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Gloria's Mexican-American Food

r
rayna Jan 10, 2000 12:42 PM

Help! My favorite pupusa stand in LA has mysteriously disappeared. Gloria's was a pinkish purple stand on the unlikely corner of Stoner and Mississippi on the Westside. She had a sideline of Salvadorean food that rocked, the best pupusa's in town. I went the other day and it was gone! Does anyone know what happened or if Gloria has a new location??

  1. b
    Bob Jan 11, 2000 07:53 AM

    My favorite pupusa place is still in business. They do all things Salvadorian and they do them well. The best tamales and over a dozen varieties of pupusas (some with rice masa). It is El Salvador Con Sabor, on Venice just before La Brea. On the North side of the street in a mini mall. I go there and get 30-40 tamales and take them home frozen. Call your order in 30 minutes before you arrive and your pupusas will be ready when you arrive. The Salvadorian community flocks to this place in droves. Since Venice is one of the faster streets to drive down, I can get there in 25-30 minutes from Marina Del Rey. They are nice, friendly people and they know how to cook. It is a very large menu and you could spend months discovering its wonders. Their tamales and pupusas are a staple item in my freezer. Pupusas reheat perfectly in the toaster oven if they are frozen. I hope this helps.

    1. m
      Michael S Jan 11, 2000 01:27 AM

      Gloria's was fantastic. Please advise if you find out what happened. I'm gratified once again to have Jonathan Gold disagree with my taste.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Michael S
        j
        j gold Jan 11, 2000 09:03 AM

        Ahhh...Leff is right. I'm just cranky. I lived 12 years in a Central American neighborhood where pupusas were easier to find than cheeseburgers; I've tried easily hundreds of different places. And while I wasn't particularly impressed with Gloria's the one time I went--my benchmark was the crisp, thin-walled pupusa de loroco at the old Usulateco, on Beverly near Normandie--Gloria's pale, slightly doughy pupusas were certainly within range. It was more what I (may have falsely) perceived as a It Doesn't Exist on the West Side So Therefore It Doesn't Exist vibe that irked me about the first post.

        1. re: j gold
          r
          rayna Feb 2, 2000 11:46 AM

          Dear, dear jonathan, i accept your crankiness because hey, you're human, and it doesn't detract from your incredible "nose" for great food. Your perception of me as an "It's gotta be on the West Side or It doesn't Exist" person is as far from the truth as possible. Ask my friends who I drag all over the county to places like Jay Bahrat in Arcadia. I just liked Gloria's even though I had tried many Eastside pupuserias. Gentle Reminder: See query on August 24, 1999...you mentioned that you hadn't tried Gloria's yet...To everyone: thanks for your comments and suggestions

          1. re: rayna
            j
            j gold Feb 2, 2000 02:38 PM

            Well, I do like Jay Bharat...tastiest Gujarati bhel puri in Artesia's Little India. And it's true that I never did make it to Gloria's, but based on the recommendations on the board I sent some pupusa-lovin' Westside friends, who were pretty underwhelmed (and don't much like going east of La Brea). Oh well...

        2. re: Michael S
          k
          k hwang Feb 10, 2000 07:15 PM

          The good news is that Gloria's is still around. She's taken over a Mexican restaurant on Venice (near Versaille's and on the same side of the street.) It's not a great location, but she's now open for dinner too. She only uses the menu from the old Mexican place, but you can still order anything that Gloria's served including Huevo's Rancheros and pupusas.

          The bad news is that the food just doesn't seem nearly as good in the new location. Maybe it's the tacky decor of the old place - a over decorated dive bar complete with a ship's wheel - or the much expanded menu, but it's just not the same. (She tried by repainting the outside purple, but it just doesn't work.)

          Gloria did promise to rework the old favorites into a new menu and redecorate at some point. At some point, I'll feel compelled to give it another shot, but I think I'll probably be dissapointed. There's something about that rundown shack ambience with the outside grill that this new place won't capture.

          And, it still takes forever to pay...

          1. re: k hwang
            k
            k hwang Feb 10, 2000 08:13 PM

            Oh yeah... the new place is called Las Palmas.

            1. re: k hwang
              r
              Rayna Feb 22, 2000 03:43 PM

              Thanks for the update. I was so excited to find her again but I have to agree with you (and Jonathan), those are not the pupusas I remember. You could be right about the the mystique of finding a good pupusa on the Westside at a little purple/pink shack but I don't think so. I think we should tell her, maybe she's getting complaisant!

          2. j
            Jim Leff Jan 10, 2000 02:02 PM

            Rayna, don't mind Jonathan...he gets cranky when his gout flares up.

            Here's what I'd do...try to network with Salvadorans. If there are any salvadoran groceries in the nabe, go in and ask around. It's usually a fairly tight-knit community, you may well find some leads. Make sure you don't come on like a lawyer or jealous boy/girlfriend, though, or you'll never get any info!

            In any case, this is why you've gotta keep tracking good places; you can't get complacent, as favorites close all the time. Maybe your search for a replacement will turn up something great (if you're not too pissed at Gold's message, you might ask him for an actual constructive suggestion of someplace good near there)

            I know how you feel...but read my article (link below) on how two long-lost foods I'd given up on myseriously reappeared. It may give you the strength to eat on.

            ciao

            Link: http://www.chowhound.com/writing/mira...

            1. j
              j gold Jan 10, 2000 01:51 PM

              Awww. You only have 650 other pupuserias to choose from in L.A.--and only about 620 of those are better than Gloria's was on its best day.

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