Discovering the smoked meats of Colombian cuisine at Selva

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A classic Colombian dish, LA Times restaurant critic Bill Addison suggests building a meal around the bandeja paisa at Selva, a restaurant that opened in Long Beach earlier this year. Photo by Bill Addison.

Considered the national dish of Colombia, bandeja paisa often includes chorizo, morcilla or blood sausage, pork belly, plantains, beans, rice, fried egg, and sliced avocado. “It’s everything you should build a meal around at Selva,” says LA Times restaurant critic Bill Addison. 

“A beautiful survey of Colombian food that reflects the chef’s heritage,” Addison shares that chef Carlos Jurado’s parents moved to Long Beach when he was a toddler. 

Addison describes the yuccas chorreadas on the brunch menu as “a variation on chili cheese fries with a very Colombian touchstone of flavors” - yucca, pork belly, pickled onion, with an egg on top. “It’s really nap-inducing, good brunch food.”

“Jurado is very good at smoking meats so something as simple sounding as the smoked chicken that is brined and spiced,” one of his dinner recommendations. Along with the market greens are “a little porky in a way that reminds me of my Southern childhood.”

Hot dogs are popular all over South America, the super perro (Colombian hot dog) at Selva is made using chorizo imported from Colombia. Covered with cotija, charred onions and peppers, jalapeño jam, aioli mixed with aji, and with a very typical Colombian finish, Jurado layers smashed Lay's potato chips over the top.