Maybe. That was certainly my first impression on biting into La Monarca’s version of a torta. This bakery has had a fair bit of media exposure, lots of kind words by the foodie (ugh) crowd and they opened up an outlet in South Pasadena. Por que no?
I had stopped at the decrepit antique shop a few doors down to look for something and instantly regretted setting foot in that trash heap. I figured I’d salvage the fact that I’d already parked by checking out this much-loved-on-the-Westside panaderia.
I was going for the pan dulce and then noticed the sign that mentioned tortas. Asked a few questions and sure enough, they have a vegetarian chorizo one even. Sale y vale! I took it to go cuz all the tables were taken by the apple laptop crowd. Didn’t want to sit next to you anyways. Looks promising with such a nicely printed wrapping paper!
Hmm, that looks kinda flat. And plain.
What? Where’s the torta man? Are you really selling me some soy chorizo smeared on some fancy bolillo for $7? No aguacate? Arroz y frijoles? Not even that damn boring iceberg lettuce? If you look closely it seems that there is some tomatoes and onions cooked into the chorizo but that’s not cool man, this isn’t a torta.
Pa’ cabarla de chingar they didn’t even grill the chewy bread and it still took almost 10 minutes to get this. And that little side of green salsa has to be some canned Herdez style tomatillo salsa. You know, that weird goopy stuff you’d only expect your lazy co-worker to bring to the mandatory office party nobody wants to attend. No mames.
If this soy chorizo mixture was on a mollete with beans and cheese, then maybe it’d be a decent breakfast since it tastes okay. But to call this a torta is messed up and will lead to a crappy lunch on an already crappy day. This is edible food but a waste of a lunchtime meal.
P.S. The pan dulce is fine. I know it’s supposed to be fancy or something (yay, no lard!) but much better options abound. But at $1 for a concha or an elote? Pos no.
La Monarca Bakery 626.403.6860
1001 Mission St.
South Pasadena, CA 91030