The Mind-Blowing Quesadilla at Salazar

I was just about to tell you about this quesadilla at Salazar in Frogtown here in L.A. — I’d just posted the picture — when the room started wobbling and the pictures on the piano started rattling and Winston gave me a worried look and I realized I was experiencing my first feel-able L.A. earthquake.

Wow, that was unsettling! I do feel a little woozy: it’s hard to talk about quesadillas. But I’m going to soldier through, just for you.

There was a period in my life when I disavowed brunch. We were living in New York and we’d go to this place, I think it was called Good(?), and we’d wait for an hour and then spend a fortune on eggs, toast, and coffee. I said to myself: “From now on, we’re just eating brunch at home!” and ever since then, basically, I make the eggs, toast, and coffee myself.

But every so often, you just want to get out and experience the world on a Saturday. We live in Atwater Village and our outdoor brunch options are pretty minimal, which is why Salazar is so great. It used to be impossible to get into (it was the hot restaurant of the moment, when it opened) but now it’s settled down a bit and we go there quite often on the weekends: it’s pretty much my favorite brunch spot in L.A.

Plus: we can bring Winston! (Not pictured: Winston.)

All of the food at Salazar is pretty great. Their guacamole is top-notch:

And they have horchata, which you can add coffee to and agua Frescas that you can add booze to. Here’s a booze-less watermelon agua fresca:

But we are here today to talk about Salazar’s quesadilla, which is easily the best I’ve ever had.

What makes it so good? Well: the flour tortillas are made in-house and they’re fluffy and fresh, almost like savory pancakes. But flakier and crispier. Actually, forget the pancake metaphor: they’re more like flatbreads.

And then it’s stuffed with a filling of your choice (I chose “pollo asado”) and lots of cheese and presented with two dipping sauces, one a rough, roasted kind of salsa, the other an avocado dip. Here it is, once I cut into it:

It’s a massive event, this quesadilla, but it rivals all of my favorite carb-heavy meals in L.A.: the pizza at Mozza, the pasta at Alimento, the soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung.

So do yourself a favor and, if you live in L.A., treat yourself to a quesadilla at Salazar.

I survived an earthquake just to tell you about it.