El Cholo in Santa Monica – Delicious Mexican Food for Cinco de Mayo
The festival of Cinco de Mayo is Thursday, and it begins my celebration of Mexican food and drink. Twice a year, in May and October, the UPS man delivers a precious package to me. (He came a week early this year.) It goes right into my freezer, minus a piece or two. Sent by my old friend, El Cholo’s Ron Salisbury, it contains a dozen Green Corn Tamales, with mole sauce, a delicacy only in season in his restaurants for that six month period. Then, whenever I am in need of something extra-delicious to sustain me (often), I pull one out and steam it until piping hot… then I cut the string and pull off the corn husk, inhaling the sweet corn vapors as the aged cheddar cheese and Ortega chilis ooze out of the six-inch long corn masa. While I add a dollop of sour cream or crème fraiche to cool it. Heavenly. At which point, I always make a reservation to visit his Western Avenue outpost (1121 S. Western Avenue, three blocks south of Olympic, (323) 734-2773) and experience the other Mexican delicacies which have sustained me for years. Alternately, I will often drop in to the even more convenient El Cholo at 1025 Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica (310) 899-1106, for a fix of my beloved chilis relleno, whole chilis stuffed with cheese and then dipped in egg batter before being quickly fried.