Friday, August 1, 2008
Meat Pie's Palace
3811 Sawtelle Blvd
Mar Vista, 90066
Not that appetizing when you translate it, but that's what empanadas are. What about Pasty's Palace? That has a nicer alliterative tone. Derived from the Spanish empanar, to wrap in bread, these little doughy patties make good snacks or combine to make a hearty meal. Empanada Palace serves a wide variety of Argentinian empanadas mostly to-go, but with some simple seating available. Each filling is distiniguished by specific dough folding, which astounded me, but seemed matter-of-fact to the waitress.
The look the same to me. One of them is the signature criolla empanada made of ground beef, raisins, green onions, boiled eggs and a variety of other spices. According to the menu, this is the classic empanada common in Argentina. Biting into the flaky crust, I could tell a lot of lard went into its construction. A good pie crust has a balance of lard and butter, and I can only assume that the empanada crust has plenty of fat. The beef was not the highest quality, but surrounded by the other spices, it I didn't notice its flaws. I wasn't keen on the pieces of egg, but they didn't take too much away from it overall. The other empanada is a spicy chicken that actually tasted blander and not too satisfying. Altogether, each one tasted like an ethnic cross between a hot pocket and a chicken pot pie, two things I coincidentally had in the freezer at work.
$7.98 is not too expensive for a lunch, but I feel like empanadas are supposed to be much cheaper. They are peasant food after all, nothing about it besides its location in West LA makes it worth that much. I would consider buying a dozen for the price of ten and bringing them to a potluck. Otherwise, I don't foresee myself here too often.