BOYLE HEIGHTS -- Barba Kush, a new restaurant in Boyle Heights, has gained the hearts of foodies because of its tender, juicy and mouthwatering barbacoa made in the traditional style of Tepeaca, in the central Mexican state of Puebla.
In a short time, the family-run eatery with an inspiring back-story has gone from an underground business in the owners’ East Los Angeles backyard to an Eastside hub for barbacoa lovers. Every weekend, meat enthusiasts –including many from Boyle Heights’ large poblano community– head over to savor the business’ delicious menu at its Whittier Boulevard location, the former home of a popular mole restaurant.
Following the Puebla tradition, Barba Kush roasts lamb in a fire pit for up to 10 hours. The recipe belongs to Petra Zavaleta, who began cooking barbacoa as a child for her father’s restaurant in Tepeaca. In 2017, Zavaleta began a catering business in Los Angeles, and soon after she and her husband, José Félix Rodríguez, began selling the barbacoa and its complements out of the family’s backyard in East LA.
Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community newspaper produced by its youth and a sister website with stories also produced by community members “por y para la comunidad.”