Sometimes our mission does feel fragile. I laugh at my brother when he gets anxious that we’re not moving through the list fast enough. “We need to do more this week!” is his standard plea. But maybe I shouldn’t laugh. Maybe he’s right and we’ll lose these future experiences if they start to drain down into the LA gutters with each restaraunt closure.
While to our knowledge, nothing else had closed (see Valentino post) Zaya had just discovered that when you clicked on our trusty ‘Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants’ link from the LA Times, it now redirected us to the new list, ‘101 Restaurants We Love’ compiled by three different food critics. I get it. The times needed to move on, to continue a variance of the tradition, but at least leave the link live, keep JG’s reviews accessible. Felt a little like moving in before the ink was dry on the deed. We were now fighting to preserve some semblance of LA history. To continue our mission, a battle that Jonathan Gold lost too soon.
So, we ordered drinks. Colonia Publica is known for their Michelada’s and with seven enticing options, you could see why. The night was chilly and damp. The perfect partner to the customizable Sopa de Fideo we were ordering. Customizable soup? Brilliant! You fill out your soup order on a sheet that’s a bit like a sushi card. Checking off boxes and comparing your add on’s to your friends. Chicken, chorizo, queso, pico, spinach, cactus, egg, pickled jalapeños, avocado, cilantro chutney, garlic shrimp and more, more, more!
At Colonia Publica, you can create the soup of your dreams. And when it comes, it surpasses expectations. Rich in flavor without feeling too heavy. Enough delicious broth, piping hot, full of flavor, each one distinguishable. Look up comfort food and if a picture of Fideo is not there, burn the book.
This is what you always want soup to be, but so rarely does it deliver. And as a run up to the main event, you’ll fall in love with the skilled hands that made your fried cauliflower and corn tacos, the mushroom quesadilla, super grande carnitas tacos, the perfect guacamole and bean dip. Such excellent primers.
Brought my dear friend Alex along. So far she took the prize for being game. Colonia Publica was in Whittier after all. Absolutely nowhere near where any of us lived. Whittier, another tack on the LA map because, when had I been in Whittier? Had I been to Whittier? This particular part of Whittier was a time capsule. In fact my Waze completely short circuited as I got close. The record store next door solidified the nostalgia and, happily, it was packed with people! Browsing actual records! The clerk looked like he’d been there since it was open and if one more person asked him where they could find the Red Hot Chili Peppers….
The restaurant, a quaint storefront but deceiving as the space was multiple structures inside the main space. Bazaar. A little like the Blue Bayou “restaurant” in the Pirates of Caribbean. Minus the fake frog chirps and, as goes without saying, far superior food.
We had some laughs, planned our next JG dinner (back to Santa Ana) and tucked into our bowls of warmth, of love, of a broth with some history that flowed down our throats like the validation all humans crave.