At a conference in L.A. and looking for something a little more interesting than North American food and a little more authentic than some of (very nicely and enjoyably!) tarted up ethnic restaurants. We (six of us) had rented an apartment right on the border between downtown and the ethnically charged Westlake area. We figured we could find something good. We had dinners of excellent NA (burgers etc), Italiano, and high end Honduran. Now for something really (!) legit.
Google maps had me wandering the streets nearby and querying for 'ethnic', 'Guatemalan', 'Mexican', etc. Found some comments about this little 'Guate' eatery and they were mostly favourable, except for one person who seemed to have very conservative tastes and an unadventurous palate. My wife (speaks a little Spanish) called to see if we needed reservations for eight. No surprise that they did not take reservations at this VERY informal looking 'neighbourhoody' looking place, but we didn't want to show up without warning them that a large group was coming for dinner the following night.
We arrived at the appointed time and sat down to a round of Gallo (Order 'Famosa'; that's what it's called in the US). Oldest brewery in Guatemala. Nice beer.
Needless to say that eight people who didn't really know what they were ordering and sampled from each other's plates (and had quite a bit more Famosa) were pretty confused by the end of the evening about what was what and what was best. But the unanimous opinion was that nothing was bad and most stuff was deeeeelish!
'Paseo' means either the act of walking or travelling, or a road or way along which the travelling would happen. 'Chapin' is what Guatemalans call themselves. So Paseo Chapin could mean something like 'Yankee Street' would mean if you put it up over the door of an American restaurant. It seemed to me like, "This is the Guatemalan way to eat and live". And we LIKED it!
If I lived in L.A., I would visit this place over and over just to get to know the dishes better and to become better friends with the people who run the place. Wonderful smiles and friendly, patient service all evening.
In this modest --even humble-- little place, they take great pride in their offerings and in Guatemalan cuisine. If you have any Spanish, read the commentary at the back of the menu. The pride shows and you won't be disappointed. It gets five TA 'dots', not because it is gourmet but because it delivers perfectly on what you would hope that a small, simple, neighbourhood, ethnic restaurant would be.
Go! Have fun! Eat everything! I'm jealous!