The ever-so-elusive Ecuadorian food
I am a frustrated Ecuadorian living in Los Angeles. Granted, there are a couple of Ecuadorian restaurants in the general area, but nothing that has satisfied me completely.
El Caserío on Virgil and Beverly has received many great reviews. Overall, it's not bad, and some things are definitely better than others. However, they specialize more in highland dishes, and their attempts at coastal variations have more often than not left me deeply disappointed.
For years I have been craving a restaurant in Los Angeles that specializes in coastal Ecuadorian food, like bollos de pescado, bolones con sal prieta, viche, corviches. encocados de pescado, sangos, encebollados!!
I had almost completely lost hope... until just recently, when I happened upon a man selling Ecuadorian hallacas (also spelled "hayacas") in the West Side. He does this on the street, apparently at night when people are hanging out at bars. I don't even know if what he does is legal, but the hallacas are delicious and very authentic, and I wished I could have bought a whole bucket of them! By the way, hallacas are made out of cornmeal and wrapped in banana leaves; the Ecuadorian variation of this dish is stuffed with chicken, a touch of peanut sauce, raisins, olives, and other delicious things. Savory and a little sweet, too.
I don't think anyone living in L.A. will have another opportunity like this. If you see him, take the plunge and eat some hallacas. If I find him again, I will try to get his information and see where he usually hangs out.
There's a restaurant named Rinconcito Ecuatoriano up the street from me in Hawthorne. I've only visited once and can't report any details, but if you decide to visit there please report back!
12631 Hawthorne Blvd, Hawthorne, CA 90250
El Caserio Restaurant
309 N Virgil Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90004
Your list ommited a little hole in the wall "Dos Burritos". From my understanding they have been around for over 15 years. The food is authentic ( little old lady named Amadita ) serves up delicious ceviche, bolones, seco de gallina and the like. Every weekend they have caldo de salchicha - a delicacy , soup made with sausages. This easter I tried the fanezca ( spelling ? ) . There are no signs that say Ecuadorian food as it also serves Mexican Food. Dos Burritos is at 4734 Hollywood Blvd. ( at vermont) 323 644-0416.
The reason El Caserio is not authentic from what I hear is that the cook is Central American