8.72

8.72: La Chuperia

La Chuperia, nestled behind Union Station, serves weighty tortas and shrimp-adorned micheladas. Photo by Dan Johnson.

La Chuperia, nestled behind Union Station, serves weighty tortas and shrimp-adorned micheladas. Photo by Dan Johnson.

by Dan Johnson

To be clear, La Chuperia is a bar. It’s an unassuming Lincoln Heights craft beer hang out on Mission Rd just north of the 5 across from the “House on Haunted Hill” LA Medical Examiner’s office where a massive RV marked “Coroner” sits waiting as if to say, “you don’t need me yet, LA, but you will.” Heaven’s Gate and 9/11 apparently hit the city’s disaster preparedness crowd hard.

The taps run cold inside La Chuperia where craft suds flow like Breitbart bull shit and inexpensive Mexican bottles strike compromise between old and new. Meals in a glass are served in the form of Micheladas (Spanish for beer bloody mary).

The micheladas at La Chuperia are enormous and powerful – one could very well last you an entire quarter of whatever sports game you choose. Photo by Dan Johnson.

The micheladas at La Chuperia are enormous and powerful – one could very well last you an entire quarter of whatever sports game you choose. Photo by Dan Johnson.

Before La Chuperia was a watering hole for Lincoln Heightsers, displaced Downtowners, coroners and doctors, it was The Torta Spot. The rebrand saw fit to strain the baby from the proverbial bath water: the tortas remain alongside quesadillas, tacos and a robust plate of $12 nachos that are not within the meager $8.72 budget.

It’s a 12pm to 12am spot except on Fridays and Saturdays when ye olde Chuperia braces its doors open until 2am to keep the sanity-water flowing in the main room and the extensive patio beyond.

Fair warning for lunch seekers looking to chow down on a well stuffed eight dollar torta—there may be a wait. Especially if you do not have the sports savvy to avoid a bar during a highly touted Packers/Cowboys playoff game.

Why would anybody in their right mind root for the Cowboys in Los Angeles?

Well, for one, they are age-old arch-enemies of the San Francisco 49ers. A number of Angelenos have successfully negotiated the web of cognitive dissonance that is living in LA and rooting for a Frisco team. While many others recognize that the once glorious goldpanners from Mollycoddle City trade on past glories and lightning rod controversy while doing the most San Francisco thing possible and pretending they represent that proud city’s heritage from Santa Clara.

The real reason that so many people root for the Cowboys in places other than oil-rotten Dallas, Texas has more to do with former winning streaks in an age of limited broadcasting. We today have so many options when it comes to anesthetizing ourselves via screen presented content. People love the Cowboys because they were the preeminent sporting brand of the basic cable days when you would watch anything to forget your drab mid-90s life. The Cowboys won it all in ’96, ’94 and ’93. Thus cementing their status amongst screen-watchers of a bygone era.

Jerry Jones’ Arlington tool shed wasn’t built overnight. Them Boys won in ’78 and ’72 which puts them in league with the perennially beloved (and underwhelming) Steelers who also command immense swaths of inexplicable psychic loyalty due to their omnipresence in the sporting world limelight from ’75 to ’80.

Meanwhile, down on Mission Rd, an impressive cross section of Dak Prescott supporters, Ezekiel Elliot Buckeye sycophants and Jason Witten orthodontics fetishists gathered to swallow Chuperia tortas and beer with the same veracity with which they consume false hope year in and year out.

Here’s something you shouldn’t bet against: a stone-cold quarterback who loves the game of football so much, he stopped talking to his family. That’s the Aaron Rodgers difference.

Here’s something you can bet on: bread, mayonnaise, cheese, avocado, beans and meat served on a bed of hearty tortilla chips dotted with ravishing pickled jalapenos that complement tortilla chips like blemishes on a criminal record compliment anyone willing to appear in public with a Tony Romo jersey.

What better way to accompany your non-sensical and often masochistic love of American football than with a hearty Mexican torta? Photo by Dan Johnson.

What better way to accompany your non-sensical and often masochistic love of American football than with a hearty Mexican torta? Photo by Dan Johnson.

“Well, Mr. President, you can’t say Dallas doesn’t love you,” was the last thing spoken to JFK before he realized definitely that Dallas was a shitty city that he should have avoided at all costs. There was a similar look of stunned anguish circulating throughout La Chuperia after Mason Crosby sunk the winning field goal for the Pack despite Dallas Coach Jason Garrett having iced the toe man with a late timeout and a really serene smirk loaded with adolescent self-congratulation.

Nobody was really too pissed at the outcome though. Some huffed out of the bar, sure. For the most part, a sense of decorum was skillfully maintained. This is likely due to years of Dallas fans acclimating to high-stakes disappointment, the narcotic haze of non-sequitur, self-contradicting ambiguities spewing from ever-inane Joe Buck’s hatchet wound of a mouth OR a really superlative meal service at La Chuperia.

I award La Chuperia a much-deserved “1” on the binary and thoroughly encourage you to taste of its pleasures yourself, unless you’re Jerry Jones, in which case you can vent your bad karma elsewhere.