El Huarache Azteca is a small Mexico City-style eatery specializing in its eponymous dish (LA Times photo, left)--a sandal shaped fried masa (corn) patty, stuffed with beans and topped with meat, queso fresco, cilantro, and a squeeze of salsa, at your prefered level of spiciness (ours: wimpy white person). You choose your meat--J was smart and went with marinated pork, I gambled on the chicharron, which I thought would result in crispy, fried pork skin. Unfortunately, I received gelatinous, sauteed pork skins, which even for a porcine-loving girl like me was a bit much. I lost the skins, scarfed the huarache, and wasn't too put out since it merely cost $2.50, plus $1 for my tamarindo agua fresca.
To ensure full satisfaction, however, we walked a couple blocks east and I finished the afternoon at La Estrella, a permanently parked taco truck, one of multiple locations. Bursting with juicy pork meat and dripping with a spicy-thirty-seconds-after-you-taste-it salsa rioja, my $1 carnitas taco made me roll my eyes with delight, and J jealously eyed it, almost wishing he hadn't liked his marinated pork covered huarache quite so much.
Another one bites the dust on my cheap to-eat list. If you have a recommendation, leave a comment and I'll add it to the list. Must be east of La Cienega.
The 2007 Erin's Kitchen Cheap To-Eat List (in no particular order)
Angeli Caffe (thx, Gastronomy 101)
Annapurna (thx, Kalyn's Kitchen--it's not east, but she's not a local, so it counts)
Food Garden Restaurant (thx, Melting Wok)
Golden Deli (thx, Anon)
Halal Tandoori (via Eating LA)
J & J Restaurant (thx, LA-OC Foodie)
La Curva (via Foodie Universe)
Los Balcones de Peru (via All Kinds of Yum)
Noshi Sushi (thx, Rachael)
Paris Baguette (via LA Ritz)
Shin Sen Gumi Ramen (thx, Tableau Vivant)
Soot Bull Jeep (via Colleen Cuisine)
Zeke's Smokehouse (via Best of LA)