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Mayan tasting dinners at Chichen Itza restaurant

February 19, 2010 |  5:45 pm

Mexican cuisine goes wild at Chichen Itza’s Mayan tasting dinners. It may be nearly impossible to imagine Mexican food without cheese enchiladas, pork carnitas and other items made with ingredients that the Spanish introduced to the New World.  But the Mayans of the Yucatan had a sophisticated cuisine using wild game, fish, chocolate, tomatoes and other pre-Colombian foods.

Based on these alone, chef Gilberto Cetina, of the Yucatecan restaurant Chichen Itza, has created a multi-course tasting dinner menu of Mayan dishes that he’ll be offering tonight and next Friday night in his family’s Mercado La Paloma restaurant.

Such creations as sikil’pac (a toasted pumpkin seed and tomato dip), pato pibil (duck roasted in banana leaves), venison in pipian and wild boar with black beans are among the offerings--all unavailable elsewhere in the Southland.

The cost for the menu of hors d’oeuvres, soup, two entrée choices and dessert is $35 without tax or gratuity. Seatings are available at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m., and 9 p.m. and require reservations available by calling (213) 741-1075 or e-mailing: gcetina@chichenitzarestaurant.com. See the menu at: www.chichenitzarestaurant.com.

Chichen Itza at Mercado La Paloma is at 3655 S. Grand Avenue #C6, Los Angeles.

-- Linda Burum

Photo: View of the Kukulcan Temple at the Chichen Itza archaeological site in Yucatan, Mexico. Credit: Marte Rebollar / AFP/Getty Images.