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Huarache Azteca Restaurante

The huarache doesn’t get a lot of play in Los Angeles. It’s one of Mexico’s dishes that didn’t fully infiltrate our city, perhaps due to migration patterns, or maybe because store-bought tortillas are cheaper and easier to come by. Named for its shape — huarache is a sandal — it's made of masa, much thicker than a tortilla and patted into an oval. Sometimes beans are mixed right in, rather than used as a topping. It tends to be covered in much more sauce than a taco — a huarache can stand up to all that liquid, after all. Created in either Mexico City or the agricultural area just north of there, huaraches have found an L.A. home at El Huarache Azteca in Highland Park. It’s a little counter-service place with high-quality food: The aguas frescas are homemade and the guacamole is fresh, herby and tart with lime. But don’t leave without trying the signature dish, a rare gift to Los Angeles. Get the “super” version, topped with meat, two salsas, crema and cotija cheese.

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