Photo by Sifu Renka/Flickr (Creative Commons)
In Los Angeles, the aroma that wafts from backyard barbecues on the Fourth of July varies slightly depending on the neighborhood one finds oneself in.
In large swaths of the city, from the Eastside to South L.A. to the southeastern suburbs, the smell of cumin and garlic from Mexican carne asada beckons. Drive north toward Glendale and you'll catch a whiff of the distinctive smell of grilled lamb from Armenian kebab. Head east into Downey and you'll find more garlic in the air, rising from the Cuban mojo smothered on pork chops.
Smelling one's way through neighborhoods is one thing, but eating the offerings is better. If you haven't been invited to one of these backyard feasts, the solution is simple - make one yourself.
A few recipes:
There are few better backyard meals than tacos made with a good carne asada, grilled flank or skirt steak that has been marinated in a blend of spices that includes chiles, garlic, cumin, lime and orange juice. This comprehensive recipe lists not only the marinate and prep details for this grilled Mexican staple, but the necessary fixings to accompany it.