Classic Tables: El Parian

Our favorite bowl of birria

Food trucks. Backyard chickens. Goat meat.

You'd expect to find these in the streets, yards and restaurants of a gentrified neighborhood–three trends of the culinary zeitgeist.

But what's newly hip in some parts of Los Angeles is old hat in the city's Hispanic neighborhoods. And goat, which numerous trend watchers have called the protein of 2012, is by no means a "new" meat in areas like Pico-Union. Every chef experimenting with it and every diner who enjoys it should visit that neighborhood, just southwest of Downtown, and eat a bowl of birria ($8) at the well-worn El Parian.

The slow-roasted goat is served in an intensely savory broth tinged red with tomatoes and chiles. Raw onion, cilantro, lime wedges and radishes can and should be liberally scattered over the meat. It's no wonder this Jalisco stew is revered as a hangover cure: A steaming bowl is comforting like a warm blanket–you want to curl up and take a nap with this birria.

El Parian has a full menu, but for us this classic amounts to only one dish and a stack of fresh tortillas.

El Parian, 1528 W. Pico Blvd., Pico-Union; 213-386-7361