The timing was right when I passed the food truck that parks around the corner in the evenings, so I ordered a Clayuda to go. The truck is called El Paladar Oaxaqueño, and Clayudas (as they are spelled here in Los Angeles) are a distinctly Oaxacan dish… even though the spelling in Oaxaca is Tlayuda.
I’m certain I had a Tlayuda in the main square in Oaxaca several years ago, but my memory isn’t clear enough to make a proper comparison. I do remember it featured fresh guacamole and the Oaxacan string cheese, quesillo. This one had very earthy flavors, including black beans and cooked cabbage and tomato. I went with barbacoa as my meat choice, and that added another delicious earthy layer. Folded into a giant flour tortilla, it was so large that I didn’t even try to finish it – even in the privacy of home.
The real reason I didn’t finish it may be that I misjudged the power of the hot sauce that came with it. It was a cumulative effect, and by the end, I was balanced on that fine line between pleasure and pain.