ORDER: lechon asado

It was cold out. I wanted something comforting as we all do in the winter, our bodies craving an extra layer of warmth, a practical and natural means of surviving the harsh L.A. temperatures. I was doing my usual Yelp stalking while shivering over a cup of crappy Starbuck’s coffee, when I stumbled upon El Cochinito, its glowing reviews and pictures of succulent meats calling my name, “Lauren, Lauren.” I’m imagining a soothing whisper, nothing too aggressive, maybe that of a tiny, elderly woman wearing clogs. When I did finally arrive at El Cochinito, nobody knew my name and there wasn’t a clog in sight, but the waiter did offer me homemade bread, and somehow knew I was thirsty.

For dinner, I ordered the lechon asado, a traditional cuban pork dish so tasty it made me metaphorically weep amidst the accompanying beans and rice. The pork was crispy, yet juicy, flavors of citrus and garlic married happily, unlike most. The portion was huge, and I gladly took home half after feasting on yucca, rice, beans, and pork, leaving little room to finish my monstrous, but delectable plate. I spent the rest of the week adding shredded pork to my breakfast tacos and scrambles, reminding me again and again of one fabulous night in not Havana. And now, if there’s one thing I know to be true in this world, it’s that Arnold Schwarzenegger has the answer to most of life’s important questions. Because yes indeed, “I’ll be back.”

El Cochinito: 3508 W. Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA. 90026

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