Vitamina T: Relleno Negro Tacos at Flor de Yucatan Bakery
Even more delicious than Taco Tuesday, our weekly segment showcases the best doses of Vitamina T, or vitamin T, Mexico’s street slang for the most coveted comfort foods that begin with the letter T. This would have been great on Sesame Street, but we beat them to the punch—here’s this week’s taste of vitamin T from the streets of L.A.
As the number of restaurants serving authentic Mexican cuisine continues to increase each year in Los Angeles, it’s easy to forget that Flor de Yucatan Bakery has been in the game for more than 40 years. The humble shop on the corner of Hoover and W. 18th is run by Marc Burgos. Today, Burgos runs one of the most traditional establishments in town.
Though it started as a bakery that served cochinita pibil tacos on the weekends, it has since expanded its menu of Mayan culinary treasures under Marc’s watch.
The weekends are best when the menu includes a variety of Yucatecan tamales, moronga (house-made blood sausage), and papadzules (tortillas with hard boiled eggs in pumpkin seed sauce). Of course, there’s still an excellent cochinita pibil, as well.
But it's relleno negro that's inspired me to write about Burgos. This shredded turkey taco is bathed in an elegant black recado of spices, annatto seeds, and chiles ground into a dark paste that’s been braised with the meat.
A trip to Flor de Yucatan on a Saturday afternoon transports me to a small stand outside Playa del Carmen’s tourist zone, where relleno negro is the first thing that comes to mind after a night of palomas and tequila at the popular Chilango (people from Mexico City) weekender.
Flor's relleno negro taco is smoky, juicy, and complex, with a little tang from pickled purple onions, and extra spice from a green habanero salsa—I say, drop it like it’s hot, and pour it on.
Turkey, chiles, corn tortillas, and annatto—the principle flavors of Flor’s relleno negro taco—are of pre-hispanic origin. It doesn’t get any more authentic than that.
Flor de Yucatan Bakery, 1800 S Hoover St Los Angeles, CA 90006 (213) 748-6090