Sunday, April 27, 2008
The Return of La Nueva Flor Blanca
Last year, I did a pupusa round up and discovered LA's best pupusas at a small Beverly Boulevard shop called La Nueva Flor Blanca. The pupusas there were near-perfect. They were served hot as coals and generously stuffed with fillings. Especially lovely was their chicharron, a spicy, crunchy, ground pork that, when mixed with red beans and cheese, made the perfect pupusa revuelta.
Alas, within weeks of my review, LNFB was shuttered by the Health Department and stayed closed. But now, nearly a year later, they are back open with the same Salvadroan-Guatemalen menu. It's hard to describe my excitement at this new turn of events. Needless to say, I paid a visit within the first week, and my expectations were high.
These were roughly the same pupusas. Large, searing hot patties of masa, generously filled with the various pupusa fillings, but something was missing. It was the spice of the pork, the key to LNFB success: the chicharron had changed. I can't explain it, but it's less salty, less porky, less crunchy, and overall, less transcendent.
Some inquiries in broken Spanish revealed that the woman who was the primary cook at this site in its previous incarnation now works at a new LNFB branch in South LA (Vernon and Broadway). It turns out there are a number of LFNBs run by an extended family, though there appears to be some variance form spot to spot. (There also appear to be other restaurants of the same name which may or may not have a connection, familial or otherwise).
Of course, LNFB Beverly just reopened, so I don't want to judge to harshly, and even without the magic chicharron, these are still darned good pupusas, so I will give it some time and hope against hope for the return of the transcendent chihcarron.
UPDATE: A week later, this place was up an running like it had never disappeared. The chicharron is back in all it's porky, spicy glory and the pupusa revueta is back as the best pupusa in town. Great platanos too!
La Nueva Flor Blanca
4271 Beverly Blvd. (North side of Beverly between Kinglsey and Normandie)
Los Angeles, CA 90004