Mariscos Chente made a big wave in the past year in the Los Angeles low-brow dining scene with their much lauded Sinaloan seafood cuisine. Recently they rolled out a Winter Menu and Street Gourmet LA, a long time Chente supporter, set up a small blogger tasting. Throughout the dinner, Street Gourmet LA guided us each dish, and where they come from , etc.
To get authentic Sinaloan seafood, the owner Maddalena routinely buses down to her hometown of Nayarit to procure some fresh seafood!
Tortilla chips and salsa while you wait. Watch out for the green salsa - it was way spicier than the red!
Our first soup was the Albondigas de camaron(shrimp albondigas), a common Sinaloan dish. Albondigas is meat/shrimp balls and is in fact a national dish that varies throughout Mexico. Seafood albondigas are typically found on the coasts. The broth consisted of shrimp stock, tomatoes, oregano, jalapeno, cilantro, and vegetables.
There are three other seafood soups they're offering, which uses a common broth (made of fish stock, tomato, jalapeno, vegetables) but just varies in the seafood proteins they put in them.
The fish soup contains moist and tender pieces of seabass, including the skin and jowl.
The 'mixto' contains shrimp, fish (seabass, same as above), and octopus.
The octopus in this soup was so chewy and delicious I would highly recommend getting the mixto over either the fish or the shrimp (which they also offer). The broth here is not as spicy as the albondigas but I personally prefer it because it was richer and flavorful (though the rest did prefer the albondigas' broth).
Mariscos Chente is also offering a series of seafood tacos this winter.:
The deep fried fish(halibut) and shrimp tacos are topped with cabbage, tomato, onion, and homemade Thousand Island.
The batter here isn't as crispy as I would like, but the thousand island dressing is a really nice touch.
To wash it all down, we had Maddalena's special jarritos (also known as Palomas) which is typically made with Squirt, salt, and tequila but she squeezes in some orange in there for a flavor boost! Served in these clay vessels, the drink was quite refreshing and addictive. Mariscos Chente doesn't have a full liquor license so you can order this as a "virgin drink", but if you want to sneak your own tequila into the jar, I'll keep mum ;).
Who knows how long they would keep the winter menu up, so you might want to hurry and taste the Gobernador and their soups for yourself.
4532 S. Centinela Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90066