I have recipes that are my "go to" comfort foods but the food that brings a smile is from an ancient Mexican food stand in downtown Los Angeles' Olvera Street. Reportedly the first street in Los Angeles, Olvera Street is filled with little stalls selling a variety of tourist trade items, two actual restaurants, and a few food stands . Cielito Lindo is a favorite. A small menu and even smaller space produces food that has been same for the forty-nine years we've been going there.
The place has always been crowded and parking a challenge but when I was a child Dad would let Mom off and circle the block, once--sometimes twice until she'd gotten our order and navigated back to the curb with sacks full of taquitos, sauce and bottles of soda. The taquitos sat in a thin guacamole, uniquely their own, so good I could eat it with a spoon and have, on occasion, tipped the paper container to drain it of the last drops. The first crunchy bite was filled with flavors new to a young Indiana girl, spicy but easily quenched with a cold drink of soda. Heaven.
I've tried to replicate the guacamole but coming close I gave up. I'd hate to miss the whole experience which is more than taste because I take one bite and I'm transported back into an eight-year-old in the back seat of her parent's '57 Mercury with a bottle of orange soda and a taste of Los Angeles.