In many parts of Mexico, the pig is king. From fried skin to chopped ears to ground chorizo, puerco is the carne of choice for millions of Mexicans every day. And, as our southerly sister nation goes, so too do the culinary interests of Los Angeles.
We are a city that loves its carnitas, the long-simmering pork preparation that renders fat and boils huge chunks of pig to create tender, juicy bites that fall apart with flavor. And while many readers may only regard carnitas as the thick, pulled-apart bites from a simmered pork butt, it is really just a specific preparation of pig. You know, like how BBQ is both a specific food and a technique.
Everything from the snout to the ribs to all of that inside stuff can be tossed together (usually inside a large metal pot known as a cazo) and simmered for hours in lard. Once the desired internal temperature is reached, the already boiling pot is heated further, frying porky edges and crisping skin in the process.
So where can you find the best carnitas in Los Angeles? After weeks of taste testing, re-testing, taking home samples and scouring the city (tough job, isn't it?), here are our picks for the ten best carnitas spots around.More »