I mean really, why would I? I know that I’m not going to like it, its a given. When you hear or read what people say about this place, they just sound like they were happily drunk at a bar that also happened to provide something to eat. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But in all my years here in this unfair city, born and raised, I’ve never had an inclination to visit this popular eatery. After that dust up over someone supporting the anti-gay marriage proposition, I was finally in good company with my lifelong boycott.
I’d have left it at that, since I wasn’t really that curious about what to expect. But I’m going to be driving to work in another direction and I may not get to visit this part of the city very often, and I WILL NOT drive out here for this, nor will I test my friends patience and digestive fortitude. So this was a last chance: I’m by myself, I’m nearby, I need breakfast, I want to get away from work. Plus it’s the eve of Halloween, maybe a lil’ spooking is in order!
Fuck it, let’s see what all the mitote is about.
You walk into a dark room with a sports bar to the side and are greeted by a Chicana in a style of dress she probably wore for some 1st grade stage production having to do with Mexicans. I think some people find that kitchy and fun. I didn’t. I followed her to the outside area, and took my seat. But looky here, No Trans Fat! Ora!
I was also worried that their HR’s would be one of those topped-with-cow-bits plates that I wasn’t craving, but the menu on the website made no mention of such an abomination. Nor did the plastic covered menu. Los HR’s, si seria tan amable? Err, but in English.
Right away, a bowl of decent chips and two salsas! Seems promising. The salsa in the foreground seemed quite mild and tomatoey and with a heavy sweetness. Let’s try this other one…WTF?!? Is this just a goopy spaghetti sauce with some sauteed onions mixed in? I tried it again, and then again. Yup, its a marinara sauce with no trace of chiles that I could discern. And no crushed red peppers in sight. Guacatela, que asco. It’s ok though, I don’t have to eat it. At least they give you an appetizer.
I think the place is a night time spot, though there were still a few people at 1pm. There was a Oaxacan family over at the end. The Chicana waitress asked them if they were going to the cemetery for Day of the Dead. I couldn’t hear the response, but I think it was something along the lines of not having any dead buried in this country. To my left outside of the frame was a table of loud political buffs pontificating on Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman, hashing out the finer points of electoral politics, describing the emotional connection of a candidate, and throwing around terms like communist and socialist to prove some point. Fuck that was boring. They seemed to pride themselves on trying to talk or pronounce words in Spanish, which the waitress was more than happy to accommodate and encourage. Fun fiesta times. And over to my right, also beyond the frame, a mostly toothless older woman in a fur jacket, fancy hat, and dark shades was finishing a Margarita. “Hey Gorgeous, should I bring you another Margarita?”
Oh, haha, I couldn’t.
Its so early.
Its almost 1:30. No? Well come back later and we will both partake!
See you then!
Something like that went the banter between customers and waitress, coaxing every last tip from your pocket. The fur lady resumed her conversation with her friend, something to do with some old timey celebrity and their theatrical abilities, and just as boring as the politico talk. But you know how these Westsidey places are, everyone talking too loud so that others will pay attention. I’m trying to read here, keep it down!
Fairly fast, our $7.25 HR’s! Looks like the have no meat on top (yay!) plus an intriguing topping of chiles too. Yes, it looks like the run of the mill Mex-American HR’s. The rice was kinda strange though, the way I would imagine instant rice to taste if I ever tasted it. And the beans were loaded with yellow cheese and made me think of lard, which has no trans-fat. The eggs were properly cooked and tasty, though they were not on a fried tortilla. They were not on any tortilla. Unfortunately, the chile enhancement was not a good one: these seemed like they came from a can.
The green/yellow chiles were oddly uniform in appearance and they contributed a strange acidic note to the meal, not something I’d expect from a regular roasted chile, which is why I suspect cans. I could be wrong. But the truly criminal element in this dish was the bath of marinara sauce that engulfed this breakfast dish, an entirely inappropriate tomato wash that was alsoÂ sweet and displayed no interest in the world of scoville units. Most salsas rancheras I come across are adequate if uninteresting, but I don’t think I’ve ever tasted such a wrong combination of sweetness and tomato paste on top of HR’s. Blech!
They did give me an ample supply of tortillas de harina, which I do love. I mostly ate that with the eggs, moved my food around so it looked like I ate most of it (I don’t want to be rude!) paid my friendly waitress and was on my way. The employees seem like people that try hard to make you like them, and it works. I see this as a place that survives merely for the hospitality and the special attention they give.
Cuz the food sucks.
El Coyote Mexican Cafe 323.939.2255
7312 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036