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Tamales in San Fernando Valley

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Seeking recommendations for Tamales in this area from Burbank to West Valley, including the San Fernando area. Tamlaes you could order by the dozen or more. Both sweet & savory, meat filled, you folks know what I mean.

Not including Carillo's in Reseda. Have had their tamales and to me they're just "ehh". Have had better. I just don't want to drive all the way to ELA when "Tamale Season" starts. Looking forward to replies.

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  1. There is a booth at the weekly Northridge farmer's market that sells all kinds of tamales, both sweet & savory. Their place is in San Fernando I think, sorry I can't remember the name. Maybe someone else can help out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: markn

      These are good. We like the Pork tamales and the shredded beef, as well as the sweet corn ones. You can get them steamed to eat immediately, or bring cold ones home for later. Sometimes they have frozen ones that you can pop in your freezer too.

    2. Haven't had them so can't vouch for the taste, but El Gallo Giro on Van Nuys Blvd. around Saticoy has both sweet and savory and I also think they sell masa preparada (probably seasonally) if you want to make them yourself.

      1. The Thousand Oaks Mall Farmers Market on Thursday afternoons. also has the same tamale booth. I too have forgotten their name but they are out of San Fernando. You can purchase steamed tamales or unsteamed to take home. I highly recommend the pork.

        1 Reply
        1. re: nancyc4fun

          Is it Flying Tamale? I know they have a store across from Whole Foods on Moorpark Road in Thousand Oaks.

          In googling "tamales - San Fernando, CA" I came up with: Me Gusta Gourmet Tamales, The Gourmet Tamales Factory, Graciana Tamale Factory, and Carillos. Is it any of these?

        2. This supermarket chain is sprinkled all over the Valley and serves tamales in their prepared food 'taqueria.' I haven't tried the tamales, but can vouch for their fresh tortillas and prepared carnitas meat (both are excellent).

          http://www.vallartasupermarket.com/la...

          1 Reply
          1. re: ozzygee

            Vallarta is "hit & miss" with thier quality, varies from store to store.

          2. Both the Studio City and Van Nuys Farmers mkt on Sundays have Tamale stands. The Studio City mkt, on Laurel Cyn & Ventura Pl. is always well populated. I have never had one, so I can't give them an up or down, but others who I have spoken to like it a lot

            1 Reply
            1. re: pizzafreak

              If it's the same stand as the Burbank Farmers Market (8:00 - 12:30 Saturday in City Hall parking lot) it is Me Gusta Tamales, aka The Gourmet Tamale Factory. They're fairly good with a good varitey. They are family owned and out of San Fernando (Maclay and First Street).

              That being said I prefer Carrillos in San Fernando. Always very fresh and light with a good ratio of Masa to filling. Yummy! Thier George Lopez Special burrito with Carnitas is wonderful and HUGE!

              http://www.thegourmettamalefactory.com/
              http://www.carrillostamales.com/

            2. The "missing" name for the tamale vendor at all the above farmers' markets is Corn Maiden.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                Bingo, