"What's an acai bowl?" my visiting New Yorker friend asked as we strolled down York Blvd. to see what Highland Park was about.
"Some stupid fake health food, I don't know, I've never had one," I said.
On this glowing recommendation, my friend and her boyfriend decided to enter Berry Bowl and waste their money on some ridiculous concoction called a dragon bowl.
Making this thing seemed to involve a sustained fight with a Vitamix, a blender so powerful I believe it could liquify my tennis shoe.
Lots of noise later, it was ready.
Then, the nicest blender girl ever sweetly asked if I wanted some, because she had made extra.
So she made me this mini dragon bowl, topped with granola, coconut, and berries.
It. was. delicious.
Icy. Thick. Smooth. Fruity. Sweet. Crunchy.
And they have the same spoons as Yogurtland. They have just the right depth that you can easily eat out of them without making weird sucking or slurping noises, and they're made from perfectly smooth plastic that doesn't irritate your tongue. A crappy plastic spoon can really ruin your frozen treat experience.
So back to acai bowls. I still don't buy into the superfood acai hype. And I'm not sure how healthy I'd call something with so much sugar. But that doesn't mean they're not delicious.
I'm not afraid to eat my words. Or an acai bowl. Like, everyday.
5056 York Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90042
Berry Bowl website (scroll down for menu)
Duck into this casual, inexpensive Highland Park joint for an elongated pancake of fried masa studded with pinto beans and topped with your choice of two meats or veggies, a light crumbling of cotija, a drizzle of crema, thinly sliced red onions, and pools of red and green salsa.
I ordered mine with papas con rajas and the gourmet corn fungus known as huitlacoche. There are several other veggie options, including squash blossoms. The meat choices include the usual taco meats and chicken tinga. If the huarache doesn't appeal to you, you'll find your favorite Mexican dish somewhere on the extensive menu. It's cash only, and there's an ATM inside the restaurant, along with a somewhat unnerving live feed of the restaurant's security cam footage.
And yes, the super huarache was delicious. The first bite took me right back to my host mom's kitchen from a summer study abroad trip to Mexico many years ago.
El Huarache Azteca
5225 York Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90042
El Huarache Azteca website
El Huarache Azteca menu