Salvadoran food, like much Hispanic food, often gets lumped with Mexican food and it is a shame. Sure, people know was a pupusa is, but it usually ends there. This is not the case at Atlacatl, a Salvadoran restaurant in the Wilshire Center district of LA that sits all at once next to Koreatown, Downtown and Silverlake. At Atlacatl, Salvadoran is the name of the game and there is no pandering to that subset of people looking for a burrito.
I started out my own order with Platanos con Crema y Frijoles. Translated, this meant plantains, Salvadoran sour cream and beans. While the result of this mix looked like poop combined with loose stools and spoiled milk, it tasted like the exact opposite (not that I know what poop tastes like or anything). Surprisingly, the beans were stellar. I am a fan of beans, but this is the first time I’ve eaten beans and taken the time to contemplate how incredible they were.
I also ordered a couple of pupusas. One was bean, cheese and chicharrones (pork) and the other was simply chicharrones. I figured I needed the chicharrones alone so I could really see how they tasted. It turned out that the chicharrones alone were a little bit too salty for my taste, but the other pupusa was quite delicious. The beans weren’t quite as good inside the pupusa as they were outside, but the pupusas were still delicious little (actually not so little) pockets of joy. Plus, at just over two bucks each, they were a steal.
For the beans alone, Atlacatl is worth checking out. But go for the beans, and stay for the rest of the awesome food and Atlacatl won’t let you down. Just go knowing that you’ll be eating food from El Salvador and not from that country just south of the border.