What to Know
Zapien's Salsa Grill
Special Hatch chile menu available through Sept. 7, 2019
6702 Rosemead Blvd., Pico Rivera
If you're seeking out comida sabrosa, the kind of heat-deep, well-spiced eats found in some of the best restaurants in the Land of Enchantment, well, you might need to plan a New Mexico trip.
But? There are authentic ways to find that wondrous flavor here in Southern California, especially when August and September roll back around.
Why those months, in particular? Because that's high season for the Hatch chile, the pepper that hails from the verdant region not far from Silver City and Deming, in the southern part of the state.
Chile shipments make their way to several SoCal restaurants in late summer, meaning home cooks can stock their freezers after the pepper have been roasted.
But if you're looking for a restaurant that's going to go full Hatch, or close to it, you only need look to Pico Rivera and Zapien's Salsa Grill.
Chef Marco Zapien is an advanced pepper pro, and he stocks his Hatch chile menu with several Hatch-inspired drinks and dishes as summer wains.
Oh yes: Hatch Chile Watermelon Margaritas, Hatch Tacos de Papa, Hatch Chile Tres Leches Bread Pudding, and a Cilantro Caesar Salad with a hit of Hatch in the dressing are some of the fiery finds on the menu, which is available now through Sept. 7.
Chef Zapien will also present a chile-themed cooking demonstration on Aug. 27, 2019. As for a full-on roasting, one that involves chiles from Melissa's Produce? That's scheduled for Sept. 7, timed to coincide with a special Hatch brunch.
The good word from the restaurant is that "... Zapien's Salsa Grill sells more Hatch Chiles & Dishes on their menu than any other restaurant outside of the Southwest region," some truly impressive stuff.
Do you love buying roasted chiles down at your local store, but you're also eager to have a Hatch-smart chef create some perfect pepper dishes in a restaurant setting?
Your moment is here, comida sabrosa seekers, at the green-chile-est spot in all of Pico Rivera.