La Palma | Humboldt Park | Latin American | Restaurant
Humboldt Park Puerto Rican joint.

Our Review

Going to La Palma is like enrolling in Puerto Rican Cuisine 101. A representative selection of island specialties is laid out under glass, cafeteria style, so you can sample a little bit of a lot; this place does a big take-out biz, so you also might consider getting grub to go. Whatever entree you elect to eat, a good foundation is vianda, a mix of root vegetables including yuca and purplish malanga. Or go with arroz con gandules, pigeon peas and rice, the standard starch foundation for rich, well-seasoned Puerto Rican stews. Bacalao, the toothsome whitefish paste (here made of pollack) is remarkable here whether ordered in tomato sauce or oil. Out of the fryer come corn fritters, pasteles (fried empanadas), and papas rellenos (meat-stuffed potato balls). Pork chops and carnitas were passable, but over these I'd recommend a few thick cubes of carne frita (fried bacon--moist and meaty pork that is megacaloric, high cholesterol, and thus quite delicious).

David Hammond

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