Chile con Queso in LA
Being a native texan, I LOVE chile con queso!! But I live in LA so I am only able to get my texas queso fix once-twice a year.
So I have started putting together a list of places to get queso in LA
So far I have
Granada in Burbank
Joselitos in Tujunga
Marix Tex Mex in West Hollywood
Any other known places?
PS. Andddddd I really don't dig the velveeta stuff. Maybe I've had it 1 too many times to satisfy the queso crave haha.
Mods -- please don't ban me. I'm sorry for my tongue-in-cheek "Pantry" report of a few weeks ago. I was off my meds again. It won't ever, ever happen again, I promise.
This is serious business, this foodie stuff.
Anyway, onto the subject at hand.
Cinnamon Kitten and I recently had the "pleasure" of ordering Don Cuco's (Burbank) queso fundido. Man, talk about taking the "fun" out of "fundido."
Sorry for the awful pun, but it befits the appetizer in question.
If your idea of queso fundido is a solid chunk of semi-melted cheddar cheese in a bowl -- a chunk so congealed that one dip of a chip will easily lift the entire cheesy conglomeration out of the bowl, assuming the chip is made of titanium -- with a few canned green chiles mixed in, well, have at it. Don't let me deter you in any way, shape, or form.
It was basically inedible. Too solid. If this is truly what fundido is meant to be, how do you ACCESS the stuff? With a pneumatic straw and a pair of iron lungs?
I pondered rolling the thing into a ball and tossing it at the waiter who had an annoying habit of saying "It's not HOT -- it's SPICY." The way he elongated the word "spicy" into "spy-zeeeeeeee" was the scallion that broke the salsa's back.
There used to be a family run place in the valley, the name escapes me in my addled mental state. I have a t-shirt in the closet (along with a few skeletons, but that's another post for another board, isn't it?) that the sweet woman who owned the place gave me about 10 years ago. Locations on Magnolia in Burbank and one on either Victory or Van Owen at Woodman in Van Nuys, across from the Circuit City. It's now a "Tequilas" or some such nonsense. Hey, dollar shots and televised soccer!
Anyway, apparently the husband died and the family struggled with the place(s), eventually selling out to the dreaded "Tequilas" people.
This rambling introduction serves no purpose other than to indicate that this particular place had the best queso fundido I've ever had the pleasure of slurping. Creamy-yet-firm mildly sharp(!) cheddar cheese, nice and toasty-warm, with fresh roasted green and red chiles and mild sweet onion mixed within the goodness, topped with a little chorizo and a wonderful sprinking of thinly-sliced scallions, served with their warm, fresh-n-salty tortilla chips.
"Authentico" or not, I loved the stuff, just couldn't get enough of it. Tried the chili con queso at Mucho Mas the other night and was totally Velveeta'd. I may have even Cheese Whizzed, I don't recall, but I won't be ordering THAT monstrosity again, in case anyone was wondering.
Chips and salsa to all....
OK, you got my taste buds attention on this reawakened topic. Since I don't have any queso to recommend, might as well EXPAND ALL and do the 'maxzook':
Joselito's Mexican Food
2345 Honolulu Ave, Montrose, CA 91020
3447 N Verdugo Rd, Glendale, CA 91208
228 Avenue I, Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Brick House Cafe
826 Hampton Dr, Venice, CA 90291
On the Border Mexican Grill
6081 Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90045
3129 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
10405 Burbank Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601
Marix Tex Mex Cafe
1108 N Flores St, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Mexicali Cocina Cantina
12161 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604
Hi - I was actually looking for a good LA chile con queso place today for a friend coming into town who requested it. Followed up the Banderas tip above and wanted to mention that they don't serve chile con queso. That's what they told me! Just wanted you all to know. However Don Cuco in Glendale does, just haven't tried it yet.
Sadly Don Cuco does not serve chile con queso. Their chile con queso is queso fundido - just melted cheese. But whats funny is I stopped at Baja Fresh and they have started serving chile con queso! But they call it Smokey Queso Fundido. It was pretty spicy but not bad.
I have heard Qdoba Mexican Grill serves chile con queso too! Anyone been?
The closest I have ever come is the one that they serve at Banderas. I know - a chain restaurant. My folks are SMU alums and was raised in the Southwest. Not the complete real deal, but a lot closer than some of the other places I have tried. I think you have to literally live in the southwest to understand Queso Fundido tex mex style. Marix tries, but just doesn't get the whole flavor profile and consistency.
Yeah, On the Border is definately not the best, but it does have "real" queso. And sometimes you just gotta have it! I usually get a to go order of queso, tortillas, chips and salsa, and maybe chicken empanadas, then take it home and make fajitas or tacos.
I haven't really found any other Tex Mex queso. Sounds like Joselito's could be okay, but I don't really get to Tujunga very often!
Unfortunately, Marix is definitely fake tex mex. Not too big of a fan of On the Border, but maybe I should give it another try.
Queso fundido is different than chile con queso. Like Sassille said, chile con queso is more creamy and queso fundido is more just like if you melt cheese in a bowl and do not add anything to it. (except some yummy chorizo on top!)
Thanks for some more recommendations!!
La Cabanita in Montrose on Verdugo Rd. serves it up with hand made corn tortillas. It's ultra-cheesey, with chorizo, not like Joselitos on Honolulu, Montrose. Joselitos uses green chiles, no meat and they add something like cream or milk to the cheese to smooth it out a little.