Tres maduros

I love bananas. Yellow Chiquita bananas precisely cut into rounds on my plate of arroz blanco y picadillo. Green plantains fried and flattened with the bottom of a coffee mug, then salted, especially if it’s the side dish to camarones enchilados. And, my favorite, ripe plantains, strange in color and frightening in texture, fried  into a burnt sack of … More Tres maduros

La cenicienta

An hour from Los Angeles, you’ll “leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy” for about two hundred bucks and a mean sunburn. Before I get any further, I should say I don’t have kids or a strong affinity for the Disney brand or even particularly enjoy large crowds. However, this should … More La cenicienta

Independencia

El 20 de mayo de 1902, a las doce horas del día, se llevo a cabo en el Palacio de la Plaza de Armas, en La Habana, la ceremonia de transmisión de poderes entre Cuba y Estados Unidos, y la confirmacion de Tomás Estrada Palma como su primer presidente.  

Un cortadito

The city of Temecula is a little under two hours away from LA, which is also the exact amount of time you’ll need to exhaust all of the culo jokes you can come up with. Go directly to Old Town because, first, it’s absolutely charming with array of specialty stores, boutiques, art galleries, and antiques stores. And … More Un cortadito

Today in Cuban music: Albita

Que manera de esperar un disco, que manera. Albita released her new Big Band album that pays homage to pre-revolution Cuban music – and it sounds as if Machito got a face lift by a really, really great plastic surgeon from Beverly Hills. Homenaje a Benny Moré and Mis Congas are a master’s class in the genre, while Pais Tropical and Las Cumbias celebrates … More Today in Cuban music: Albita

El barrio

I finally found the west’s version of Hialeah/Miami Lakes. It turns out that the majority of Cubans left Echo Park and ended up in two neighboring towns, one named Bell and the other named after a fabric softener. Downey, as in ¿Le echaste ‘dauni’ a la lavadora?, is in many ways fancier than Bell. And in true … More El barrio

El escándalo

Richard Nixon was a congressman, a senator, a two-term vice-president, a near two-term president, and an adviser to the presidents after him. He was also the first president to resign. All of these are facts I knew thanks to my seventh grade civics report on the 37th POTUS. Years later through movies, books and the Pentagon Papers, … More El escándalo

Un flan

How far would you travel for a good flan de leche? Five miles. Maybe 10. How far would you go for the best flan de leche in Southern California? The answer to that is 30 miles, because it’s the distance between the city of angels and the city of Orange. Located on an adorable roundabout facing a small park is … More Un flan

Las rosas

As a kid, I remember watching the Rose Bowl Parade on our very non-HD, barely color and monstrously boxy television set. I could hardly hear the announcers’ color commentary over my mother’s “¡Mira pa’ eso!” “¡Que cosa más bella Dios mio! ” and “Como inventan los Americanos.”  Now I get to send her text messages with crisp photos, inches … More Las rosas

Periodo especial

I was in Miami when Fidel Castro died. More specifically, when the news broke I was asleep on a pull-out couch in Hialeah exactly one block from la 49 del west. I honked my horn, drank entire coladas and serendipitously ran into Marisela Verena en una esquina de Mary Brickell Village. Since then many have written, much … More Periodo especial