Cook’s Tortas impresses with flavorful sandwiches

TORTA TIME—The enjoyable California torta contains grilled chicken, tomato cream, salsa, avocado, lettuce and fine sage, which blends well together to create a delectable dish for any time of day. CN/Ningke Song

By Ningke Song

For a cozy place to sit and a delicious dish to eat, try the wonderful Mexican restaurant Cook’s Tortas, which specializes in different types of sandwiches in a coffee-shop setting. The place has a really great vibe, with chalkboards for walls. The menu and specials are written across two walls, which leads customers to believe that they like to change up their menu once in a while.

The staff was polite and efficient. They offer salad options that look intriguing. The torta was fresh, light and flavorful. The combination of basil and pesto with cucumbers and chicken tasted really good. The only thing it needed was some hot sauce to spice it up. It was a bit bland and boring.

The cucumber salad was really fresh and delicious. Cuban sandwich with a side of macaroni was amazing, leaving one filled after only eating half of it. The macaroni salad was unlike pasta salads one would usually have because it’s a little spicy, with some pimento and chunks of ham. The small spiciness went really well with sandwich.

Mojito torta, which is pork with grilled onions, a side of macaroni pasta salad and an agua fresca was awesome. The bread was perfectly soft and a little soppy from the pork juices. There wasn’t a lot of complex ingredients going on here. There was just the delicious and slightly fatty pork, the perfectly grilled onions and some garlic sauce. The garlic sauce could have used a double serving because it just wasn’t that flavorful, but overall it was an awesome sandwich.

It was portioned perfectly as one could have a few bites left and still be full. The bread is the best part. Crusty and chewy and just strong enough to hold in all the juicy glory that awaits inside. The barbecue pulled pork torta was soft, succulent and juicy. The only thing that could have made the sandwich better would be more crunchy red onion coleslaw to balance out the texture.

The Ahogada torta was said to very spicy, so it might be best to order it on the side. The sauce does have quite some kick to it, but it is nothing too intolerable. The pork is tender and easily falls apart.  The ciabbata bread is drenched in sauce but it holds together pretty well. It doesn’t get too mushy or slimy. The part that isn’t drenched is airy and chewy.

The place was very nice on the inside for a lunch spot, with natural light and comfortable tables and chairs. The wait was not very long, a minute or two in line and five to 10 minutes to get the order, which is brought to the table.

On a negative note, there didn’t seem to be anyone actively cleaning up the dining area and wiping down tables between customers. Cook’s Tortas is open from Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Friday to Saturday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and is located at 1944 South Atlantic Blvd., Monterey Park.


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