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Five carne asada carnicerias

Non-Mexicans and pocho Mexicans alike plead cultural ignorance as the reason for not preparing carne asada every weekend as they should. Mierda. The Mexican tradition of grilling firm steak slices to a juicy black is moronically simple, since its harshly wonderful taste relies not on the cook but the carnicería (meat market). Butchers add their own secret mixtures of spices and garnishes to the beef, and the following carnicerías' wildly varying blends show why carne asada is the best summer picnic meal after potato salad.

•EL TORO GOURMET MEATS, 23522 El Toro Rd., Lake Forest, (949) 855-0215.Owner Bob Bacca is to carne asada what Magic Johnson was to the assist. Bacca constructs his carne asada ($7.99/lb.) over the course of two days, allowing beef to marinate in a mixture of soy sauce, orange juice and secret spices he will reveal only on his deathbed. •CARNICERÍA EL CAMPEON, 31921 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, (949) 240-3141. The carnicería houses an assembly line that produces South County's best tamales. The subsequent parade almost overshadows the carne asada ($6.49/lb.) stocked tightly in the butcher counter, heavy with cilantro and lemon juices and ready for carbonization. •EL TORO MEAT MARKET, 1340 W. First St., Santa Ana, (714) 836-1393. The Bonilla clan has been hacking cuts of all sizes for the past 20 years in their ever-expanding emporium, but it's their carne asada ($6.99/lb.), tough in their native Zacatecan tradition, that has the gente lining up 10-deep at dawn to buy it for later grilling. •LA VENADITA MEAT MARKET, 22035 S. Main St., Carson, (310) 830-7099. Sí, this carnicería isn't located in OC. But I'd drive to the black center of Dick Nichols' soul if La Venadita relocated there. La Venadita's carne asada ($3.99/lb.) is peppery, laced with jalapeno seeds, and so tender even after cooking it should be illegal. •NORTHGATE SUPERMARKET, 720 W. La Palma Ave., Anaheim, (714) 563-0721. Throughout its campaign for a liquor license, the Mexican supermarket chain Gigante whined that Anaheim Latinos couldn't purchase proper cuts of meat. Tell that to Northgate Supermarket's Anaheim store, which has been preparing an intoxicating carne asada for decades, adding profound doses of onion that announces its presence from three aisles away. Take it from someone who buys her carne asada there–my mom. Gustavo Arellano

 
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