The last ‘exotic’ cuisine I had with my friends who are constantly on a quest to try new things was at the Ethiopia Restaurant somewhere down Telegraph Ave in Oakland. As mentioned in my older post, we had a pretty good experience exploring Ethiopian cuisine. This time round, we decided to give Salvadoran cuisine a try.
Platano @ University Ave, Berkeley
One of the lunch specials at Platano consists of two pupusas and a chicken tamale. When I ordered the pupusas, I was under the notion that they were like tacos and but it transpired that pupusas were more like quesadillas or savoury pancakes. The pork and cheese pupusa was tasty but the cheese and Salvadoran vegetable pupusa seemed devoid of any cheese or vegetable. Not sure if I was eating them right but the pupusas were delicious when topped with the restaurant’s pickled cabbages and ‘hot’ sauce.
The first time I had a tamale was at Cal’s dining common and I did not enjoy it at all. Needless to say, I decided to give the tamale another chance to redeem itself because I thought that perhaps the dining common made severely subpar tamales. After today, I can officially say that I am not a fan of tamales — I am unaccustomed to the taste of corn dough and the dish was just too starchy and bland for my liking.
Plantain and cream — more appetizing than it looks. I liked the plaintain on its own but not so much of the sour cream.
The small avocado salad was not that small after all. Tried some of my friend’s salad and it tasted pretty good to me. Gotta love avocados.
Conclusion? Salvadoran food is somewhat exotic and is definitely not for everyone — here in Platano I had the very last tamale that I will ever have in my life, and my friend will probably never step through Platano’s door again because she did not enjoy lunch here even though I thought it was quite similar to Mexican food which she loves. I would not mind coming back for the cheese and meat pupusa and the pickled cabbage. Yes, the pickled cabbage in the jar.