The Arepa Stand is open for business on weekends only at a few locations around the Westside, including Menotti’s Coffee Stop in Venice Beach and the Mar Vista Farmers Market. The menu includes Venezuelan arepas that stay true to the tradition of filling them with as many things as humanly possible. However, the actual ingredients used are influenced by LA’s greater Latinx community and include items like Mexican chorizo and chile de arbol salsa. The 405 is a must-try and comes with a thick scoop of black bean purée, tender braised beef brisket, fried plantains, cilantro, and a big serving of crumbly cotija cheese for some extra saltiness. We also love the Notti’s arepa to kick off our (rare) mornings at the beach, which consists of a thin layer of crema, more plantains, sliced avocado, a fried egg, and the main star: one very thick slice of queso de mano. The squeaky white cheese almost acts like a breakfast patty in the corn-based sandwich as the runny yolk coats everything from the avocado to the sweet plantains.
The 405 Arepa
This arepa is absolutely filled with super tender braised brisket, sweet fried plantains, and rich black bean puree that sticks to the roof of our mouth with every bite (in a good way). There’s also some crumbled cotija that brings just the right amount of saltiness to balance out all the contrasting flavors.
The Notti’s Arepa
A thick patty of soft Venezuelan cheese gets dressed up with sweet plantains, avocado, and one extra crispy fried egg, and it’s just a lot. It’s easy to feel like this is just one decadent ingredient layered on top of another (because it is), but we’d still happily order this arepa again. A little heat from some hot sauce or a bit of acid would go a long way though.