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rodeo grill vs. la parilla in echo park

I read somewhere that rodeo grill has very nice juices, so I'm thinkingg that the place has some resonance w/ tonny's in pasadena...is that semi-accurate?
i'm thinking about eating lunch there.
the other contender is la parilla, which seems to have some advocates on these boards.
where would you go? anything especially worth ordering?
(and where is la parilla?)

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  1. I've never had the juices at Rodeo, but they have good, quick, cheap meals and the carne asada is really good. You order in line and then wait for your food. Very cheap, usually crowded. Good for lunch.

    La Parrilla is a sit-down restaurant w/ great food but sometimes really slow service. The prices are a little higher, but their food is better, too. The carne asade is the best, and they also have a great, fresh guacamole and tortillas that you can watch them make. They are also known for their mocaljetes (sp?) which I haven't tried but look delicious. Other than the slow service, the other down side is that they have roving musicians that make it very loud sometimes. Still, one of my favorite Mexican restaurants.

    1. Does La Parilla have beer/wine or full bar?

      4 Replies
        1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

          Really? I really like La Parilla but I thought they were just beer and wine. They made their margaritas with agave wine instead of tequila. I haven't been in several months so things could have changed. The braseros or molcajetes are the things to get.

          1. re: oro3030

            You may be right, and I may have mis-recalled; while I recall having a margarita there, I may be confusing that drink with the definitely-full-on-tequila margaritas I had at El Conquistador.

        2. re: Ciao Bob

          The La Parilla in Silver Lake only has a beer/wine license. They do make wine margaritas.

        3. I really like the Frajitas at Rodeo Grill.

          1. Actually, La Parrilla is in Silverlake among other locations:
            3129 Sunset Boulevard
            Los Angeles

            1. As to La Parilla, please know that some but not all of them (there's more than one) serve hard liquor ie real margaritas. There's one on Wilshire near downtown that does. As far as I know, the one in Silverlake does not.

              Also, someone mentioned trying a molcajete. As far as I know that is not a dish; it is the lava like utensil that is used to make guacamole or salsa.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Bruin2

                A molcajete is the pumice stone "mortar" for grinding spices but at La Parilla and a few other restaurants (e.g., Los Compadres in Long Beach) they fill a large molcajete with a mixed grill of different meats and veggies (nopales, grilled cheese, shrimp, asada, etc.), often with a sauce on them. Thus , the molcajete refers to the serving apparatus and the dish is called a "molcajete" on the menu.

                1. re: oro3030

                  i always order this. its enough food for three people!

              2. Well unfortunately I didn't get the replies in time to try La Parilla, but will do next time. Went to Rodeo and had the fish "a la planche" (??) which was pretty nice. average piece of fish, seasoned pretty well, and not too dry. best thing was their green salsa however. not tomatillo based, instead it had chunks of onion and cilantro and that smoky chipotle/sesame flavor that is usually in black salsas. delicious for dipping fries into and pulling out chunks of salsa on top.
                Also, i got the mixed juice - carrot/ apple/ orange and it was very fresh and somehow the blend really brought out the flavors of the carrot and apple, while leaving the texture of the orange.
                ultracasual, the menu is a series of photographs on the wall; similar to Tom's a couple doors down.

                1. We went to La Parilla in Silver Lake Saturday and I think the most important thing to realize about the place for the next few months is that THEY DON'T HAVE AIR CONDITIONING. It's pretty hard to get excited about having a hot grill brought to your table when you're already sticking to the seats. They didn't make the guacamole tableside, however it was very good. No booze at this location, as others noted. Carne asada was ok, b.f. liked his chicken quesadilla; camarones rancheros were blah. I might try this place again in the winter if we were hungry enough for the mixed grill and didn't want real margaritas, but the heat of the place pretty much killed our appetites.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Chowpatty

                    Thanks, ChowPatty ... your observations about lack of A/C are relevant and would affect my decision to eat there.

                  2. I don't think much of their food but I could have sworn the SO and I had margaritas at the Silver Lake La Parilla last month with a friend. Not that they were much good either. Were we desperate and thus did not notice they were made with that soy- or rice-based imitation alcohol, or did the sweat, smoke and mariachi's go to my head?

                    1. Just went to La Parilla on Sunset again last week. Had the shrimp molcajete for two for the first time. I usually order the one with chicken, beef and pork. The shimp version was excellent. A generous portion(I think there were like 10 or 12)of really big shrimp with the grilled cactus, cebollitos and panela cheese in a very flavorful sauce. Had a few bottles of ice cold Dos Equis with this.

                      It was so good we didn't want to stop eating but it was just too much food for us.

                      1. Went to the Sunset one for the second time this weekend and had the Azteca molcajete with Chicken and Beef, cactus, green onions, cheese and the delicious sauce. Damn it was tasty. And the $4.50 Margaritas have booze, and were quite good, and huge (they have a full bar here). Have to try the seafood next time. This place is just fun, with the kind of Tijuana Chic, though there was not mariachi as there was the first time I went there.

                        1. Jonahlee has it right when he mentions Tijuana chic. La Parilla is one of the few Mexican restaurants I've been to in California (and I've been to a bunch) that recalls the casual, fun places in Ensenada, Tijuana and Rosarito that cater mostly to Americans but still serve up good Mexican food.

                          I've had some good meals at La Parilla, including the chicken pozole, but the last time I went it was really busy and my chicken enchiladas suizas were lousy. It also disappoints me that they don't seem to make the guacamole tableside any more -- this was campy and fun and also gave you the opportunity to weigh in on the ingredients. Still, I'd go back.