This week, Jonathan Gold visits Frogtown's Salazar, the "Texas Mad Max-style trailer-centered" joint by chef Esdras Ochoa of Mexicali Taco & Co. While Ochoa's other restaurant Mexicali Taco & Co. imports flour tortillas, which the Times critic describes as being "like oxygen, an element without which life itself is impossible," Salazar crafts its own tortillas with varying degrees of success:
In the restaurant's first months, sometimes the tortillas have been stretchy and thin in the Sonora style, sometimes thicker and nearly as flaky as croissants. One hot evening they were a little pasty, as if they had been insufficiently hydrated. One evening the flavor was perfect, but the consistency was slightly leathery. The chemistry and mechanics of tortillas is as complicated as that of bread. [LAT]
Those tortillas come alongside a variety of meaty offerings:
Or you may be inclined to treat Salazar as a steakhouse that leans toward strong flavors; organic, sustainable meat; taco-friendly pre-slicing; and flour tortillas. The pork chop is marinated with chile and pineapple in the manner of al pastor before it hits the grill, but the juiciness and sweet char are a step or two above. (Make sure to snag the meaty bone when nobody else is looking.) The flatiron steak comes out as a luxe version of the carne asada.
Ochoa's moist but perhaps under-seasoned version of the marinated, grilled fish called pescado zarandeado, perhaps made with trout, won't tempt you to forgo regular visits to Inglewood's Coni'Seafood, where that dish is a specialty, but it is good enough for a hot summer night, a sweaty bottle of beer, and the happy murmuring of friends. [LAT]
Ultimately, Salazar sounds like a nice place to enjoy a few tacos and palomas with friends, with the Goldster recommending the tacos, little gem Caesar, frijoles charro, and flan.