I've said it once and I'll say it again: Lola Gaspar in SanTana is one of those rare restaurants that improve every year. And the future looks brighter than ever for the brothers Perez (Luis is the chef, Eddie the bartender-cum-host). In April, they're going to knock down a wall to expand their ever-packed place. They hope to get gas into their restaurant—yep, all of Lola Gaspar's great Mexican-Spanish dishes have been cooked on electric heaters. And Eddie has traveling through Baja California, to let Luis' mind run wild with new dishes.
But for their latest must-eat, los hermanos turned to an unlikely source: Boyle Heights. Not for the stew tacos of Guisados, but something even more old-school: pastrami tacos, the legendary union of the Los Angeles neighborhood's Jewish and Mexican communities during the 1940s. Luis brines his pastrami perfectly and places it on top of tangy peach mostarda, then adds a layer of repollo. And to cut the rich flavors? Small chicharrones straight from the legendary Carnitas Uruapan. Fatty, sweet, spicy, crunchy: these are spectacular tacos, come four to an order, and available only Wednesdays. Wait, today is Wednesday...GO GO GO!
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Lola Gaspar, 211 W. Second St, Santa Ana, (714) 972-11723; www.lolagaspar.com