Eat Now | Father’s Day

LOS ANGELES CHEF ESDRAS OCHOA KNOWS WHAT DAD WANTS: SALAZAR.

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Few things say “Dad” like open-air desert barbecues, carne asada and craft beer. In fact, few places say “Dad” like Salazar. LA’s newest Mexicali oasis, Salazar is the latest project from Chef Esdras Ochoa. Decorated with painted wooden tables, plastic auditorium chairs and plenty of cacti, the former-auto-body-shop-turned-mostly-outdoor-taco-shop opened its doors— err, patio?— just last month. Slinging wood-fired tacos filled with carne asada, pulled chicken and marinated al pastor, the expansive space smells of smoke, fat and spice (Dads rejoice). Ochoa mans the grill himself which, besides taco fillings, he piles high with slabs of charred rib-eye, thick-cut pork and whole fish (aka his “large format” plates), all of which he pairs with sides like pork belly, mashed potatoes with chorizo and stewed pinto beans. Additional flavors come from his house-made sauces including two types of hot sauce, fresh salsa and, of course, guacamole. So, now not only we’re we compelled to pop in, but we knew Ochoa would be our guy when it came to planning a celebratory meal at home this weekend. To our delight, the chef’s ideal Father’s Day lunch looks a lot like our own– backyard tacos, salsa, guac and friends.

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Platters of meat at Salazar

Platters of meat at Salazar

But, before we get into it, we feel like we should mention Salazar’s options for our fair weather friends too. Rotating seasonally, Ochoa offers vegetarian tacos and salads like heirloom tomato with charred corn and a vegan little gem caesar because, well, it is LA… Agua fresca, horchata and various cocktails abound (think brown butter-washed Old Fashioneds with mezcal), plus there’s wine and over fifteen craft beers. Salazar, you’re dude heaven on earth.

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The desert décor

GUACAMOLE
(Serves 2-4)

*3 avocados
*1 lemon; juiced
*1/2 red onion
*1 Roman tomato
*2 oz water
*1/2 bunch cilantro
*1 1/2 tsp salt
*1/2 tsp pepper

1. Open the avocados— peel, gut and mash them together. Mince diced tomato, onion and cilantro together, then put aside. 2. Mix together avocado, salt, pepper and water in a separate bowl until you create an avocado paste, then squeeze the juice of 1 lemon in. 3. Add tomato, onion and cilantro mixture to avocado mixture and toss to combine. Serve.

SALSA ROSA
(Serves 2-4)
*6 Roman tomatoes
* 1 red onion
* 1/2 bunch cilantro
* 2 cloves garlic
* 3 tsp salt
* 2-6 jalapeños, depending on preference

1. Roast tomatoes and jalapeño in a pan on high heat until you have charred marks on the outside; flip each 2-3 times until charred. 2. Put tomatoes, jalapeño, onion, cilantro, salt and garlic cloves in a blender, blending slowly on the pulse setting.
3. Blend to preference. Serve.

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GRILLED SKIRT STEAK TACOS
(Serves 4-6)
*3-4 lbs skirt steak; 1/2″ thick
*1 tbsp pepper
*2 lemons
*2 tbsp salt

1. Coat one side of each steak with pepper, salt and lemon juice and let marinate for two hours in fridge. 2. Put each steak over high heat on the grill for 2 minutes, then flip to other side for 1 minute. 3. Let rest for a few minutes, then dice and arrange over corn tortillas. 4. Top with guacamole and salsa. Serve.

Salazar, 2490 Fletcher Blvd.; salazarla.com CP

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