Conchas and Paletas in Huntington Park

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I had lunch last week at the always wonderful La Casita Mexicana on Gage Avenue in the town of Bell (I’ve told you about La Casita Mexicana, and I’m sure I’ll tell you more in the future)

On the way to the car, I was transported by the rich, sweet smell of fresh baked goods, and followed my nose into Panadería Los Reyes. It’s just a small, neighborhood bakery, but the neighborhood could just as easily be in Hermosillo, Zacatecas or Campeche. The carts stacked with still-warm croissants, conchas, galletas and other sweets were irresistible, and I left with a big bag of goodies that lasted an embarrassingly short time.

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I stopped on the way through Huntington Park to take some photos, and stumbled on Los Alpes Nevería, just around the corner from Gage and Pacific Avenue.

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Paletas are a favorite Meican ice cream treat, and I went for the “mango de leche, a refreshing creamy, fruity delicacy that was just right for a warm afternoon.

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I’ll even confess that I also stopped into La Monarca bakery for a couple of their amazing guava taquitos… but I took them home – really.

A quick walk down Pacific Avenue showed me that there’s lots to explore in Huntington Park, and I know I’ll be back soon.

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Mateo’s Ice Cream and Fruit Bars – Mezcal Ice Cream

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Whenever I’m in the Pico Union neighborhood of Los Angeles, I try to make a stop at Mateo’s. It’s a colorful, friendly place that makes me feel happy the moment I walk in, and they have the most interesting assortment of ice cream flavors I’ve ever seen.

There are all sorts of exotic flavors I’ve only encountered in Mexico, including Mamey, Passion Fruit (called Granadilla here), Guayaba, Guanabana, etc. I recently tried the Mezcal flavor, something I expected to be a weird novelty, but was delighted with the flavor. I was feeling adventurous, so I tried it with a scoop of Rompope flavor, the Mexican version of eggnog. Again, I thought it was going to be a bizarre combination, but the flavors blended perfectly.

I’m reluctant to admit that I’ve been so involved with trying all the ice cream flavors that I have never tasted the beautiful selection of paletas, or popsicles. The good news is that I find myself in the area regularly, and will certainly get around to them.

They have various locations, but this one is at 1250 South Vermont, in a shopping center at the corner of Pico.

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