Cafe Alba serves up comforting Latin American Soul food
Cafe Alba serves up Latin Soul food. You would never know it from the sidewalk on South Los Angeles Street. Located on the first floor of an apartment complex in a food court, Cafe Alba is the brainchild of Jorge Mora and Jose Albertini. The two met in Culinary School and decided that they wanted to put their skills to work in a place they could call their own.
Latin Soul Food, according to Albertini, is an exploration of all the foods that made them feel nurtured, warm and sent them to a happy place growing up as kids.
For Cafe Alba partner Albertini, “This is inspired on that and, at the same time, we’re trying to create something from that experience as well.”
The Menu of Cafe Alba
There’s the fresh daily Empanadas (a stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried in many countries in Spain and Latin America), Gluten-free Arepas (a type of food made of ground maize dough or cooked flour prominent in the cuisine of Colombia and Venezuela), and the Molletes (toasted Bolillo bread with refried beans and melted mozzarella). Mora and Albertini love pushing the definitions of their food but it’s always very simple street food.
“It’s something we find in every corner of Latin America,” explains Mora who is Mexican, “It’s so good; people are making it right there for you.”
For them, it’s about people feeling what the two put into the making of the food.
Albertini, who hails from Argentina, describes their Cafe Alba food as a celebration of Latin American food. “Celebrating the food of the people of Latin America. People who struggle, they grow their own crops, and they feed their families, they endure hardships to go to work.”
Cafe Alba explores Latin America
He points to the food you can find along the Pan American Highway, “a network of roads measuring about 48,000 kilometers (30,000 mi) in total length. Except for a rainforest break of approximately 160 km (100 mi), called the Darién Gap, the road links almost all of the mainland countries of the Americas in a connected highway system. According to Guinness World Records, the Pan-American Highway is the world’s longest “motorable road”, from Prudhoe Bay, U.S.A. to Quellón, Chile and Ushuaia, Argentina.” Wikipedia
“We’ve been picking at the dishes that we liked as kids, dishes that we like to explore, throw it in there and see what sticks.”
Mora says that they didn’t want Cafe Alba to be just about food from Mexico and Argentina, their countries of birth. “We want to make sure that people can get all the different types of food that are out there from Latin America. On our menu, we have stuff from Uruguay, from Brazil.”
They’re both confident that people are more open to trying different foods and to get out of their comfort zones.
“You see Latinos trying Asian food, Asians trying Latin Food, Anglos trying all these types of food,” says Mora.
An open mind and an open stomach will lead you to new foodie adventures.
Cafe Alba is located at 718 S Los Angeles St, Los Angeles, CA 90014. You can call (213) 947-3527 for more information or visit their website www.cafealbala.com.