Las Fuentes - Carne Asada, Al Pastor or Carnitas
My friend is picking up dinner for us tomorrow night as Las Fuentes for our little pre-Christmas get-together. We've had food from there before and it was great! I am, however, trying to be as healthy as possible before I leave for Illinois for the holidays next week and start eating Steak and Shake, Snickerdoodles, Mom's chili and the like.
Thought if I maybe stuck to some simple tacos (with rajas of course) with some of the whole pot beans on the side, that woudn't do too much damage. The truth is, however, I don't really know the difference between carnitas, tacos al pastor and carne asada (first 2 are pork...latter is steak).
Which is the best of these three at Las Fuentes...in your opinion? Also, which would be the leanest (can you believe I am asking this about fabulous Mexican food???)? I'm not really sure how each is prepared, so I thought I would ask.
Thanks for the feedback!
p.s. Have a business dinner tonight at Louise's Trattoria...thinking the grilled Tilapia Bruschetta (Pomodoro) will be the best bet for me in trying to stay healthy!
I'm a huge fan of Las Fuentes, and of the three preparations you mentioned -- but I'm not 100% sure how they cook everything (generally al pastor is marinated pork, and could be grilled or roasted on the spit, carnitas are pork roasted in pork fat, and asada is grilled). I don't find their meats particularly fatty so I'd think you'd be ok with any of the above. But if you're really concerned, you should go with chicken -- it's guaranteed to be the leanest meat, or possibly the asada. However, I'm guessing the prep for all the meat involves some kind of oil in the marinade or cooking, that might level the field as far as which meat to order. I'd order one taco of each -- balance it out that way. Enjoy!
There's a sister restaurant, Melody's, on Reseda just south of Vanowen. Much smaller space and smaller menu and not nearly as nice but maybe an alternative if Las Fuentes is especially crowded. And Sol y Luna which is a sit-down restaurant in Tarzana, never been, heard ok things. That's it, no others to my knowledge.
Big fan of Las Fuentes here as well, and I usually get the carnitas as a "lean" option. It's not terribly oily, but it is pork and you're getting a fattier cut of meat to begin with. Their carne asada is also lean. I'd say the best thing to do is order any of the three and just go without the tortilla... probably the biggest caloric item you can remove from the dish without compromising it's flavor too much. Try adding salsa to the dish to increase the volume without adding too many more calories. FYI, my favorite item on their menu is the Carne Con Queso taco... if you've never tried it I highly recommend it.
At Las Fuentes, I think one of the healthier options is the pechuga de pollo which is a chicken breast served with a nicely spicy green sauce. Get their whole "pot" beans instead of refrieds, and skip the rice altogether. Don't even think about eating the whole portion of beans. They will substitute salad for the rice. And skip the tortillas.
I like their carnitas but I think they must be deep fried bcause I don't see how pan frying can make them so wonderfully crispy crunchy. I would generally think that carne asada is the leanest of the three cuts of meat that you specify, since carnitas tend to have fatty sections and al pastor has never struck me as especially lean.
Personally, I can't stay away from the Burrito de Bistek Encebollado (meat cooked med. rare). It is a steak and grilled onions burrito. It is perfect! I have been eating that since they opened in the 80s and cannot get away from it!! ;-)