It’s not really Christmas without a couple dozen husks to unwrap. Here’s where to indulge your masa fantasies.
1. Tamal Oaxaqueño from Sabores Oaxaqueños
3337 1/2 West 8th Street, Koreatown
Bound in fresh banana leaves before being gently steamed, chef Dominga Rodríguez’s handmade tamales are filled with shredded chicken and inky, bittersweet mole. They’re a highlight at one of the city’s most dedicated Oaxacan restaurants.
2. Lamb Neck Tamal from Broken Spanish
1050 South Flower Street, Downtown
The famed tamales at Ray Garcia’s L.A.-inspired Mexican spot near the Staples Center are things of brawny beauty: fork-tender sections of steamed masa smothered in a hearty stew of spicy braised lamb and oyster mushrooms.
3. Pork Carnitas Tamale from Tallula’s
118 Entrada Drive, Santa Monica
At their sunny beachside cantina, Jeremy Fox and Saw Naing upgrade the humble corn husk creation by using organic heirloom masa from Masienda, roasted heritage pork, and a vibrant mole verde sauce, crowned with toasted almonds and crumbled queso fresco.
4. Tamales de Elote from Jaraguá
4493 Beverly Boulevard, East Hollywood
Sweet corn tamales are a favorite breakfast starch in El Salvador, which is why we’re grateful that Salvadoran standby Jaraguá decided to offer them all day long. Get them steamed or deep-fried, the latter paired with a decadent dollop of buttery crema Salvadoreña.
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