It’s no secret anymore that Mexico City has a world class dining scene in the well-traveled southern barrios of Condesa, Roma Sur and Norte, Polanco and now as far north as Zona Rosa. The majority of tourists stay and play in the south, exploring tasting menus at Latin America’s 50 Best and World’s 50 Best restaurant destinations, but the hunger killing antojitos favored in the blue collar neighborhoods of Tepito, Villa Gustavo A. Madero and Guerrero are north of the Centro Histórico.
One of those legendary fondas is Los Machetes de Amparito, where one-and-a-half to two foot long quesadillas shaped liked the preferred weapon of actor Danny Trejo’s Mexican-American hero, Machete Cortez, take on CDMX’s biggest appetites. DF is the old acronym for the city and short for Distrito Federal while CDMX is the new acronym for Ciudad de Mexico.
Los Angeles has its share of central and southern Mexican quesadillas from Mexico City, the State of Mexico, Puebla, and Oaxaca at places like the Mercado Olympic and from vendors like Echo Park’s Quesadilla Lady, but no machetes. That is until Ontario’s Comida Monica Estilo DFdecided to wield this mighty masa sword at a backyard pop-up beginning about a year ago, where they also serve pit roasted lamb barbacoa and other antojitos chilangos (which means “little whims”, Mexico-City style).
Monica’s machetes come with Oaxacan cheese and standard guisados: huitlacoche, squash blossoms, tinga, as well as fava beans and blood sausage as single fillings, known as quesadillas sencillas, but one can also line up the guisados on the length of the substantial quesadilla.
At Los Machetes de Amparito in colonia Guerrero, a neighborhood in CDMX, there are sencillas, combinados (two guisados), cubanos (three guisados), the champion (steak, cheese, bacon, bell pepper, and onion) and the chovis, which has a combo of melted manchego, Oaxacan, and double cream cheeses. Guisados can be added like this to orders at Monica’s.
To take on the machete, some friends will be required, plus an appetite and some good music for the road trip to Ontario. The Inland Empire city is one of the up-and-coming places for regional Mexican cuisines in Southern California. One can’t help but wonder, though — why didn’t Danny Trejo open a machetes concept? That would have been so meta. Comida Monica Estila DF is open Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Machetes cost $12 each one with guisado, and $15 for a combo with multiple guisados.
Comida Monica Estilo DF, 11228 Greenwood Way, Ontario, CA, Sundays Only. Call 909-461-7566 to book for private events or catering.