Featured photo: Caldo de Pollo from La Cocina de Los Amigos in Bossier City.
If you ever ate at a tiny lunch counter called Salsitas, a Mexican restaurant that once shared a space with a barbecue joint on East Kings Highway in Shreveport, chances are good that you know Salvador Herrera Ruiz. Ruiz is the jovial chef who cooked at Salsitas, where something like a dozen different handmade salsas were available at any given time. Ruiz now owns his own restaurant, La Cocina de Los Amigos at the Villaggio Apartments in Bossier City, and it is outstanding. On my recent visit, I had a huge bowl of the traditional Mexican soup caldo de pollo ($12.50), a hearty, spicy chicken soup made with big chunks of vegetables and served with cubed avocado and warm tortillas. That bowl of soup was, honestly, one of the most delicious things I have eaten in 2016. And it was twelve bucks.
The majority of the items listed on the daily menu are things that I haven’t seen in other local Mexican restaurants – molletes (open-faced Mexican sandwiches), sopecitos (finger food-sized versions of sopes, which are delicious little corn meal cakes topped with various toppings) and more. There are enchiladas and crispy tacos, but for the most part this is not an Americanized or Tex-Mex style Mexican restaurant. I get the sense from Ruiz’s posts on the restaurant’s Facebook page that the daily specials are where he really hits his stride. Recent daily specials have included seafood paella, beef stew birria dé res Jalisco style, and lamb barbacóa and consóme Chilango. If you enjoy authentic, wallet-friendly Mexican cuisine, La Cocina de Los Amigos is a must-visit.
Ruiz told me that he is hoping to open a bar next door to the restaurant in the near future, but there is currently no alcohol served at La Cocina de Los Amigos.