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I’ve always said that Chef Ulises Pineda-Alfaro’s food comes from that old-school ideology that food should speak for itself—leaving aside seemingly endless conversations about food diasporas, what defines undefinable things such as “authenticity,” and the politics behind food.

No matter how you dice it, though, you can’t help but notice how the very neighborhood that shaped the chef—Los Angeles—plays a role in one of his best and most comforting dishes to date: birria lasagna.

For us in SoCal, we often take for granted the kaleidoscope of cultures that come to play with us side-by-side on a daily basis—and that includes dishes in which two separate cultures firmly shake hands to create something magical.

For Brian Addison’s latest feature on El Barrio Cantina, click here.

Photos and written by Brian Addison.

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