Boyle Heights: Pozole at Puertos del Pacifico
I recently read an article about Puertos del Pacifico in Boyle Heights so I decided to check it out. I grabbed an old high school buddy who has a nose for neighborhood joints to join me. We grew up in North East Los Angeles so this felt a bit like a homecoming. Read about another NELA tour we did here.
I asked about the specials but apparently there weren’t too much other than shark tacos. Hm, where were the fancy dishes I heard so much about? Well, let’s go with some Mexican favorites then? I ordered menudo but was told it was served only on weekends (it was Saturday– guess it’s not a weekend day??) so they said I should get pozole instead. I’m glad I did because it turned out to be my favorite dish.
The gentle broth had huge chunks of pork which I dived right into. I didn’t mind the bones but some might get caught up with that. I requested the usual garnishes and was given cabbage, cilantro, onion and lime. About halfway through, I needed more of the same but it’s really quite a filling dish. I could not finish the pork and was just a bit sad I didn’t take the rest home.
We tossed around the idea of getting campechana or ceviche. Our server suggested ceviche since campechana was really an 1-person appetizer. Later I wished we had gotten the juicier campechana. Our ceviche had great fresh seafood but rather dry for us. I squeezed a ton of lime in and started piling on the salsa. This is best eaten with chips or tostadas.
I should note my buddy thought I was going off the deep end and I over-ordered as usual but how do you know what’s going to be your favorite thing if you didn’t have a variety to choose from?
We ordered the pork belly, shark, carne asada, shrimp and fish. I didn’t like the shrimp or fish. They were too breaded for my taste and I initially couldn’t tell the difference between the two. Ricky’s is still my favorite fish taco. On the other hand, the shark was great. But my favorites turned out to be the pork belly and carne asada. I still like street tacos a bit more and maybe it’s a combination of growing up in NELA and nostalgia. Still, I’d return for all-day breakfast, craft beer, pozole (and maybe menudo if they sell it to me!) and those off-the-menu items they I hope they’ll sell to me next time.