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Any authentic MEXICAN eats around VENICE?

Moving to Venice soon and wanted to know if there is any decent Mexican food to be found there.

Does not have to be anything fancy -- Anything from a great taco stand to a family-run place is fine.

Thanks, Hounds! Happy Labor Day...

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  1. La Cabana: Lincoln & Rose.

    1. I've eaten at La Cabana at least 50 time over the last 20 years. I also spent a month eating my way through Jalisco and Michoacan. While not as egregious as some, L.C. is not particularly authentic. Granted they don't use orange cheese and bell peppers but I've tried most of what's on the menu that isn't burritos or combination plates and the taste's just arent there.

      Mi Ranchito on Washington near Centinella has some good moles and seafood dishes. The carne asada is usually good and their chilaquiles are some of my favorites. For pure authentic tastes, I think it's hard to go wrong with Taqueria Sanchez at Centenella and Culver. Be warned they close early and don't take credit cards.

      1. I think Casablanca is pretty authentic, but I'm no expert.

        2 Replies
        1. re: hrhboo

          I don't know about how authentic they are but I was disappointed with their food. They have very tasty, handmade tortillas but that's about it. Carne asada was decent but all the Veracruz seafood dishes were terrible. Frozen fish and shrimps in bad tomato sauce.

          1. re: hrhboo

            No they are not... I would like to consider myself an expert.

          2. la cabaña is good..... although not great.... they are open until 3am which is nice.... i like antonio's taco truck that is parked on the south side of rose ave. just east of main st.... he has the best ceviche and very good tacos.... the campos tacos on venice and mclaughlin serve the most incredible carnitas..... there is a gringo style joint on abbott kenney and california that makes decent tortas... the mole at guligatza is very good but a regional specialty.... let me know what you find.... and god luck....

            1. fiesta brava on rose (at 5th st on the north side of the street, little shopping center) is great for tacos and the carnitas plate is devine. great neighborhood spot, byo (liquor store next door, get some mexi beer to wash down the hot salsa) and family owned/operated...

              1. the talpa on the north side of pico just west of barrington is great in a mom and pop old school californian mexican..... great chile rellenos.... gaucamole..... salsa.... beef enchiladas made with slow cooked stewed beef... very nice spicy pork chile verde..... the hard aged cheese grated on the beans and the hard shelled tacos... like a mexican version of parmagian reggiano or pecorino.... beer and wine only

                1 Reply
                1. re: panahead

                  The hard aged cheese, you mean "Cotija" or Mexican "farmers cheese" right?

                  1. I wouldn't touch La Cabana with a ten-foot pole -- I've only had bad meals there. tortillas weren't fresh, guacomole resembled something store-bought at Ralph's, and the margaritas appeared to use a mix of some sort. It's open really late, which gives it a niche, but I don't think it's a worthwhile dining experience.

                    Instead, I would suggest three places within a two-minute walk of La Cabana. First, La Playita, the taco stand on Lincoln. Excellent ceviche, in particular. Second, La Oaxaquena taco truck, which parks on Lincoln, south of Rose. Outstanding tacos, especially as the night wears on and the carnitas, etc. have a chance to stew in their juices (and I swear I am not saying that because I'm drunk later in the night). Last, the taco truck that parks on Rose, just east of Hampton. someone else mentioned that already, so I will just second that recommendation.

                    If you want to drive to Santa Monica or Culver City, then a huge range of other options opens. Guelaguetza, Monte Alban, Tacomiendo, Taqueria Sanchez, Tacos Por Favor, Mi Ranchito -- it's a good, long list of places.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: glutton

                      I would 2nd and 3rd the recs for:

                      La Playita - excelent shrimp cevice and pretty solid tacos (chicaron here is really good, the cripsy kind)

                      L'Oaxquena - Awsome truck, only there during hte nightime, amazing Oaxaquan style food. Torta Sesina is amazing, Tyuelada (spelling??) are really good if want a lot of food. No Carnitas.

                      La Isla Bonita - Taco Truck on Rose, Daytime Only, off Thursdays. Really amazing fish Ceviche - best on westside. Very good tacos - shrimp w/ avacado, carintas with beans.

                      Other than that i can also vouch for Guelaguetza and Mi Ranchito.

