After taking a largely unintentional hiatus from quesadillas, I’m trying to make up for lost time. Now the quesadilla is an undeniably heavy dish, all that cheese and tortilla can break a stronger man than me, so for the most part I find myself craving 'dillas of the huitlacoche or squash blossom variety.
Where should I go to get my fix? So far I’ve been to the echo park huitlacoche woman. That may be my favorite thus far, fantastic blue-corn tortilla with a perfect amount of char. Great kick of spice, solid huitlacoche, pleasant amounts of quest fresco, damn good salsa. Not too greasy, nice and earthy with a slightly fruity kick from the salsa. I also had the squash blossoms, really good, but not quite on the huitlacoche level.
Had a hutlacoche quesadilla at Los Reyes de Elote in Santa Ana. Good stuff, though the quesadilla didn’t quite hit the heights of their huaraches… Good for a quesadilla fix if you’re in the neighborhood, maybe not a destination 'dilla.
Last night, I went to Nina’s quesadillas which has popped up in Boyle Heights after a two year break from street vending. Apparently she was one of the Breed Street vendors that was kicked out…who knows? I saw a J Gold endorsement and figured I should try it out. Anyways, she’s got a real solid set-up and serves quite the variety of meats/veggies. Unfortunately for my quesadilla sampling, I’d just gone all out at Hatchet Hall so was only able to sample two. The tinga was solid, certainly not as spicy as some of the variations in the city, but all in all really good. Nina is making the tortillas by hand on site, so that’s an obvious plus. She also adds queso fresco, lettuce that’s been sitting in a bucket of water so is quite wet, and some crema. All in all, it makes for a pretty rich little snack. The huitlacoche was fantastic, though it perhaps wasn’t as good as the echo park lady. Huitlacoche is surely the best quesadilla filling, is it not? It so wonderfully cuts through the inherent richness of the slightly greasy tortilla and all that cheese. Anyways, what really elevates Nina’s quesadillas is the salsa semilla which is a dry blend of peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds I think. Adds a lovely texture and a really nice nuttiness. She claims to have invented the salsa semilla herself? Is this true people with more knowledge than me?
Conclusion: Los Angeles is a really damn good place to eat quesadillas. Where else should I go?