Unlike many other spots on this guide, the bread at Cook’s in Monterey Park is handmade every day, and doesn’t resemble the fluffy telera rolls that most torta shops use. The bread here is actually more similar to a ciabatta roll and is the perfect vehicle for their bacalao torta. This fishy sandwich consists of spreadable salted cod that pulls apart like delicate shredded beef. If intense fishiness sets off alarms in your head, fear not because the saltiness is never overpowering. In fact, the bacalao really complements the sandwich’s mayo and buttery potatoes that add nice texture to the sandwich - along with bits of roasted garlic, sauteed peppers, and green olives for a great briney finish. Overall, this torta feels like a homemade fish casserole smeared inside a bread roll, and has us rethinking how great a fish sandwich can really be.
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