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Migas in LA?

i
iLoveFood Jul 25, 2006 05:27 PM

Has anyone come across migas here in LA. Would prefer the Westside but any recommendations are welcome.

Thank you in advance.

  1. ellaystingray May 19, 2007 09:00 PM

    As some one who grew up in Los Angeles (and lives here now) and spent 5 years living in Texas I might be able to lend some clarification to this thread. Both with myraid versions, migas and chilaquiles can come out of a kitchen at times seeming related though they are different dishes. These are the things that I think differentiate the two:

    --while both can contain eggs, migas are fundamentally a scrambled egg dish while chilaquiles may or may not have them. Put differently, you can't have migas without scrambled eggs but you can have chilaquiles without them.

    --While migas certainly has "salsa" in the mix, it is often (not always, but often) more of a "pico de gallo" style. Chilaquiles are based on the idea of of softening the tortilla chips in a more "wet/blended" style of salsa. SO, migas tend to be a bit more eggy due to the higher proportion of egg to salsa and chilaquiles tend to be "wetter" due to the importance of the salsa in the dish. Put differently, migas are scambled eggs, flavored and texured by salsa and chips while chilaquiles is a salsa base flavoring tortilla chips and eggs/chicken etc.

    --Speaking of chicken, this in another area of separation. While I am sure there could be good versions of migas with chicken in them, it is a totally unexpected ingredient. Not all chilaquiles have chicken, but it is much more common. Meaning, chicken in migas is a departure, whereas in chilaquiles it is just a version.

    --Lastly--and this is a little more ephemral--I think chilaquiles have slightly more, how do I say this, "stature?" in the world of Mexican cuisine. I spent a summer school semester living in Mexico and my host family had a recipe for chilaquiles passed down from generation to generation. While it is ostensibly a morning meal of what is leftover from the night before, it was implied that fantasic salsa (verde in my house but that doesn't mean there aren't good rojo and blanco (yes, there is a blanco version too) preparations) was the single most important component. While no one is skimming veal stock all day, exceptional chilaquiles take a little more preparation time and the layers of flavor are greater and there is likely a little more skill involved if not just a little more time. Though not a great comparison, for illustration, maybe the difference between an omlette and a scramble.

    Unfortunately, this post ends on a sad note--there are no migas in LA. Okay, I've only been to, like 70 Mexican restaurants in LA and breakfast is the rarest of meals in my world so I am no expert, but migas appear to be particularly regional to Texas. Similarly, you just don't find queso here very often. I am sure the chows can find places that have it, but I doubt I'll enjoy it as much as Maudie's, Guero's, Maria's and Kirby Lane. Okay, maybe not the BEST migas at these joints, but I tended to be eating there under compromising circumstances, i.e. still unacceptable BAC in the eyes of the DPS.

    If anyone does find good migas in SoCal, let the world know.

    1. h
      highendhats May 19, 2007 07:14 PM

      You can find some version of Migas at Quality on 3rd and at the Newsroom on Robertson. Quality has the best version...called Chili Killers on the menu.

      1. sku Jul 26, 2006 02:58 AM

        My experience is that Migas, which I've had in Texas and New Mexico is tortilla chips with egg in salsa, while chilaquiles is just chips cooked in the salsa. I'm not aware of any good migas, but good chilaquiles can be had at Guelaguetza or at Loteria in the Farmer's Market.

        2 Replies
        1. re: sku
          k
          ks in la Jul 26, 2006 03:33 AM

          I agree with your definition, sku - migas has eggs, chilaquiles doesn't. But apparently this isn't totally consistent since I've seen reports of chilaquiles with eggs here (although honestly I've never ended up with any when I've ordered chilaquiles).

          And if you try out Posh on Pico, I'd suggest asking a few questions first. From their online menu and photos, it looks like they're a breakfast sandwich option. That is definitely not what I think of when I want migas.

          Previously posted answers to this question point to the Cafe del Rey in Marina del Rey. But looking at their brunch menu their version includes lobster. Hmmmmmm, don't know if I'd try it myself, but it's worth noting.
          http://www.cafedelreymarina.com/pdfs/...

          I hope someone eventually reports on real migas! But Tex-Mex can be tough to find here. Thank goodness there's so much other excellent Mexican food and local variations of it.....

          1. re: ks in la
            Dommy Jul 26, 2006 04:44 PM

            Chilaquilles can and do indeed come with Egg, they are a traditional breakfast food in Mexico using the 'left overs' from last night's dinner and the protein added on top is Egg. The eggs can be scrambled, fried, I've even seen poached in Mexico City (So good!!) The reason lots of places skip it is because lots of places (Like Loteria) don't prepare chilaquilles properly. They use their regular stash of Tortilla Chips, instead of freshly fried REAL tortilla quarters (TOTALLY different texture and thickness). The ones at Pepe's galley are prepared properly come with the egg option and they are so nice there, you can request to get your egg to come in anyway (I skipped the egg when I ordered because I got my egg fix in the Machaca. :))

            --Dommy!

        2. hrhboo Jul 25, 2006 11:47 PM

          Thanks for the feedback. I've often been tempted to get those chilaquiles at the farmer's market but I can't get past the tacos.

          1. hrhboo Jul 25, 2006 10:49 PM

            I'm no expert either, but I've seen long, long lines for Chilaquiles at the Farmer's Market on Pico in West LA on Saturday mornings.

            1 Reply
            1. re: hrhboo
              Dommy Jul 25, 2006 10:56 PM

              Those are good! The best I've had in the City are from Pepe's Galley in the Mar Vista Bowling Alley on Venice near Centinella. They rival the ones I had from Mexico City... SO good smoothered in Red Sauce and dusted with anejo cheese. Be a glutton like me and also order the Machaca. A better breakfast is not found anywhere else...

              --Dommy!

            2. p
              PeteEats Jul 25, 2006 10:47 PM

              I don't know if it will help your search, but the Texas dish called "migas" is often called "chilequilles" in Arizona and California. Sorry but no place which makes a good version is coming to mind.

              1. ipsedixit Jul 25, 2006 06:19 PM

                No expert on this dish, but I've had these tortilla creations at POSH ON PICO (http://poshonpico.com/index.php).

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