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It’s Pozole Season in L.A., Here’s Where to Find a Good Bowl: Rojo

Welcome to L.A. Taco’s Pozole Week! Every day this week, we will celebrate a different style of the hominy and meat stew that really hits the spot when it is cold out, and share some delicious spots in Los Angeles to try it. For our second day, we are celebrating pozole rojo, which is perhaps the most familiar—and delicious—pozole that you are used to flavored with dried red chiles. Grab a bowl and join us.

Pozole season is nigh. 

Studies show that around this time fridges in Mexican households are a game of chance. Margarine container? No. It’s pozole. Sour cream? Nope. You ran out three weeks ago, it’s pozole. Again.

Pozole is a dish that’s usually associated with celebrations, gatherings, and holidays. That’s an improvement (depending on who you ask of course) considering that the origins of the dish used to call for four portions of human meat.

Pozole comes from the Nahuatl word pozolli which translates to “frothy” or “boiled” and was a ceremonial dish. According to Fray Bernardino de Sahagún, in the 1500s, he saw the human-meat-stew (then known as tlapozonalli) offered to Moctezuma at a festival honoring the sun god. But the protein eventually changed to pork because it is rumored to taste similar— effectively destroying the human meat economy. The pre-hispanic dish is one of the most popular dishes in Mexican gastronomy. There are several iterations throughout Mexico: red, green, and white. The differences are seen regionally through variance in proteins, spices, and chiles.

Each pozole on the list has its own distinct identity.

There is no better dish that signals the end of the year better than pozole. The bounty of pozole housed in a huge pot is a symbol of unity in my family. There is always enough for everyone.

Rojo

A bowl at Sabores Oaxaqueños.

El Parian

While known primarily for their phenomenal birria de chivo, their secret weapon is an exceedingly good pozole. It has no business being so good, in fact, it almost seems unfair. The pozole here is classic red and pork-based. Personally, it is a new ceiling for the dish. The caldo is rich with pork, chiles, and spices but never overbearing. Perhaps the most intriguing thing about this pozole is that they use a particularly large variety of hominy that looks like freshly popped popcorn. One of the waitresses explains that they start cooking it very early in the morning for several hours to achieve this glory in a bowl. It should go without saying that an order of birria is also mandatory.

1528 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015. (213) 386-7361.

A bowl at Sabores Oaxqueños

Sabores Oaxaquenos

This neighborhood Oaxacan eatery offers pozole made from pork head. Once the bowl arrives you’ll notice a faint funk that becomes more noticeable in the caldo. But it adds an extra dimension to the broth which reminds me of the use of fishy flavors in the best bowls of ramen. The first bite of pork head bursts with concentrated porkiness; the meat is tender and slightly chewy. A thick layer of rendered stained pork fat consistently floats on top of the bowl. This pozole is one of the most unique on the list because the offal adds a dimension that isn’t present with traditional proteins.

3337 1/2 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005. (213) 410-5133.

More pozole variations covered this week and where to find it in Los Angeles.

Green (Verde)

Pozole blanco (White)

Vegan

Pozole taco

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