My blog has gone international. That’s right, it’s gone global.  How global? One reader in Korea, ahaha, but hey, I’m totally happy with that. She had requested that I update the blog so thank her for the update. This one’s for you noona!

Some setbacks have let me home having much time in my hands. In the beginning it was cool. I got to relax. But too much time led to my idleness and I felt I needed to establish a routine. Rather than sitting on my rear end and getting fat, I started going to a Muay Thai gym last week. It’s probably as close to Rocky as I’m going to get. When I signed up I was told, “When you walk through those doors, you’re ours.” I get a work out and learn a martial art, it’s a win-win situation. Well, my bruised feet and shins might not feel that way.

The gym being in the industrial part of downtown is pretty close to the Eastside. Heck, The Yard is pretty much at the western border of the LA River. What does that mean for me? I’m gonna cross those damn bridges and get me some breakfast in East Los. Heck yea.

Recommended by Valentina of Eastside Food Bites, I stopped by Ciro’s, down the block and across the street from Manny’s. If you’re not on the lookout for Ciro’s, I’d say it’s easy to miss. Dark windows and no flashy signs. You walk in, and you’ll be welcomed in by friendly people telling you to sit wherever you please. So I sit and I’m ready to order a complete meal after being worked at the gym.

Some chips and some salsa and avocados come out for you to snack on. Let me tell you, that’s $1.20 worth of avocado you get at Subway that Ciro’s just gives to you. I don’t know what it is with many of the places in the Eastside but what you get for your money is a pretty damn good deal. Anyway, last week I ordered the Chorizo and Eggs and a tamale.  Today was the Huevos Rancheros and a tamale. A complete breakfast.

So I’ve noticed a couple of different variations of the Huevos Rancheros.  You have one where the tortilla is deep fried with a slightly thicker ranchero sauce and you have on where the torilla isn’t deep fried but with the ranchero sauce not quite as thick.  I’ve come to like both kinds.  The Huevos Rancheros here is the non-fried variant.  The eggs are cooked right with the yolk a bit runny and the ranchero sauce… yum! Roll up the tortilla and soak up the sauce and yolk, yum again. The peppers and onions that were simmered in the ranchero sauce, with the egg, the tortilla, and the sauce all in your mouth create a party in your mouth. These are some good huevos rancheros.

The lady brings out my tamale and tells me that now I have a complete breakfast. The tamales here are pretty special. They are made only in the month of December and on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays only. The one you see here is the pork tamale. The corn base is good and the meat is spiced well. They’ve got other tamales I want to try, for instance, the sweet one with pineapple, coconut, and raisin. There aren’t that many days left to get them so I better hurry. I think you should hurry too.

I’m pretty glad to have tried Ciro’s. The folks are friendly. The food is good. The portions are generous. Looks like I have a new breakfast joint to frequent.

705 N Evergreen Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90033
Phone: 323.269.5104

Mariscos 4 Vientos

After seeing pictures of the Shrimp Tacos on LA Taco, I knew Mariscos 4 Vientos would soon have to be crossed off my I-seriously-need-to-go-there list. I headed east on Olympic Blvd. and learned that the street suddenly ends in the Fashion District in Downtown and mysteriously starts elsewhere.  I started looking for the truck in unfamiliar territory.  Then I ended up on an intersection where I thought the truck was supposed to be at.  Great.  But I had to use the bathroom.  So I continued back on Olympic to find a supermarket or something.  Well, several blocks down, I found the brick and mortar location of Mariscos 4 Vientos with a bathroom.  Nice.  And then I had the Shrimp Taco experience at Mariscos 4 Vientos.  That was a few weeks ago.

I’ve gone a couple of times since.  I’ve never had anything quite like these tacos before and they’re great.  You have a generous amount of shrimp with some sort of mixture that’s in tortillas and then deep fried.  It’s covered in their salsa and a generous amount of avocado.  The salsa has a refreshing taste to it, kinda different from the salsas at other taquerias where they have more of an earthly taste.

But don’t stop with the Shrimp Tacos here.  Go on and try the other things that they offer.  The Tostada with Ceviche and Shrimp is pretty good too.  There’s a nice citrus flavor and may I add that they are very generous with the amount of shrimp they pile on.  And on every table there is a bag of tostadas which, I suppose, you can take as much as you please.  The Coctel de Camaron is also great.  Again, Mariscos 4 Vientos is generous with the shrimp.  The cocktail sauce has a nice sweetness to it.  The Coctel would be awesome on a hot summer day to cool you down.

This brings me to wonder… I wonder how some dining establishments are able to offer great food with generous portions at generous prices whereas other places offer great food but with not-so-generous portions at not-so generous prices.  Eh, I guess I do have some idea why: Cost of doing business, property value, supply and demand, the cost of living, etc. etc.  Well, can’t have everything your way, right?

Something that’s pretty neat is the roving bands that play here.  Live music!  With maybe a little price attached.

Mariscos 4 Vientos
3332 E. Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90023
Phone: 323.269.3605

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