3.01.2007

L.A., the end of road...

Mexican Food! Finally, and not a moment too soon. After serious "jonesing" for a fix of bold flavors and a lethal dose of capsicum, we found ourselves a few clicks from LAX, where we were held captive for a night of layover on the strip of hookers and muggers(slumming it at the Westin) which I thought for sure we would encounter when waiting for our "trolley" to get us to the restaurant. By SO.CAL standards, a bit cold; 60 and windy, we headed for the beach- Manhattan Beach, with it's quaint little shops, restaurants, designer boutiques and yuppie's whirring by in their carrera's, X5's, benzo's and rover's. Still, and thanks to a local compadre, we found sanctuary. Not a completely authentic taqueria as we might experience in perhaps the Mission, but warm welcomed and thoroughly acceptable. Pancho's; a not so small, seemingly family run(aren't they all connected somehow anyway?) operation on the corner of Rosencranz and the highway that runs adjacent to the ocean. I was going through withdrawals for pork, in all of it's glory. Quesadilla Carnitas, with onions, cotija, jack, chilis and garlic, which we gladly dressed with our freshly blended salsa. A hearty, flavorful black bean soup followed with sour cream, charred chilis and lime. Next was a "build-your-own" platter of slow cooked pork, full of toasted chilis, tomatoes, onions, garlic and enriched with it's cooking juices. This was flanked by little ramekins of ingredients- snipped cilantro leaves, limes and red onions; Spanish rice; fresh cooked pinto beans with cotija, stock, chili paste and garlic; and a rich sauce made up of roasted poblano chilis, dried ancho chilies, annatto, pork jus, tomatoes, onions, cumin and coriander. Fresh, hot corn tortillas were served "side saddle" and did not go to waste. It was good! As we pen our last memoirs of the trip on the smooth flight back to the sunny coldness of Seattle(home), there is an evident feeling of despair and sorrow, as well as anxiety for all. It was a great trip. It was great weather. It was great to be together. And although it was cut a bit short due to the downfalls of flying standby(employee benefit. virtually free. crying for sympathy.did someone say; go screw yourself?), it has reminded me of a simple prayer~ God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
God Bless!

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