink:

–Dommy!