Photos: A Look Inside Yuca's Revamped Yucatán Breakfast
When you eat at Yuca's, you know you're in for some authentic Yucatán food bursting with complex flavors. It's more than your run-of-the-mill taco stand. These James Beard winners (who, mind you, have also been honored at City Hall for spreading the good word about Yucatán cuisine in our fine city) whip up juicy cochinita pibil and a famed item called "the crazy burrito."
But now, ladies and gentlemen, the women behind Yuca's are serving breakfast items all day long. Hallelujah!
LAist visited Yuca's on a Thursday night for a tasting of their revamped breakfast menu (which will only be served at their 4666 Hollywood Blvd. restaurant in East Hollywood, not their Hillhurst Ave. taco stand in Los Feliz). Coined as a "Breakfast for Dinner" get-together, Yuca's owners Dora Herrera and her mother who started it all, Socorro Herrera (who is endearingly called "Mama" by everyone) shared their prized Yucatán breakfast fare.
While Yuca's has been serving breakfast burritos in the past, they recently revamped their menu to feature some secret items (yes, they have secret items just like In-N-Out).
One of the most delicious additions include their huevos motuleños, The dish originates from a small Yucatán town call Motul. Atop of a tostada is a spread of creamy black beans, which Dora dubs as "black gold"; the beans get pushed through a cheese cloth many times until it becomes as soft as butter. A sunny-side-up egg (or over-easy—any which way you'd like it) sits on that, along with smoked ham and peas resting on the tomato-based ranchero sauce. Then imagine two layers of that like a the Leaning Tower of Pisa. There's no easy way to eat it except grab it with your hand, take a bite with a nice, crispy crunch, and have the yellow yolk run out.
The chilaquiles they serve also will be some of the best you can find in town—tortilla strips with scrambled eggs and chipotle sauce, topped with shredded cheese, a large dollop of sour cream and sliced avocados. This gets paired with rice and black beans.
While Dora explains Yuca's dishes, Mama walks around and lovingly hugs her daughter at times and greets friends with kisses at the restaurant. Mama speaks Spanish while some speak to her in English, and yet there is barely any language barrier—it seems as if everyone understands each other. The language of food truly seems to surpass words.
When they get to the breakfast burritos, you get to choose your fillings between the options of twice-fried bacon (you had us at "twice-fried"), chorizo or machaca (spiced, shredded beef). And what's a breakfast burrito without potatoes and chipotle salsa to top it off? They add that too.
"I don't know what it is," Dora says about her mother. "She has a knack for getting what people like."
Dora reminisces about how on April 1, 1976, her parents called her while she was in her first semester studying at Brown University and excitedly told her "Guess what?" They were going to open a restaurant (and the first location on Hillhurst Ave. is still bustling with customers) and she says she responded with "You did a what? You got a who?!"
And nearly 38 years later, here they are. They have a second location and are still deeply rooted within their community. (They work with their pet projects in their town, including the L.A. Public Library.) At the end of the night, Dora, her sister, and Mama crack some more jokes and laugh before they end the night, just to open the shop the next morning and do it all over again.
Yuca's breakfast items are served at 4666 Hollywood Blvd. in East Hollywood on Mondays through Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.