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Jul 24, 2006 03:19 PM

Burritos like they have in San Diego

My friend is from San Diego and he claims that burritos are a different breed down there. In San Diego, the standard burrito comes without rice and beans -- just meat, pico de gallo, and a few other ingredients. You can get rice and beans if you order them, but that is extra. It's a good burrito, no question. In LA, the normal burrito seems to have rice and beans. Perhaps this is a regional difference? Do you know places that make San Diego-style burritos? I know I could probably just order a burrito without rice and beans, but I suspect that they probably prepare the meat, etc. in a different way, too. My friend insists that San Diego-style burritos cannot be found in LA, but I struggle to believe that.

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  1. "In LA, the normal burrito seems to have rice and beans. Perhaps this is a regional difference?"

    No, you just have to know where to go. I would say that almost all of the *non-Americanized* Mexican joints in L.A. will have several burritos on the menu that don't come with rice and beans.

    What places have you tried so far? Where do you live?

    1. My favorite is Yuca's, in Los Feliz. Their burritos are actually square and somewhat flat, but it's just meat, onions and cilantro (and I think you can get cheese, not sure tho).

      1. A couple weeks ago, we had someone lamenting that a "Mission Style" burrito (WITH rice and beans) could not be found around here. Now this!

        I agree with Joe Blowe; you should have no trouble finding a burrito without rice and beans if you go to a taco house---or truck---that isn't a chain. Even some of the chains, like King Taco, serve burritos just as you've requested.

        1. I always order my burritos without rice and beans if I know they are included, and thus I am assured that I get the freshest product available, and one that satisfies my tastes.
          Use that logic at any fast food restaurant like ordering something without cheese or tomatoes, or whatever the ingredient that might offend - works every time - a freshly made item.

          1 Reply
          1. re: carter

            Uh, yeah, that's why I get my Taco Bell burrito supreme without onions! And why I always order my fries well done, although I actually prefer them that way.

            To keep it on topic, Campos (20th/Pico in Santa Monica) has an all-meat burrito option but I never get it because I prefer the hard shell turkey tacos and/or the avocado burrito which is full of beans but thankfully no rice. I don't really like rice in a burrito.

          2. I'm not a fan of rice or lettuce (yech!), etc., but I like a little bit of refried beans in my burritos. I think the creaminess of the beans is a nice foil to the meat and spice. In any event, the claim that "San Diego style" burritos cannot be found in LA is nonsense. Proximity to the boarder notwithstanding, I think the quality and variety (regional, etc.) of Mexican restaurants in LA is substantially better than in San Diego.