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El Rincon Criollo

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Two co-workers of mine are, I swear, secret agents for El Rincon Criollo in Culver City. They love this place with a passion one usually reserves for one's own offspring. They gripe and grumble whenever I try to get them to go to any other delicious ethnic restaurant in the vicinity. I'm not saying they'd kill for the place, but they would fight tooth and nail for a bucket of the garlic sauce.

And, they've not even adventurous! One always gets the chicken with vinegar and onions and garlic, whilst the other gets the pork! ALWAYS!! The menu might as well just have those two items, plus maybe an espresso for dessert.

I, however, long for variety (and any other restaurant, but that's a different story.) I like the pork, and I like the chicken. I'm even fine with the Cubano, even though I'm not a big pickle fan and ham weirds me out (I grew up kosher in the home.) However, I'd like to try something else on the menu. Please, oh denizens of LA Chowhound, what should I order at Rincon that will make me not long for meals missed at Simpang or Atari or that Himalayan place instead? Or is it just Chicken with onions, Pork with onions, and that's it?

Oh, but I do really enjoy the coconut candies they give at the end.

Thanks!

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El Rincon Criollo
4361 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230

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  1. I suggest the arroz con pollo. Secondly. Your work mates never give you a vote on where to go for lunch? Ever? Maybe it's time to institute a new policy where you 3 get to rotate on choice of restaurant for lunch. I vote for Gloria's on Venice.

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    Gloria's Cafe
    10227 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

    1. I usually get the ropa vieja from there. Sometimes the oxtails.

      1. Just curious; how is it that the ham 'grosses you out' but you eat the pork?

        1 Reply
        1. re: mucho gordo

          For me it's the opposite. I like ham, bacon, and other cured pork products -- in fact crisp bacon is one of my favorite things. However, plain pork just doesn't agree with me. I grew up semi-kosher. Probably all in my head, but still.

        2. definitely the arroz con pollo, you can specify dark or white meat

          3 Replies
          1. re: stuffycheaks

            We went today for lunch and I followed above suggestions and got the arroz con pollo. It was...fine. Not very exciting, or flavorful. Like an underseasoned jumbalaya or paella, with no seafood or sausage. In the future, I might just stick with the garlic chicken, unless there's a really tempting seafood option.

            re pork: I've always found ham too fleshy, which is weird since i eat steak and the ham's been cured. It just seems too much of a reminder that it's dead animal that I'm eating. I like pork and sausage and bacon, but not sausage that tastes too piggy. Weird, I know.

            We actually once went to Gloria's when both Mayura and Annapurna were closed on a Monday (i was jonesing for dosas) and I was less than impressed. I don't remember exactly what I got, but it did include mediocre rice and pretty good beans, but I could've gone without them. Plus, Gloria's was much more expensive for pupusas than the other nice family-run place a little further west on Venice.

            Come to think of it--that arroz con pollo would be much better with some sausage or bacon. Should I tell them?

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            Mayura
            10406 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

            1. re: Rosiepigs

              If you do try Gloria's Cafe ever again their carne adobada is really quite good and has a stronger taste/flavor (that it appears you like from your comments above). Gloria's prices are certainly the same as Rincon's - from what I recall (or maybe even a little less). What's the name of the other place you get the pupusas at?

              Have you all tried Metro Cafe?

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              Metro Cafe
              11188 Washington Pl, Culver City, CA 90232

              1. re: Rosiepigs

                Definitely try the ropa vieja or rabo encendido. I was never really a big fan of their arroz con pollo.

                Arroz con pollo does not traditionally come with bacon, but I'm sure the can accommodate your request.