For kare_raisu: Yucatan Tamale Variations
I wanted to respond to you so that others on the L.A. board could enjoy The Yucatecan Tamale Variants that are out there available to us here in L.A.! :)
To answer your question, the only restaurant that has Brazo de Reyna on their regular menu is Chichen Itza.
To be honest, it's a good representation of the dish, but misses it's mark I think in order to be more 'approachable'. A Brazo should taste of toasted Calabaza seeds (Not pumpkin, but punkin will do in a pinch) and have the HERBAL taste of the Chaya. This version tastes mostly like Masa and I always found the tomato sauces at Chichen Itza a little weak and watery. Hopefully they step it up for their bigger restaurant. ANyway, the way this dish SHOULD look is best seen on this site. Just click on the "Menu" and the first picture shows an absolutely BEAUTIFUL Brazo de Reyna cut and on a bed of Chaya...
For the most authentic Yucatecan Tamale Experience in L.A. however, there is La Flor de Yucatan.
They regularly make the most amazing regular banana leaf tamale, as well as the "Tamal colado" made with strained Masa. It's a mixture of Jello and Tamale. I personally LOVE it because it's made with a slice of tomato and a leaf of Chaya no top. So again, it's saucy and herbal....
They MIGHT be willing to make you a Brazo de Reyna on special order (They are GREAT about special orders!) and since it's getting near Day of Dead, they regularly take special orders on Mucbil Pollos, the traditional food of Mayan Day of the Dead. This are big flat tamale cakes filled with Chicken and Pork and baked in the Pibil style... REALLY an excellent way to have a Tamal. Here's a great picture of one...
If you try any of these, please be sure to report back and let us know what you think!! :)
youre exactly right about the watery tomato sauces. this is what always bugged me about chichen itza. beautifully presented dishes but lacking some ooomph!
maybe its time for a la flor de yucatan visit before the la weekly detour concert this saturday!
Thanks a million for taking the time in posting this for me, Dommy -- you are my official instructor of the wonders that is Yucatecan cuisine!
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