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Salbutes and Panuchos???

Salbutes and Panuchos are tasty Yucatecan "tacos." I lived on these things for a year and have been craving one or many.

Anyone know where I can them in Los Angeles?

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  1. The best ones are at Chichen Itza near McArthur park or USC. For HUGE ones, I also like the ones at Flor de Yucatan on Washington and Hoover. Sadly though it's a carry out weekend thing only.

    I've never liked the ones at Babita for various reasons and forget the ones at Pink Taco...

    --Dommy!

    5 Replies
    1. re: Dommy

      re: la flor de yucatan,

      they have patio furniture in the back too!
      their kibbis are freaking good!!!
      and the morcilla too...
      they have a good "combo deal"

      1. re: modernist

        Actually, their weekend dishes are available during the week as well. But for the panuchos, for example, they're sold by the dozen & need to be ordered ahead of time versus individually on weekends. Also, they now have a special dish each day of the week. Wednesday is Lomitos de Valladolid....Mmmm Good! They also have a website now...laflordeyucatan.net

        1. re: AB1

          Great site! Thanks so much for sharing! :D

          --Dommy!

      2. re: Dommy

        I like the ones at Babita!! I just had it the other day. YUM.

        1. re: Dommy

          Just posting the links for the two Chichen Itzas--I love them both. The USC one is more casual, the MacArthur park one is a full sit-down restaurant with beer & wine. I finally tried the queso rellno there, and it was delicious! OH, and they're doing a mother's day brunch this year, which would be a nice alternative to the usual brunch places.

          Also, Border Grill in Santa Monica has panuchos. it's not my favorite restaurant at all, but if you're in SM and have the craving, it might be worth stopping in.

          -----
          Chichen Itza
          3655 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90007

          Chichen Itza
          2501 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90057

        2. On a good day, I prefer the salbutes and panuchos at Chichen Itza, but salbutes and panuchos were among the first specialties of Border Grill, years before they were served almost anywhere else in town, and the restaurant still turns out clean, impeccable, delicious versions.

          1. What kind of meat do you guys like on your panuchos? I would normally spring for cochinita pibil without even thinking about it, but I was wondering if there were other meats that I should try out.

            8 Replies
            1. re: SauceSupreme

              Pollo pibil.

              1. re: SauceSupreme

                Traditionally, it's turkey and that seems to work for me.

                1. re: wooster

                  In Campeche its Cazon (dogfish)... so far my favorite topping on a Panucho. But to be clear in Campeche (one of the states of the Yucatan Peninsula) - whose cuisine is largely untouched by tourism... the toppings on Panuchos are quite varied.

                  1. re: Eat_Nopal

                    I love me some Campeche. I lived in Chetumal for a year and spent a lot of time helping a turtle refuge in Campeche.

                    1. re: wooster

                      Wow that was some commute from Quinta Roo to Campeche! Did you get a chance to check out all the ruins that aren't yet on the Yucatan tourist trail (Becan, Rio Bec, Chicanna etc.,)

                      1. re: Eat_Nopal

                        All three. And Xpujil too. It was basically part of my job. Still have the travel posters for Chicanna and Rio Bec. Gotta love the less frequently travelled ones in southern Quintana Roo as well (oxtankah, kohunlich, dzibanche).

                        1. re: wooster

                          Awesome... if you climb the main pyramid in Coba... and look out with the some powerful binoculars you can easily count dozens of pyramids in every direction... I think these can only be reached on foot by following what remains of the ancient Sac-be "highway" system.

                  2. re: wooster

                    I agree: turkey, please.

                2. Finally had the salbutes and panuchos at Chichen Itza yesterday. I thought they were tasty, but mediocre. The salbut was doughy and too heavy. Good salbutes are lighter and the dough fluffs into a puffed state and is later decompressed by the toppings. At Chichen Itza, it was like a gordita shell from taco bell (in texture, not taste). The panucho was better, but was flat, almost like a hard shell tostada with black beans backed into it. I didn't even try the cochinita, but I saw it and it smelled and looked tasty. It's hard to mess that up though. Cook pork slow and long and it almost always tastes excellent. Overall, I liked the place, but it was not what I hoped for given that I make better salbutes and panuchos at home. Flor de Yucatan is next.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: wooster

                    It's counter-intuitive, but the salbutes and panuchos at Border Grill are much better than the ones at Chichen Itza: crisper and cornier, with the perfect ratio of crunch to ooziness, and more sharply garnished. I go to Chichen Itza maybe five times for every time I make it out to Santa Monica, but the panuchos qua panuchos cannot be denied.