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Jan 24, 2005 06:15 PM

La Caravana - North Pasadena

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Stopped by this small Salvadorean restaurant for lunch today. Located at 1306 N Lake, Pasadena (just south of Washington) 626.791.7378. Sun-Thurs 10-9, Fri-Sat 10-10. Menu is chock full of good lookin 'eats: Pupusas, Bistek, Puerco, Chile Relleno, Pacaya Relleno (Stuffed Date Palm), Chicken and Seafood.
I ordered their Plato de Mini Pupusas. You get 9 "mini" pupusas (which are so not mini - I could only eat 4 of them) for $11.95. They have 10 different types of Pupusas: cheese, chicharron, beans & cheese, Revuelta (Pork, Beans & Cheese), Loroco, Pork, Beans, Loroco, Cheese), Chicken & Cheese, Zucchini & Cheese, Jalepeno & Cheese and Pepperoni & Cheese. Yes, you might think the last one is gross, but I was pleasantly surprised - out of the 4 I ate, this was my second favorite (first was plain cheese). The pupusas were served with that delicious spicy marinated cabbage salad and a not-too-hot salsa that complemented the pupusas very well. Very tasty in my opinion. Also, ordered their fresh squeezed lemonade - very good.
I would like to go try their Bistec Encebollado next time.
Nice, small restaurant. Booths on both sides (with wood over to make you have that "I am sitting on a hacienda's porch enjoying this meal" feel, and two-tops down the middle. Word of warning. Communications can be difficult if you do not speak Spanish (like me). Waitress did not try to speak English - just kept repeating what she had said before even thought she was aware that I did not understand by the look of utter confusion on my face. However, apparently I got my point across with gestures and pointing as I received what I wanted. I would recommend this little restaurant if you are in the area, and looking for good Salvadorean food.

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  1. Is this the place on the east side of the street next to a Mexican restaurant? I've been meaning to try it since I'm only 5 minutes away from there. By the way, the Mexican place is pretty good too. I had good burritos for takeout there.

    3 Replies
    1. re: martyR

      I think so. Right across the street from Food 4 Less. There is a big banner on La Caravana saying something like "Now Open" or "Reopened" - sorry, can't remember exactly.
      The Mexican place you refer to, when you walk in, is the kitchen right there along the right side of the wall and you walk past it on the left? I am assuming there are tables in the back - or maybe it is just takeout? Thank you for the info - I will have to try it.
      There is also another small Mexican place south of La Caravana - have you tried that?
      Oh, there is another Mexican food place in the Food 4 Less lot (over by Payless Shoes). They have pretty good food. Had the Al Pastor Torta and a carne asada taco. Not too shabby - good salsas at the salsa bar.

      1. re: WildSwede

        Some of my friends like this place a lot. I've been there a couple of times and enjoyed my meals. Unfortunately, I can't remember the names of the dishes I got.

        1. re: WildSwede

          Yeah, there's a bunch real close to each other. I've been kicking around the idea of working my way down Lake one day and trying them all.

      2. Jonathan Gold wrote about this place (or a predecessor) some years ago. I ate there once & enjoyed it quite a bit. Been meaning to return for some time, especially since I now live much closer than I did the time I was there (October 1997 - I remember because I went there on the same night that the Marlins won the World Series against Cleveland). Can't remember its name back then.

        But I do remember that nobody there spoke English, and that the food was tasty (I'd never had this stuff before), and that it was incredibly inexpensive.

        In any event, this sounds like a place to check out again.