The cooking of the Dominican Republic is a fine culinary example of Hegel’s Dialectic, the 19th century German philosopher who came up with the notion that when a thesis met an antithesis, it formed a new synthesis. Which, in this case, translates as a confluence of the dishes and ingredients of Spain, the Middle East, African and Indigenous peoples like the Taíno.

The result is some of the best Caribbean cooking in town — food found at the affable, cheerful mall café called El Bacano, home of “Sabor Dominicano.”

We have a fair number of Cuban restaurants here in SoCal. We have Puerto Rican restaurants, albeit a rarer sight. But when it comes to the cooking of the Dominican Republic — which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti — there are hints of it here and there, at several Caribbean restaurants.

But El Bacano may be our only restaurant that serves exclusively Dominican chow. And darned good it is, too.

Because it’s a dish with so much history, let us first consider the side dish referred to on the menu as “Moros.” Which is a shortening of the colorful full name “Moros y Cristianos,” which translates as “Moors and Christians” — a dish that apparently earned its name during the period from the 8th century through the 15th century when there was an African-Muslim regime governing the Iberian Peninsula. “Moros” referred to the black beans; “Cristianos” to the white rice.

The dish persists at El Bacano, where it’s prepared three ways: With rice and black beans, rice and red beans, and rice and pigeon peas, all cooked together and flavored with oregano, garlic, onions and tomato paste. Each of the Moros are prepared on a pair of days — six days of Moros, for the six days El Bacano is open.

Another section of the menu is dedicated to “Beans & Peas” — four preparations in this case, akin to the Moros y Cristianos, but without the Cristianos.

And there’s more starch to be found on the menu: the mangu is a cousin of the Puerto Rican standard mofongo, a dish of mashed boiled green or sweet plantains, flavored with salami or longaniza sausage, fried cheese, and a pair of fried eggs. It’s a dish that sticks to your ribs — and various other internal organs as well.

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But though we can live on beans and rice alone (they’re a complete protein as I recall), at El Bacano you certainly don’t have to. The menu begins with the heading Casa Favorites. And they’re favorites for good reasons.

One of them is called Santana’s Chicken — and it’s chicken as good as it gets. Long cooked till it’s falling off the bone in a marinade of garlic, onions, oregano, cilantro and more, served over white rice and black beans (and lots of them). It’s a big order of chicken for $16, a good deal of which I took home. It was even better the next day. Long cooked proteins are like that.