Burritos, mezcal and churro donuts – Need I say more?
Birria de res burritos
N. Fairfax Avenue, just south of Melrose, is filled with a diverse selection of cuisine: Jewish-fare, casual Italian, southern comfort-food, modern Indian, and now Mexican food by way of Zacatecas. Plan Check Kitchen + Bar, a casual restaurant with notable burgers and famous for their ketchup leather, has collaborated with an Eastside favorite: Burritos La Palma.
Chips and guacamole
Burritos La Palma, originally from Jerez, Zacatecas, made their So Cal home in El Monte (est. 2012) with a second location in Santa Ana (est. 2017). When I first heard of Burritos La Palma, it was at LA Weekly’s Tacolandia 2015. They were one of 50+ taco and street food vendors from all over Los Angeles, Long Beach, Orange County, San Diego, and as far south as Tijuana, Mexico. Burritos La Palma made a name for themselves by serving their traditional Zacatecas-style burritos and it won them the title of “Best Traditional Taco” that year.
Tacos de chicharrón, chicken tinga, birria de res
Alberto and Lauren Bañuelos, the couple behind these popular burritos, have been using the same recipe that Alberto brought from his home in Jerez, Zacatecas. These homemade stews are stuffed into handmade flour tortillas creating the perfect burrito. The birria de res (spiced beef stew) is among their most popular and it’s the first one I tried three years ago. It still tastes the same! It’s plain and simple – spiced meat rolled in a tortilla, a side of fresh salsa and a blistered jalapeño pepper – but it’s this simplicity that I enjoy.
Crispy tacos: chicken and shredded beef
The Burritos La Palma x Plan Check Kitchen + Bar menu features these birria de res burritos among many others items. The menu is dotted with many favorites, including: chips and guacamole, queso fundido, quesadilla, chicken tinga tacos, chicharrón tacos, burritos de frijoles y queso (refried beans and cheese), Mexican rice, beans and saving the best for last – dessert.
Churro donuts with Abuelita chocolate
Plan Check has been known to be quite inventive with their donuts. I’m a sucker for dessert and this collaborative dessert makes me feel at home. I grew up eating churros from street carts in the San Fernando Valley. Hot chocolate is something we enjoy around the holidays. These guys put them both together and I’m in heaven. The donuts are pillow-y soft, doughy, sweet and slightly salty and pair extremely well with the thick, rich Abuelita chocolate. Abuelita would definitely approve.
Cocktails: Pimm’s Cup and Watermelon Paloma
In between bites, keep your whistle wet. There are non-alcoholic beverages: Mexican coke, Topo Chico and Jarritos, but you’ll find me sippin’ on their Oaxacan Old Fashioned. Old Fashioned’s are my go-to and this variation is right up my alley. Whiskey is switched out for tequila and mezcal creating a strong, smoky libation with a hint of sweetness from the agave. Another favorite is the Tequila Mule. El Jimador is mixed together with ginger syrup, lime juice and mandarin Jarritos. This one is served in a tin cup with a tamarind candy straw. The Pimm’s Cup is an ode to fruit carts. Pimm’s is mixed with lemon, lime, orange, cucumber, agave and Jarritos grapefruit. It’s sweet, but deadly.
For those who enjoy the classics, there are also classic margaritas and plenty of cervezas on the menu.
Cocktail: Tequila Mule
This pop-up menu is only available at the Plan Check Fairfax location starting at 4 p.m. daily. It’s been one month since the pop-up began; don’t miss out on the experience as this runs through the end of summer! Plan Check Fairfax 351 N. Fairfax Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90036