Feast on Colombian hot dogs and bandeja paisa at Selva

Whenever Long Beach chef Carlos Jurado visits Colombia, where he was born, he is drawn to the hot dog stalls set up along the commercial streets of cities across the country. .

Over the past century, food cultures across South America have adapted the sausage and made it their own dish. Its appearance is infinitely customizable to the tastes of each region.

As with the Chilean Italiano finishing – a national favorite in which the tartness disappears beneath the flag-like stripes of chopped tomatoes, mashed avocados and rivers of mayo – Colombians tend to be inclined. enjoy their hot dog, called super-perros, with its toppings layered like Strata geology. Jurado recalls them being marinated in minced bacon, Cheetos, onions and some kind of sauce stacked in small squeeze bottles. Crushed pineapple and fried quail eggs are common dishes.

A hot dog in Selva.

Colombian sausages at Selva.

(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

At first glance, the shape of the super perro Jurado created at his 4-month-old Selva restaurant in Long Beach reminds one of a giant mouth stuffed with chips. I don’t mean that doesn’t sound any less fun. During its scrolling, it’s a scene that pretty dares you to bite back.

Jurado trades a tapered bolillo for a regular elongated hairstyle. A bond of glossy, paprika-stained Colombian chorizo ​​emerges from beneath the topsoil of shredded cotija, burnt onions and peppers, jalapeño jam, aioli mixed with salsa verde (a crunchy, varied Colombian version called ají) and finally Lay’s fries. covered with chili powder.

As you can imagine, this is a two-handed, planted-faced commitment to polishing. The pleasure of swirling textures and exotic flavors is worth the small pile of napkins you’ll need later.

Sausages are a staple among the restaurant’s weekend brunch dishes; At dinner, it can be ordered as an off-menu special that you must know to order. It should probably stay that way. Eye-catching dishes, especially when they offer beyond the visual like this one, have a kitchen beat with their popularity – and Selva has plenty of other culinary staples. Colombia is also worth ordering.

A man in an apron stands in front of a car.

Chef Carlos Jurado and his family moved to Long Beach from Cali, Colombia when he was 2 years old.

(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

This was Jurado’s first, though he’s a veteran of Los Angeles restaurants, including the ones at Border Grill, Vespertine and Red Medicine, and the now-closed Bouchon in Beverly Hills. In the last few years, he has moved into restaurant consulting and recipe development. The change brings less stress and more time to focus on fatherhood.

He might have gone that route if he hadn’t received a call from restaurateurs Geoff and Karna Rau. He’s talked to the couple before about other possible projects, but they recently closed down Hideaway, their Long Beach steakhouse, and they wondered if he’d want to see the building. are not.

Jurado occasionally hosts elaborate tasting menu dinners, often focusing on smoked meats. Hideaway’s 85-seat space, divided into a light-hearted dining room and a bar area with a view into the kitchen, feels like a viable place. It’s not because of elaborate concoctions like smoked beef with fried rice and chlorophyll oil that he tinkers with one-off meals, but rather the simple cooking he loved growing up. .

His parents moved from Cali, Colombia, in Valle del Cauca, 300 miles southwest of Bogotá, to Long Beach when he was 2 years old, and he began making frequent trips to see family in the South America when he was a teenager.

Customers eat and drink at the restaurant.

Addison writes: The cocktail menu at Selva is sometimes evocative of Peruvian inspiration.

(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Smoked meat will remain at the center of his cooking. He installed a fire-breathing fireplace, displayed through a window in the bar area, and stacked oak ropes in the back of the parking lot. Partners opened Selva in February.

The original menu was beautifully streamlined: 10 entrees, a handful of entrees, some entrees, and a couple of desserts. Before taking your order, servers will likely refer to “steak” as a special, with a long list of side dishes. Quiz them a bit, and you’ll know they’re talking about bandeja paisa, the one-plate party synonymous with Colombia. If you’re an omnivore, this should be the focal point of your meal.

Steak – skirt or flat iron, depending on the day – fan out in slices across one edge of the plate, the surface is hardwood grained and wood brown and the inside is pink. Grilled chorizo ​​or morcilla nestled in beef, along with a deep-fried bacon has scored so deeply that its tall square chunks of meat and fat look like skyscrapers on a tight street. narrow. Golden lobes of bark, smoked beans, white rice and a beautifully baked rice paper filled with queso murals and corn kernels complete the array. A fried egg and sliced ​​avocado lend their comforting presence.

The wonderful homemade hot sauce and raw ají sauce brighten everything they touch; Use them liberally.

Pieces of smoked chicken rest on part of a green leaf on a black plate.

Half of the poll smoked from Selva.

(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Build the rest of your meal around this hearty tour. A mellow piece of fish (usually snapper) soaked in blood orange leche de tigre tinged with aji amarillo is the mildest starter. It’s hard to resist the soft, soy-based Peruz chaufa arroz chaufa; Jurado cleverly divided the fried rice as an appetizer so that it wasn’t too full. It comes with roast meat every night, usually pork belly, so consider the vegetarian version with mushrooms if you’re starting to feel overwhelmed. For the main course, I love the mixture of cabbage and collard greens that is simmered and stretched as a side dish.

Aside from the bandeja paisa, the smoked chicken dish best showcases the rigor and skill of Jurado. He marinated the birds in citrus brine, brushed them with garlic oil before air-dried them for a few days, smoked them on the patio and then grilled them on oak with a little lemon juice and dipping sauce. A spice blend with a fennel aroma. The effect is more elemental than colorful: the contrast of cracked skin and lush flesh, and a matching smoke offset with subtle, sunny accents.

The connoisseurship of these flavors calls the budget drink, and the opening cocktail menu, laden with fruit juices and syrups, leaves my palate in shambles. Traditional Colombian spirits are slowly appearing on the bar; try aguardiente, an anise-flavored liqueur that is sipped straight like a tequila, perhaps with a slice of lemon. And since the menu is sometimes evocative of Peruvian inspiration, the bartenders are happy to create great sour pisco.

It’s my drink of choice for dinner as well as for brunch, when I’m struggling with hot dogs or sharing a piece of toast or disappearing into a plate of chorreadas – chips topped with queso sauce. with a bit of bacon, fried egg and , add minced shallot.

For lunch or dinner, end your meal with an oblea, a wafer sandwich cookie that’s been a nostalgic favorite of the Jurado. The things he buys from Colombian street stalls are huge and filled with tropical fruit, whipped cream and jams. At Selva, he creates a streamlined miniature version with seasonal berry jam, condensed milk caramel of the dulce de leche family called arequipe, and a round of cinnamon-scented whipped cream. It’s not too much and it gives the end of the meal a sweet backdrop that lingers as you make your way home.


4137 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach, (562) 343-5630, selvalbc.com

Price: Appetizer $8-$17, family-style entree $22-$42, side dish $3-$13, dessert $6-$12

Details: Open 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Full bar. Parking lot.

Recommended dishes: Colombian sausage, paisa paisa, arroz chaufa, smoked chicken, braised vegetables, yuccas bread for brunch.

https://www.latimes.com/food/story/2022-06-23/selva-long-beach-carlos-jurado-colombian-review-addison Feast on Colombian hot dogs and bandeja paisa at Selva

Russell Falcon

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