Lidia’s Dominican Truck Brings Patacon Pisao to L.A.


I still remember the very first time I read about the sandwich known as patacon Maracucho. Named for the city in Venezuela that it comes from (Maracaibo), I remember it because for somebody as committed to being fat as I am finding out about a sandwich that uses fried plantains in place of bread is something that sticks with you.  Yes, you heard that right.  There is a town in Venezuela where they take shredded meat and sandwich it between two large patties made up of fried plantains.  (KFC Double Down, eat your artery clogged heart out.)

In New York, this sandwich (and the popular Vendy Award nominated truck that serves it) became known as patacon pisao, literally flattened plantain, and the rest is history. The open faced version of the dish, known simply as patacon, can be found at any number of Columbian restaurants in L.A. (like Cafe Columbia in Burbank.)  But the Venezuelan sandwich version is a bit more rare. So you can imagine how excited I was to read that the newly launched Lidia’s Dominican Truck was serving up their own version of patacon pisao off a truck on Miracle Mile.


Sticklers may note that there is not much inherently Dominican about Lidia’s Dominican Truck.  I believe the owners (and the empanadas) are from Argentina, patacon pisao is Venezuelan, arroz con gandules is usually associated with Puerto Rico, and the few things on the menu that are straight up Dominican (like the quipes) have been perpetually unavailable.  But who cares about semantics, when a truck is outfitted with a built in rotisserie!


Hello my pretty.  When I spotted this, I knew we were in for something tasty.  The menu is pretty straightforward at Lidia’s; pernil (pork) or chicken both cooked in the rotisserie and available as a plate with two side dishes, or in sandwich form (aka patacon pisao.)


The pernil plate is $10 and you get your choice of 2 sides.  There are rice and beans (black or red), arroz con gandules (rice & pigeon peas cooked together), and cabbage salad or steamed vegetables.  Maduros (fried sweet plantains) and fried yucca are also available for a $1 substitution charge, but depending on who’s taking the order they might let it slide for free.  From the first bite you can tell the pernil was left to marinate for a long time before hitting the rotisserie.  The garlic and citrus flavor is fantastic, although it seems like the meat itself can be hit or miss depending on when you hit up the truck.  The day we were there, the chunks were large and a bit dried out- so the arroz con gandules (which is also dry) might have been the wrong choice.  That being said, the flavor is spot on… so I’d definitely give it another shot.


The rotisserie chicken, on the other hand, was totally moist (and equally delicious and flavorful.)   You can get a 1/4 chicken for $7, 1/2 chicken for $9, and both come with your choice of two sides.  Seeing as both meat choices are rotisserie’d (and not stewed) the wet rice and beans makes for a much better choice, and the yucca fries are cut reasonably thin so they avoid becoming too dry and starchy as well.  For $7 it’s a great lunch, but you’ve got to get there early.  L.A. is a chicken town, and they do sell out.

As good as their rotisserie chicken is, there is no shortage of rotisserie chicken in Los Angeles.  Bring on the patacon pisao!!!


The patacon pisao are $7 and you get your choice of pork or chicken (the same pernil and chicken they serve above in the platters.)


From a consistency standpoint, the chicken works a little better than the pork because they shred it up more, and those big chunks of pork were just too dry. But it could just be the same issue with the pork the day we were there (ideally it would be less chunky and more shred’y).  The sandwiches get topped with lettuce, tomato, onions and an avocado sauce.


But you’d be smart to take some of their garlic paste and chimichurri sauce for dipping.  Both sandwiches tasted good, but the plantains weren’t pounded thin enough, so they ended up way too dry and mealy to work as bread. If they can fix this, and get the pork to a place where it’s more consistent, I think we might have a classic on our hands!

THE + (What somebody who loves this place would say)

  • Patacon pisao in L.A.!!!  So exciting.
  • The marinade on the pernil is super tasty
  • Delicious rotisserie chicken from a truck?  With rice, beans, and plantains?  I’m in.

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • The pernil can be too dry and chunky sometimes
  • Arroz con gandules doesn’t really work with pernil and rotisserie chicken.  Much better with stewed meats.
  • There is nothing Dominican about this truck!  So silly…
  • The plantains for the patacon really need to be flattened out more so they don’t end up so dry and mealy
  • I was hoping this would be as a good as the patacon pisao in NYC and it wasn’t

Lidia’s Dominican Truck parks on Miracle Mile in front of LACMA on Tuesday and Thursdays, but check their website and twitter for the exact schedule.


1 Comment

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    I also tried their pork and found it very flavorful but VERY dry. If they could fix the second point I’d definitely be a fan. Look forward to trying their chicken though.

    P.S.Their empanadas are pretty good too.

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