Leading up to this year's Best of L.A. issue (due out Oct. 4), we'll be counting down, in no particular order, 100 of our favorite dishes.
|Cemita de Milanesa at Cemitas Poblanos Elviritas #1|
No. 99: Cemita de Milanesa at Cemitas Poblanos Elviritas #1.
There are sandwiches, and then there are sandwiches. The towering Mexican creation known as the cemita, a burly cousin of the torta and specialty of the state of Puebla, is set firmly in the latter camp -- in fact, it has about as much in common with your standard coldcut as a two-door Fiat has with an Abrams tank. It might just be one of the most formidable things ever stuck between two pieces of bread.
There is simply no room for filler here. A grilled sesame-studded roll, hard-shelled on the exterior but soft as brioche inside, is stacked with oily sheets of breaded fried beef, a heap of stringy quesillo, a smattering of sliced avocado, raw white onion, smoky chipotle peppers or pickled jalapenos, and a few leaves of a pungent herb called papalo, which smells like a mixture of mint, pepper and laundry detergent. For a dollar or two more, they'll even slip in a piece of Poblano head cheese if that's your kind of thing; the aspic dissolves under the heat of the sizzling meat and forms a spreadable, offal-based condiment of sorts that pushes the richness to atmospheric levels. More »