Dish: Bandeja Colombiana
Address: 1640 N. El Camino Real Suite-A
Phone Number: 949.441.7656
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday: 10:30am-9pm. Friday: 10:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Saturday: 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Closed Monday.
The portions of the Bandeja Colombiana are only part of what will leave guests feeling full after a visit to La Colombiana in North Beach, San Clemente.
Tender marinated carne asada and grill-branded chorizo are accompanied by the South American standby of white rice and beans. A fried egg is topped with heaping portions of avocado framed by fried plantains (patacones). An arepa, a corn-based pancake popular in Venezuela and Colombia and similar to the Mexican gordita or Salvadorian pupusa, is paired with several salsas to add the right amount of spice to this hearty mixed plate.
La Colombiana owner and manager Eddie Bashoor, who came to California from Colombia when she was 21 years old, described the Bandeja Colombiana as “a great introduction to the best Columbian food, my pride and joy.” She also explained that Colombian food is inherently gluten-free, almost all corn-based as opposed to flour.
La Colombiana opened in 2014, with Bashoor managing operations alongside her son Harold Alzate. Guests can regularly find three generations working in La Colombiana, the warm family vibe reinforced by the hearty portions and unique combinations.
La Colombiana Weekly Specials
Happy hour: Tuesday-Friday 3-6 p.m. featuring $2 off all appetizers, beer, wine and Soju Cocktails.
Bottomless mimosas: $12 on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 9 a.m.-noon.
“Arepa Tuesday” featuring Eddie’s own arepa Tacos. —Danny Ritz