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Mar 6, 2007 10:07 AM

Turkey a la Yucatan, where is it?

Pasadena had a restaurant called El Jardin. It served Turkey a la Yucatan. Does anyone know of another place that might serve a similar dish? Thanks.

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  1. How would you describe the dish. I have never had "Turkey a la Yucatan". But Yucatan has MANY turkey dishes...


    5 Replies
    1. re: Dommy

      Turkey that has been marinated in fruit juices and subtle spices. Best turkey I ever had aside from thanksgiving day. I've looked for recipies online but none of them seem to me to match what I believe was in the dish.

      1. re: extraordinary

        Sounds like Pavo en Escabeche. I don't see it on either of Chichen Itza's menus (They might do it special). I know la Flor de Yucatan sometimes makes it (For take out only). If you are ever in SF we had recently at Mi Lindo Yucatan...


        1. re: Dommy

          My friend's mom (they are from Merida) makes a great one - with achiote paste. SO GOOD!! I would think it would actually have lime juice (with some orange juice) to try to replicate the flavor of sour oranges that you cannot get here. She makes it in one of those turkey bags. Maybe you can try those basics and then just make it up as you go along. I would think that either way it would be really good! My friend says that sometimes Achiote is called Recado Rojo (you have to specify the red one). She may be correct, she may be not.

          1. re: WildSwede

            Escabeche is a different 'recado/mole' than Achiote. Escabeche is clear, much more tangy and herby the Achiote. Also, most things in Achiote is called "Pibil" because they are often baked. In Escabeche, things are often simmered (it's our favorite way to cook our left over thanksgiving turkey! :)

            ETA: I should have also asked the OP what color the turkey was... Because he could be talking about either! :)


            1. re: Dommy

              Thanks for the replys. The place in pasadena, I believed, used the whole turkey and I would describe the suace as clear and tangy. It really had a way of absorbing the juices.

    2. I have cooked pork pibil before, which is marinated and cooked with an achiote sauce, made with achiote paste, fresh orange juice, and fresh lime juice. I also like to cook pavo pibil (turkey), made with the same marinade and it is very good. I use reynolds turkey bags to cook the turkey, unless I can find fresh banana leaves. In Yucatan cooking, pibil turkey is also used shreded for panuchos.
      I hope this helps!

      10 Replies
      1. re: lvgoodfood

        The above is served with a Yucatan style pickled red onion salsa.

        1. re: lvgoodfood

          El Emperidor Maya served ?panuchos?, fried and flat corn tortilla with shredded turkey and vinegary, marinated red onions that was wonderful as an appetizer. Maybe Babita Mexicuisine serves it, I haven't been for several months. I had a good version at La Flor de Yucatan several months ago but I'm not sure what kind of protein they used. Too much good food, not enough brain cells!

          1. re: sel

            La Flor uses Turkey. So does Chichen Itza (Their version is VERY tasty!). Was at Babita a few weeks ago and didn't see them on the menu.


            1. re: Dommy


              how do you find babita? i've been resisting eating there because im a bit skeptical. but i think im going to go sometime soon.

              also, yeah, ive had the pavo panuchos at la flor de yucatan. they are good. ask for the habanero salsa! i gotta go back soon.

              1. re: modernist

                We found it still REALLY good. But here's the thing, it's not quite THERE in terms of advanced Mexican cuisine (the stuff that Bayless is doing and what is all over Mexico City). Nevertheless, it's still really NICE ingredients with really NICE preparations and great flavors. Also one thing he has WAY over Bayless is his sense of spicing and balance (Which I think his Yucatecan Cuisine Background REALLY helps).

                But still, it's always a bit dispointing for me to go there and see obvious signs that the the chef is still hesitant to take that next step. For example, he still serves rice and beans on the plate. And the Chips and Salsa are unlimited.

                Nevertheless, I still think with this type of cuisine, he's still the best in the city... And I'll just keep hoping that a proper Mexico City Chef has enough nerve to try to enter this market... :D


                1. re: Dommy

                  The chef at Babita is a proud son of Sinaloa. The Yucatecan dishes began as a sop to the former customers of El Emperador Maya, which used to be in this space, and later took on a momentum of their own.

                  Btw, I suspect the Pasadena restaurant the OP was trying to recall was Merida, or one of its short-lived successors. The pavo en escabeche was grey, grey, grey.

                  1. re: condiment

                    I tried Merida in Pasadena, long time ago, I didn't like their food at all. Very plain flavors.
                    I didn't know that they had closed, wonder why!

                2. re: modernist

                  That Green Habanero Salsa at La Flor de Yucatan is my favorite salsa - period!

                  1. re: sel

                    La Flor De Yucatan is in my plans for this or next weekend, after reading all the good reviews I have to try it.
                    I tried Chichen Itza in Los angeles, we liked it, I prefer more homemade style, but still was very good. Last Sunday I also tried Casa Maya in Redlands (we were coming back from Palm Springs), didn't like it, a mixture of want to be Yucatan with Texmex, and American food, add extremely rude service to the combination.

                    1. re: lvgoodfood

                      Just in case you don't know; La Flor de Yucatan is really a hole in the wall bakery that cooks some great food on the weekends. There is no seating. I have eaten standing up in the bakery, tacos, tamales, hohaldra, panuchos, salbutes (sp?) etc. and 3-leches cake and flan to take home, I live far from there, most of their business is take out from folks in the local area.

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