Wednesday, June 28, 2006

What to Eat On Venice Blvd. with Only $6 and Some Pocket-Change – Larco Mar Peruvian Rotisserie

I started working in the Culver City/Palms/Mar Vista area about 4 months ago. I was stoked upon receiving the job offer because I knew I would have good eats. With places like Café Brasil, Versailles, Beacon and even Sawtelle Blvd. (for longer lunch breaks), this new job would prove beneficial to my tummy and wallet. One day, with only $6 in my pocket, I drove around seeking a low-budget haven. No problem. Some of you know that I can make the most out of nothing, at places like Souplantation. What could I get? McDonald’s? No. In & Out? No way, I’m pro-Fatburger. Wendy’s? No, something about square patties seems unfitting. After passing Overland Avenue, I caught a red & white-striped building with a banner advertising a whole rotisserie chicken for only $5.95. Nice. A roasted chicken is definitely healthier than one swimming in the Deep Fried Ocean.

Upon walking in, I noticed three different things going on. Larco Mar not only serves Peruvian rotisserie chicken, but also has Mexican food and a decked out bakery with Mexican cakes and pastries. It was dead inside though. The cashier was sitting on a chair, absorbing the overly-dramatic soap operas on Telemundo. One of the cooks leaned against the counter with a towel draped over his shoulder. This was a ghost town and of course I got stares because, well, I’m not Peruvian. And maybe it’s the fact that they haven’t seen a customer since last week. I was gonna suggest that they buy an inflatable chicken that they can stack on their roof. The large clown/gorilla floats you see at car dealerships. That should let people know that they exist.

I didn’t feel like ordering a whole chicken so I went for the ¼ chicken with two side orders combo for $4.95, which comes out to $5.36. I was safe, and still $0.64 richer. I could use that for stuff like bum donations, sticky-hand toys from the vending machines or Chiclets. In addition to the $0.64, I also had about $1 worth of change. I ordered a ham croquette and ground beef empanada, which came out to like $1.25. So actually, I was $0.11 richer.

As I waited for my food, I noticed a recognizable logo on the rotisserie ovens. Apparently, our buddies here at Larco Mar found Boston Market rotisserie ovens on Craigslist or something. Funny. At least take the logo off. Nobody wears clothing with the price tags or size stickers still on them right?

A. 1/4 Chicken with 2 Side Orders - If you're not health-conscious, definitely go for the dark meat because it's moist and flavorful. The chicken was delicious. I asked the lady for some tortillas, which she gave for free, and made little tacos with the green Peruvian hot sauce. If you've been to Mario's Peruvian & Seafood, you'll know what I'm talking about. Addictive stuff. A few weeks later, I ordered the whole roasted chicken for $6 and 1/2 of it was moist (dark meat), and other being quite dry (white meat). I recommend this meal over the whole chicken. The rice and beans were average.

B. Ham Croquette and Ground Beef Empanada - Valued at $1.25, these are fun things to try. The ham croquette looks like a mozzarella stick but isn't that tasty. What they meant by ham was really corned beef. It was mushy and just strange tasting. The empanada, on the other hand, was yum. Perfectly spiced and moist.

C. Cake City - Larco Mar is an activity center. While you're waiting for your order, you can check out their bakery and cake designs. If you're not into sweets, well you're stuck with Mexican soap operas.

D. Boston Market, I mean, Larco Mar Rotisserie Ovens - Look at those babies in the chicken carousel.

E. Boston Market, I mean, Larco Mar - The resemblance is uncanny.

Next time you're left with $6, don't give in to the fast food joints. Larco Mar is there to save you. Thanks for reading.

Larco Mar Peruvian Rotisserie
10825 Venice Blvd.
West Los Angeles, Ca. 90034
(310) 838-0375


BoLA said...

YOU are so right on about the uncanniness of the signage. Anyhow, MS and I made our version of Saltado con Pollo...delicious and easy to make! =) Any good plans for the 4th?

Passionate Eater said...

A place that's like a ghost town is a place that I would be wary about eating at. The fact that all the cooks are watching Telemundo like zombies is even more eerie. But that picture of the rice, chicken, and beans makes up for the Telemundo and lack of customers! Dayam good!

Young said...

there are some newer places that opened in downtown culver city near my work, such as ford's filling station and tender greens. both are pretty good, esp ford's.

eatdrinknbmerry said...

Bola, give this place a shot when you guys only have $12. chicken isn't bad. i'd like to try making the beef saltado with FRIES. this weekend, it's bbq fest.

PE, that's what i thought initially too. but the problem with venice blvd is that it's high in traffic and quite hard to find street parking. i think ppl would rather find a joint w/ a parking lot.

Younguru, i'd love to try Ford's Filling Station. Food looks great there. have you tried Honey's Kettle Fried Chicken? I also go to Sushi Karen on wash/overland a lot.

Jeni said...

The place looks like TGIF on crack! The chicken looks real good though! I gotto take you to Pollo ala Brasa one day.

yoony said...

i work in culver city/marina but there aint nothing to eat over here! plus i only have a 30 minute lunch break. i love garlicky peruvian chicken especially with a good dousing of aji! maybe i can stop by to pick up dinner.

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