Jalisco is the OG of the local carnitas game: a family-owned institution dating back to the late '60s. Open weekends only, the restaurant is the definition of a hole in the wall: little decor to speak of and long tables not so different from the kind used for church-basement potlucks. But oh, those carnitas: whole pork legs slow-braised in lard for eight to ten hours, resulting in meat that’s exceedingly tender. If you’re even moderately daring, order the “mixed” plate, which comes with a little of everything that gets cooked with the leg: extra-juicy rib meat, little flecks of skin, chewy-fatty slices of the pig’s stomach, and gelatinous bits from the tendon and hoof. Also noteworthy: the zingy salsa verde and the chicharrones (fried pork rind). Go early if you can; otherwise, the best cuts of pork could be gone.

— Luke Tsai


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