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Where's the good posole? And when?

Near my office is a little strip mall with a teriyaki place (never been), a Blimpie (been), an ice cream place and a Mexican place. I never ventured into the Mexican place until today, when I was desperate for food.

Today's special was posole, and I thought, "I really like posole, why not?"

It was tasty -- good corn, meaty chunks of mostly-lean pork, good though slightly tomatoey broth. But it wasn't perfect -- there was a lot more grease near the top than I expected, and the perfect posole has little floating bits of chile in it. I also had to ask for oregano, which is to posole as basil is to pho.

Don't get me wrong -- this was a good bowl of posole. I would recommend this posole to people in the area looking for posole. I would even recommend it for people branching out from Disneyland.

I'm just looking for the outstanding, memorable bowl of posole. And I mean posole -- I don't mean birria, I don't mean menudo (ick, tripe), I don't mean caldo de pollo, I don't mean sopa de albondigas.

I work a hundred feet from the city of Santa Ana...the restaurant I went to is at the corner where Garden Grove Boulevard crosses into Santa Ana and becomes Memory Lane... so it's got to be somewhere nearby. But where? And when, since posole tends to be a weekend thing?

Also, while I'm on the subject -- café de la olla in north OC?

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Pepitos Restaurant
840 The City Dr S, Orange, CA 92868

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  1. While I haven't been yet, friends down the OC way have told me they like it at La Rana. Evidentily they have a location in Laguna Hills and one in AV.

    la Rana Mexican Restaurant
    (949) 643-2899
    27001 Moulton Pkwy
    Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

    1. This may be a little out of your way, but try the posole with some veggie tacos at Enrique's in Bellflower and Long Beach. It's on the menu and is available all of the time. I haven't been to the latter location so if the address is wrong, please post.

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      Enrique's
      17244 Downey Ave, Bellflower, CA 90706

      Enrique's
      6210 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90803

      1. I like the pozole at La Salsa Grill on Rosemead just north of Washington in Pico Rivera. They have it on the menu daily. This is not a chain restaurant. Their entire menu is very good. It's in a strip mall next to the urgent care. There is also a carneceria in the same mall that has excellent ready to cook carne asada and marinated boneless chicken that is very good.

        1. Where: Al Atacor #3 in Whittier
          When: Daily

          To me, this was as good a bowl as I've had in L.A. There are branches of this place all over the eastside, but I'm not sure if they all have posole every day. Big hunks of pork, but not greasy. The broth is more chile than tomato-y. As you probably know, this isn't a place to bring a date, but it's just off the 605 if you're in the area.

          El Atacor Number 3
          (562) 908-0900
          11102 Whittier Blvd
          Whittier, CA 90606

          16 Replies
          1. re: cant talk...eating

            Bumping up an old thread. I live in the South Bay and would like to know if anyone else would like to chime in. I am willing to travel to East LA if necessary, just want a good bowl of Pozole..

            1. re: Foodandwine

              I like El Ranchito in Huntington Park. It's served daily and the tortillias are hand made.
              http://www.avilaselranchito.com. the margarita's are pretty good here too.

              If I'm downtown early on a weekend, around 9 a.m. or so, I will also eat it at Central Market at Las Adelita's. Only served Sat. & Sunday.

              1. re: Foodandwine

                And since it's been bumped, let me say the quality of their posole has gone downhill.

                I make my own now. It smells like feet and butt, but it tastes great.

                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  What do you make it with? Most pozole I've had is made with pork neckbones and/or chicken. I have heard of people putting pigs feet in their pozole but smell??? I personally make mine with neckbones, a small pork roast cut up and of course the pozole (hominy.) No fonky smell.
                  To OP a restaurant in ELA which is known for their pozole is Mi India Bonita. They only serve it on Saturday and there is usually a line to get in. If you ever venture out of OC and are in the area it is worth the stop.

