You see, there’s Juanita’s Cafe and then there’s Juanita’s Café. The latter being that taquito joint in Olvera St. You don’t want to go there.
You want to go to the former.
With the former being your typical Mexican hole-in-the wall dive on Broadway, in the heart of the Jewelry District nestled between a Ross Dress for Less and a Metro PCS store, and for our purposes it’s where you need to go if you crave papasuas.
But only on Sundays.
Why, you say?
Cuz, that’s when the papusa lady sets up her papusa station in front the little cordoned off curtilage of Juanita’s Cafe’s, and she makes fresh papusas by hand, a la minute. Go to the counter inside the restaurant, make your selection – I like the ones made with chicharrón and frijoles refritos (made with real lard!). The curtido is pretty good, although it could use some more vinegar. The way it tastes reminds me a bit of Tsukemono cabbage. not necessarily in a bad way, but not necessarily in a good way either. Still the crunch from vegetables are a nice reprieve from the carb-saturated-fats that is the raison d’être of why you’re there in the first place.
I haven’t tried anything from Juanita’s Cafe’s own menu, but it has your typical carne asada tacos, torts, and burritos and what-not.
I’m not a papusa expert, nor do I even care to be one, but me like. Especially the clientele on a Sunday morning. Eat papusas, talk smack about gringos, and wither away your Sunday morning thinking about why Americans can’t play futbol…
717 S Broadway
Downtown Los Angeles (Jewelry District)