If you’re interested in experiencing Salvadoran food in a more formal setting, then head directly to Jaragua. This Oakwood restaurant specializes in El Salvador’s tried and true classics like casamiento: rice and beans gently cooked together to create a warm stew we’d happily swim in. Their pupusas also include familiar fillings like chicharron, loroco, beans, and cheese, and come in either corn or rice flour variations–both of which are super moist with beautiful griddle marks. However, a pupusa is not complete without its curtido and Jaragua’s slaw comes tender soft after soaking in vinegar for hours. Paired with their bright salsa de tomate, these final touches nicely cut through the cake’s starchiness and bring out all the flavors in the fillings.
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Beans and rice are far too often pushed to the sidelines, but Jaraguá’s casamiento is the main character in this story. These two are stewed together until the rice’s starch and the soft beans blend to form a dense, savory mash that we happily shovel into our mouths. The richness and heat get cut with a side of cold Salvadoran cream and squeaky fresh cheese too.
This revuelta pupusa is a beautiful hot mess and we mean that in the best way possible. This classic bean and cheese combo is enhanced by spicy stewed chicharron that adds texture, heat, and a porky meatiness that takes everything to the next level. The corn masa is also thick enough to hold the bubbling mixture in without being too dense.
Pan Con Pavo
The shredded turkey meat here is cooked in a smoky/spicy tomato sauce before going into a fluffy roll with some cucumbers and radish. The briny curtido slaw on top brings some acid and even more crunch to this semi-soggy sandwich that has us rethinking our game plan for Thanksgiving leftovers.
Tamales de Elote
These corn tamales are naturally sweet, creamy, and decadent, with masa soft enough to cut with a fork. If soft and light isn’t your thing, feel free to order them fried for an extra crispy edge.