                  1. re: SoozyQ

                    Pork shoulder, sometimes pork ribs, and nixtamal. For me, using canned hominy lessens the stench but makes for soft, sludgy hominy in thin soup instead of thick, hearty stew.

                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                      Do you get the Mexican style hominy? Also put the pozole in towards the end of the cooking for just the heat. Should be okay.

                      1. re: SoozyQ

                        I buy nixtamal, as in the whole hard grains of corn after they've been soaked in water and cal. That has to be cooked with the pork and water in order to soften and "pop", which produces the funky butt smell but far superior texture in the finished product. Canned hominy can just be drained, rinsed and heated through, and doesn't reek, but it gets mushy quickly.

                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                          I used to buy the nixtamal and do as you do. However, it takes a long time to cook and if I did that with the meat, the meat would be overcooked and mushy. I
                          find that the Mexican style hominy in the can has the same texture and taste and I add it about fifteen minutes before serving just to heat it up since it's already cooked.

                          1. re: SoozyQ

                            We'll have to agree to disagree, then—as long as we're both eating pozole! ¡Provecho!

                            1. re: Das Ubergeek

                              Or find a good compromise... I buy the prepared nixtamal at the Mexican market. Pre-boiled, but not can prepared (The reason why the canned get so mushy is the process of canning, it's basically cooking the hominy twice). I rinse VERY well and then add as soon as the meat becomes fork tender and then cook with the rest of the soup to get them to absorb some of the flavor.

                              I also add chicken necks and backs to tame the funky all pork smell and taste. AND use my standard enchilada recipe with a TOUCH more white vinegar to get the soup tasting good on its own (But then of course it's further brightened by the addition of lime squeezed at the table.).

                              Best!

                              --Dommy!

                      2. re: Das Ubergeek

                        Which brand(s) of canned are people talking about. I've been happy enough with Teasdale and Junaita. 15 minutes does not turn it into mush; 2 hrs might.

                        1. re: paulj

                          Thanks for reminding me... The last canned I use was teasdale... they have a wonderful purple hominy (I got it at Top Valu) that was quite less mushy than the standard white. I use it in Chili all the time.

                          --Dommy!

                          1. re: Dommy

                            Their purple corn might not be hominy since it still has the colored hull, but it works just as well in a stew. And as you say, is a bit firmer.

                  2. re: Foodandwine

                    Hi there, Thanks for the replies so far. I looked up Mi India Bonita and the photo of the pozole is:
                    http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/r8ODU-...

                    However, what got me interested was this place in Chicago, looks so good! Are there any Pozoleria here that are like this?? I am seeking the Red Version like in this short YouTube

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVtaM7...

                    1. re: Foodandwine

                      Thank you for the photos. I have never heard of the eatery referred to a a pozoleria. Most of what I have seen in the ELA/San Gabriel Valley area is the red. My parents were from Sinaloa and my mom made it red with pork in fact just like Mi India Bonita. If you do find a place that does the green and white version, please post. It would be very interesting to try. My mom made menudo white which is not that common here. You can find this version in the can, Juanita brand and as canned food goes, not bad.

                      1. re: Foodandwine

                        Did anyone take a view of the link of the Pozole Restaurant in Chicago that I had posted above? Seems to me as its the Best I have seen to date ( I know I have not tried it.. ). Fried Pork Skins as an side as well ( I like that touch ). I really like the look of the rich and oily red version. This is what I am seeking. Thanks to all whom are home cooks, I actually would like to eat Pozole as soon as the weather turns cold once again ( Missed Kings Day.. ) Any thoughts where I could find a Red version as shown in the video clip in Los Angeles? Many versions in Los Angeles, unless they are homemade are way lacking in hearty factor of the soup base. The restaurants make most rather thin ( I guess the homemade versions take a longer time to make thus the oil and thickness, I too like the chew in the Hominy, not mushy) Please help. SOS!!

                  3. I recently tried the posole at La Cabañita in Montrose, CA and it was very good.

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                    La Cabanita
                    3447 N Verdugo Rd, Glendale, CA 91208