Restaurant Review #191: Rincon Salvadoreno, Van Nuys

Pupusas topped with curtido

After eating at a few hundred restaurants, almost 200 of which I've taken the time to write about, I've learned that there are no undiscovered restaurants out there, particularly in a city as large and thoroughly combed as Los Angeles. So why did I decide to get my birthday dinner from the dirty, dingy, hole-in-the-wall that is Rincon Salvadoreno when there were zero customers inside? I guess hoping I'll manage to discover a restaurant others haven't gives me some kind of foodie high.

Despite the name, Rincon Salvadoreno has mostly Mexican-sounding dishes on its menu. I was there for the pupusas though, which were advertised in the window as being $1 on Mondays. In fact, the woman who appeared to be the restaurant's sole employee, a crotchety old glad-you're-not-my-grandmother type, also informed me of this special. Yet, when the bill came, we were charged--well, I can't even figure out how two horchatas and six $1 pupusas comes out to $16, but I figured she needed the money more than I did so I didn't bother to argue. Despite the fact that I speak fluent Spanish, we had major communication problems the whole time I was there.

"What flavors of pupusas do you have?"
"Meat and cheese."
"What kind of meat?"
"Meat and cheese."
"Are there different flavors?"
"Meat and cheese."

After this exchange, I just ordered six pupusas and two horchatas to go and hoped for the best.

Despite the major communication issues, hostile service, terribly dreary space and menus that I was loathe to touch, the pupusas (which contained shredded pork and cheese) were freshly made and the best I've had yet--not too salty, not too greasy, not too doughy. So I guess in some ways, I did find a gem, but I'm unwilling to deal with so many unpleasantries when there are plenty of other places to get pupusas in the area.

Rincon Salvadoreno appears to be a chain with additional locations in North Hollywood and Sun Valley--I wonder if they're any better?

Rincon Salvadoreno
14338 Victory Blvd.
Van Nuys, CA 91401

Rincon Salvadoreno on Urbanspoon

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