Mexican Food: Muy Caliente

It’s ok—fill up on chips! Six great salsas and a handy heat guide

muycaliente_hbanera | Salsa Habanera
It looks innocent, but beware the whole habanero strips.
» Tacos Arandas Stand, N. Gage Ave. and Dozier St., East L.A. 


muycaliente_verde.jpg| Salsa Verde
This traditional Nayarit condiment is a simple combo of juiced jalapeños and salt.
» Mariscos Chente, 3544 W. Imperial Hwy., Inglewood, 310-672-2339. 

muycaliente_smillas.jpg| Salsa de Semillas 
The mix of peanuts, seeds, and dried chiles is as zingy as it is crunchy.
» Nina’s Food, in front of 240 N. Breed St., Boyle Heights, 323-807-6813. 

muycaliente_burnthabanero| Burnt Habanero Crème
The cool crema tempers the firepower of smoked habaneros. It’s an addictive blend of flavor and heat.
» Malo, 4326 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake, 323-664-1011. 


muycaliente_tomatillo| Tomatillo
Roasting the green fruit brings out the flavor in this superior version of a tangy classic.
» Border Grill, 1445 4th St., Santa Monica, 310-451-1655. 


muycaliente_dogsnout | Dog Snout Salsa
Get your tissues ready. The name comes from what the chunky dip does to your nose.
» Tinga, 142 S. La Brea Ave., L.A., 323-954-9566.



Photographs by Lisa Romerein. Illustrations by Christian Northeast