Flor del Rio | 99 Essential Restaurants 2015

Flor del Rio

photo by Anne Fishbein

You come to Flor del Rio, a quaint, family-run birrieria in Boyle Heights, for one thing. The solitary dish sold is Zacatecas-style birria, made from whole slabs of roast goat tamed in the oven and roughly chopped, served with a searing dried-chile salsa, onions, cilantro and thick corn tortillas patted out to order. The tender hunks of goat are wonderful, but the small cup of consommé served alongside is a minor miracle, a wildly gamey, marrow-thickened stock touched with allspice and clove. As any birrieria should, Flor del Rio ladles out this precious, soul-stirring liquid in unlimited quantities, or at least until you’ve gorged yourself on pillowy tortillas, stripped every succulent bone clean and soothed away whichever of life’s troubles you walked in with. That’s the power of birria. —Garrett Snyder