Old San Juan, Atwater Village

2830 Fletcher Dr · Los Angeles, CA 90039 · Neighborhood: Atwater Village

My mother once visited me and asked me to take her someplace where she could get a Budín, a Puerto Rican style bread pudding. She was here for a week, and I took her to various bakeries and cafés around L.A., all of which made her very disappointed in her daughter. “I thought you were some sort of foodie, Amy?” I was ashamed.

I was completely out of ideas. I knew not of any authentic Puerto Rican Restaurants in the city of Los Angeles. I wasn’t about to drive all the way to Cypress or Watts just to feed my mom’s ridiculous craving. She flew back home to the midwest and I was a foodie failure in her in her eyes. I pleaded with her that it wasn’t my fault! Blame L.A.! Blame L.A.!

As we know, Los Angeles is known for being a melting pot of cuisines from around the world. We can get everything from Salvadorian pupusas to Hawaiian BBQ to Ethiopian food. Bacon wrapped hot dogs (what culture is this!?) are available anytime anywhere, and don’t even get me started on the surplus of tacos in this town. But where does one get Puerto Rican food? The cuisine is so under represented in LA. That is until now.

Interesting how if you ask the universe for something, sometimes you just get your wish. Over the holidays I grumbled and complained and wished for a good representation of my island’s food. Voilá! Somebody must have heard me howling because opening this month is the first Puerto Rican Restaurant in the city of Los Angeles!

Strategically nestled between Silver Lake foodies, Glendale families, downtown artsy fartsy types and Los Feliz hipsters, it’s in a prime multi-cultural location to reach as many food lovers as possible. Best of all, it’s just 16 minutes away from me in West Hollywood! Come back mom, I gotta place for you now!

Read more about Old San Juan, its chef and menu in my write up on it in the LA Weekly.

2 COMMENTS

  1. All this rave about this “Old San Juan Resturant” the decor is great but the food is not!! A true Puerto Rican cook uses good ethnic ingredients. Mr Castro must been absent on 2/23/13. The platter of appetizers was over cooked or burned. The chicken stew was watery more like soup and made w/carrots and celery, a real stew is made w/tropical veggies. Bacalaitos should be light and crispy not bulky (over priced)…Arroz y pollo was (used minute rice) not ethnic, served in “calderon” not pretty to look at. Arroz y gandules was terrible and the beans were very bland no flavor. The Sangria is over priced..We waited close to an hour to be served. The condiments (served on 4 tablespoons), what was it? The waiter was not attentive to our needs. Our napkins and silverware was given when the food arived, the table was not set up. It was not what I expected. Puerto Rican food is delicious. I know, because my mom is the “best cook” in the world! I am so glad she was not at this gathering, she would of wanted to know who messed with the food and to give a piece of her mind like I would not feed this to my family.. We spend over $300 there, but sorry to say we will never go back again.

    • Thanks for your comment Darida. Have you put your complaints on Yelp or contacted the owner about your disappointment? I think he would be happy to hear your feedback and hopefully make the appropriate changes to the menu! As a brand new restaurant, I look forward to seeing how Old San Juan grows to serve the community of Puerto Ricans who know good food!

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