The Sandwich: Chorizo torta
Where: El Camino, 108 Rhode Island Ave. NW
Bread: Torta roll, a crusty, oblong white roll used for these Mexican sandwiches
Stuffings: Chorizo, pan-fried potatoes, caramelized onions, queso fresco, lettuce, tomato, housemade crema, and guajillo sauce (a syrupy red sauce made from dried, moderately spicy peppers)
Thickness: 2 inches
Pros: The combination of meat, potatoes, and softened onions make the sandwich an instant comfort food. Piled on the crunchy, toasted roll, the softer fillings achieve perfect textural balance.
Cons: They might cover the plate and drip from the sandwich, but the crema and guajillo sauce don’t have a definable flavor. The crema gives off only a whisper of sourness, and the guajillo sauce could use some more spice. Overall, the sandwich would benefit from a hit of hot sauce or lime juice.
Sloppiness level (1 to 5): 5. Use a fork and knife, or your hands will be the color of the bright red sauce slathering the sandwich.
Overall score (1 to 5): 4. El Camino’s proprietors designed the space to transport diners into the casa of an East L.A. granny living with her Chicano gangster grandson. The sandwich conveys that homey quality, but it could still use more of a bang. Just ask for a lime wedge on the side.
Photo by Caroline Jones