La Cabaña, despite its website’s claim to be in “the heart of Fremont,” sits between Aurora and Greenwood at 105th, in a weird non-neighborhood, next to an old dive bar. While the exterior is unassuming and unremarkable, the inside evokes the sunshine of warmer climes, something matched by owner Selvin Oseguera’s attitude as he drops menus, greets regulars, and switches between English and Spanish a half-dozen times in one tour of the dining room. Instead of offering a broad array of different dishes, the menu does something fascinating: it features versions of similar dishes as served in each different country. It caters to the people who care deeply about the difference between a Nicaraguan and a Costa Rican chicken salad. This suits customers who will not accept the Nicaraguan bistec encebollado (chunks of beef with a sauce of tomatoes and onions) when what they want is hilachas de carne (shredded beef with vegetables in a tomato sauce). About the only unifying factor is that almost everything, starting with the breakfast options, comes with freshly made tortillas that rank among the city’s finest. Not the slim, supple Mexican tortillas that fold gently around tacos, but thick, beefy, warm Central American specimens that sop up the juicy meats and help ferry the comforting soups from bowl to mouth. NAOMI TOMKY
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