After reading the L.A. Food Section's Counterintelligence article on Authentic Taste of Guadalajara I couldn't wait to visit one of the three restarants operated "por los Hermanos Gonzalez"- Birrieria Jalisco.
The original restaurant was opened in Boyle Heights in 1972. The second Southern California restaurant is located in the Plaza Mexico Mall off the 105 freeway in Lynwood. A third is located in Las Vegas.
For Friday dinner, I twisted G's arm into going to the Lynwood restaurant. The mall is located between Wilmington Blvd and Long Beach Blvd off of Imperial Hwy. For those you not familiar with L.A., this is an area which might be described as a ghetto. Only a couple of miles from where I grew up. While driving I remark to G that there are two helicopters flying over the north and south side of the 105. Because the 105 was backed up with traffic, G decides to exit off Wilmington.
Immediately we are greeted by a backed up offramp. We also noted a lot of flashing red lights from black and white police cars- lots of them. Now we knew why there were two police helicopters flying over. Luckily traffic was diverted in the direction we were headed.
We get to the restaurant. I was expecting quite a crowd. After a positve write-up in the L.A. Times doesn't everyone flock there to experience it. Plaza Mexico is a very large mall complex with varying stores and shops catering to the Latin American crowd. We find the restaurant, park and head in. It is almost empty except for two other occupied tables. The young lady at the front cash register was non-chalant and uncaring. No welcome, please seat yourself or anything. G and I head to a table. A couple of minutes later, a young shy teenage boy comes to the table. I ask for a menu and he points to an acrylic covered index card sized placard where in spanish the 5 available entries are listed. I guess G and I did't fit in with the expected type of customer so the young guy says "you know we only serve birrieria which is roasted goat"?. I told him that's why we are there.
I order the #4 which is boneless served in a tasty gravy. G promised Ziggy a bone, so he ordered the foreshank the #5.
Serving only goat, these restaurants must go through quite a bit of it. We notice that a lady coming to pick up carry out is handed a very very large pot with a bag of the condiments and tortillas. She pays and leaves the restaurant.
The dinners include hot corn tortillas, diced onions, quartered limes and cilantro.
The onion and cilantro is sprinkled over the birrieria, you squeeze lime juice over the meat and eat using the tortillas. Only a large spoon is provided for the sauce/soup served on or with the meat. G also ordered a diet Coke which we were told they were out of. They were also out of diet Sprite and serve no alcohol. G then ordered coffee which turned out to be instant Maxwell House.
Overall dinner was nice though not great. Total cost was $19.83 not including the tip. I still like birrieria but probably won't be returning here soon.
We get back to the car where I note a new rather large obvious dent from an adjacent car door which was probably parked next to us. The paint on the dent did not match the current car parked next to us lucky for its owner. G is ticked and vows never to return to Plaza Mexico. All he said on the way back home was "I hope you enjoyed that meal".