It's easy to drive past L.A.’s best Guatemalan restaurant, on the northern edge of Koreatown. The dull signage blends in with the restaurant’s rounded storefront on a corner of Western that’s uncharacteristically idle. The interior is drab, aside from the plexi-glass covered Mayan-themed tablecloths. Though Rincon Guatemalteco does little to lure you in, a tasty surprise awaits.
Kak’ik de pavo con recado especial is a pre-hispanic turkey soup with a chompipe (turkey leg) in a blend of tomato and chiles guaques (Guatemalan chiles) served with a tamal, rice, and some chile cobanero powder the owner brings in from Guatemala herself.
Central-American restaurants usually have plenty of excellent soup—Rincon is no exception—and the calod de huevos, or egg soup is also a delicious option. It's simple—poached eggs in a well seasoned tomato broth—but satisfying.
If you’re a bit more adventurous, the revolcado consists of pig hearts, liver, and whatever other organs might be available in a stew of tomatoes, miltomates (tomatillos), cloves, and more of those chiles guaques.
There are a variety of excellent tamales, some of which we’ve mentioned before on the Digest, and a delicious house-made longaniza sausage that’s sort of like Guatemala’s answer to meatloaf.
The menu is full of comforting dishes for this winter season. It's true, it really hasn’t been that cold—so you can imagine how warming these dishes would be, if winter ever decides to show up—but get a taste of Rincon Guatemalteco anyway!
Rincon Guatemalteco, 501 N. Western Ave., Koreatown, 323-463-6602.