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Recession Obsession: Where The Valley Meets Costa Rica

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Casado Perfecto
A Recession Obsession is, 1) a meal so great that it sticks in your mind long after digestion's end, and, 2) plays nice with your sensitive wallet. Is there a better place than Los Angeles to eat a wide variety of amazing food that so happens to be inexpensive? Probably not. We're as lucky as we are well fed. We last obsessed over Oinkin' Tacos Downtown, and Rainy Day Ramen. Today, we obsess...

When I moved to Los Angeles from Back East, I immediately heard of two magical destinations for which East Coasters darned not speak: Costa Rica and Hawaii. Apparently they’re too far from Back East, but not Out Here.

Fast forward a few years, and I'm spending almost a month in Costa Rica and loving every minute of it. (A monkey sat on my shoulder! OMG!) While the place fascinated me, the food didn’t -- yet I loved it. The fare was clean and simple, matching the good living I was doing down there. Pura Vida, they say.

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A daily staple was the casado, a typical meal, consisting of simple, basic, typical dishes. This adds up to a single plate featuring a grilled meat, a salad, some rice, beans and plantains. Some chef will make their subtle mark on the dish with some minor addition.

It turns out they have these in The Valley. They’re great, and while not $3-$5 USD like Down There, they’re $7-$8 and I’m sold. Tasty and nostalgiariffic. That’s why Las Delicias is LAist’s latest Recession Obsession.

Valley Ticos

Las Delicias can be found in an oh-so-common strip mall. This mini-mall happens to have food from Central America, Africa, Asia, and Starbucks. I constantly am amazed by what multinational culinary efforts can be found on Sherman Way. While they’re not all hits, they’re all pretty inexpensive, making misses no big deal.

A flip-book, that is a large picture menu, offers you a menu cheat-sheet. It all looks pretty good. Maybe I’ll try it one day. But for now, at least 2009, I’m sticking with their casado. It took me there, and filled me up.

The grilled chicken was very nice. The potato hash was unique and a little sweet. The beans were also kind of sweet, but in a nice way. There was also pico de gallo, and white rice. I passed on the white rice because I had just enough starch, thank you.

The dining room is clean, bright and television try and relax your brain into feeling like your in Costa Rica. If the images of beaches and jungles don’t succed, the food will.

Photo by Caleb Bacon (Twitter) for LAist

  • Las Delicias | Van Nuys | 15355 Sherman Way, Van Nuys 91406 | (818) 988-8323

Has your mouth been to Costa Rica? Comment Below!