I miss traveling a lot and it’s been few years since I’ve gone on an trip out of the country. Though I haven’t been able to travel in awhile; I am fortunate to be able to food trip “around the world” locally. I am definitely blessed to be able to try various restaurants featuring world cuisines. One awesome restaurant that I visited is La Esperanza. La Esperanza currently has two locations in Southern California; in Long Beach as well as Torrance. I recently came to dine at the Torrance location. This restaurant offers authentic Salvadorian, Guatemalan and Mexican food.
When one comes to dine in at La Esperanza; each meal starts off with some complimentary black beans with cheese and tortillas.
The tortillas are freshly handmade here and they serve it nice and warm. I love spreading the black beans on the warm tortillas. It’s practically melts in the mouth and makes for such a savory lovely starter.
I had visited La Esperanza many years back to try their Mexican food and just recently decided to visit this local gem again to try out some of their Salvadorian and Guatemalan dishes.
One of their most famous Salvadorian specialties is their pupusas. Pupusas are hand-made corn tortillas stuffed with cheese along with choice of ingredients! Here at La Esperanza one can mix and match various gredients in any combination. One can choose from beans, zucchini, chicken, chipilín, spinach, chicharrón, chorizo, loroco, potato, jalapeño, ham and pineapple, and shrimp. I chose to get cheese and chorizo.
It is no wonder La Esperanza’s pupusas are very popular. They served these fresh from the kitchen and they brought to the table piping hot. It comes with a side of cabbage relish and sauce that I love to smother on top of the pupusas. The pupusas are cheesy and so tasty! It’s definitely a must try when coming here.
Aside from their savory Salvadorian dishes; they also have quite a selection of Guatemalan classic plates. All of their Guatemalan dishes come with Guatemalan style rice, beans and handmade tortillas. I decided to try their Hilachas dishes. Hilachas is a Guatemalan dish shredded beef with chopped potatoes that drowned in a pool of La Esperanza’s Guatemalan style sauce. They serve this with a chipilín tamale.
It was my first time ever trying Hilachas and quite enjoyed this beef stew. I have heard this is a very popular dish in Central America and that the name “Hilachas” actually translates to rags. I can see why rags as there definitely was an abundant amount of strings of beef. They were definitely generous with the amount of shredded beef here. It was one hearty and fulfilling dish. My one wish was more rice as the saucy dish was perfect over rice.
Last but not least for my visit here; I got their fried plantains.
I love fried plantains and I love their take on this tasty sweet dish of plantains perfectly fried and sweet. They had a lot char to it which gave a nice crispy touch.
Visiting La Esperanza in Torrance; made me feel like I was in El Salvador and Guatemala. It was a nice treat to be local in the South Bay and try some world class cuisine. Muy delicioso!