                      The is supposed to be a place that is on Santa Monica just east of bundy that has really good Oaxaquen food, does anyone know it? I think its in a mall and is pretty small.

                          1. re: hrhboo

                            Is that the one (Monte Alban) that is in the old Dem Bones location?

                          2. re: JonInLA

                            Juquila is the tiny Oaxacan on Santa Monica east of Barrington near Federal. Here's a recent review:
                            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                            1. re: sassille

                              Juquila is great! One of my favorites on the westside. I prefer it to Monte Alban. Think their mole is better and they have better chile rellenos. Plus, I think it has a nicer ambiance.

                          3. re: glutton

                            Tia Juana on Olympic for homemade tortillas, guacamole and killer camarones al mojo de ajo.

                            1. re: glutton

                              i agree with every word you said here.
                              LC = yuck

                              all of your other suggestions were right on.

                              1. re: westsidegal

                                had lunch there yesterday for the first time and was not impressed. in fact, i think i was DEpressed. was seated in a booth where the seat felt like there was a watermelon sticthed in side the red faux leather. chips - cold and tasteless. beef taco ok but was completely soaked in the enchilada sauce making it impossible to pick up. cheese enchilada was full of onions (which I lke so that was good). Not sure I'd go back.

                              1. Tacomiendo is 100% authentico.

                                1. Want reasonable authentic Mexican (not Tex Mex) food at bargain proces? Drive to the 8200 block of Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood and head a few steps north on Harper to the Gardens of Taxco (closed Mondays): chicken mole, shrimp in garlic sauce, steak ranchera, chicken in cream of cilantro sauce--all in a five course meal for under $20. Not a taco in the joint. Yum!

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: globalgourmet

                                    I definitely forgot about this place.... the only authentic Mexico City Fonda (humble neighborhood restaurant) in all of L.A.

                                    The menu is Prix Fixe & changes daily, with a heavy homemade characteristic to it (as opposed to Alta Cocina Mexicana)... yeah its not Mexico City cheap ($6), but for L.A... getting a Prix Fixe under $20 is a pretty good deal.

                                    My only quibble is that they serve more Carbs than I personally like. That is the disadvantage of having only 1 Fonda in L.A. whereas there are several thousand in Mexico City... allowing you to choose the cooks you jive with.

                                    1. re: globalgourmet

                                      and "the chicken tastes like it was borrrrrnnn in tha sauce"

                                      1. re: shenry

                                        He, he. Great, trademark quote. But the menu almost never changes. They offer four chicken dishes, four shrimp dishes and four beef dishes, vegetarian and one or two others. The comment about carbs is fair. I usualy take something home for the next evening.

                                      2. re: globalgourmet

                                        Wow... Gardens of Taxco is actually decent? I had no idea! I've passed by this place a million times, and thought maybe it's really bad.

                                        How are their margaritas??

                                        I have to take my cousin to a Mexican place.

                                        Thanks!

                                      3. dude, la cabana is wack. ive been drunk out of mind and not had a good meal there.
                                        for good authentic mexican in and around venice:
                                        La Isla Bonita taco truck on Rose by 4th street. there most days around lunchtime.
                                        Paco's Tacos in Mar Vista on Centinela south of washington. long wait. but good quality and big portions. the tortillas are made right there.
                                        Mi Ranchito on washington is also good. although can be inconsistent.
                                        Tacos Por Favor on Olympic in Santa Monica is quite good too.

                                        1. how about Guetegzuela on Palms?

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: miffy

                                            Now you are talking... Oaxacan regional specialties... lots of write ups on it. You can check out this link for more info... scroll towards the bottom:

                                            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                                          2. I love mexican food. mexico city was one of the great culinary experiences of my life. La Cabana is gross. Why do people like this place? My friend recommended it to me, so my husband and I went with high hopes only to find sysco systems quality food prepared how appleby's might if it were mexican. If you like places like TGIF's and Appleby's go for it, otherwise steer clear.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: suekrag

                                              This is a pretty old thread you bumped. I don't think many people now recommend La Cabaña, unless for nostalgia. I myself was there a few months ago with some poker buddies at 2 AM, and it was fun to hang out and eat and drink, but it's more about the company and the fact that it's 2 AM than the authenticity of the food.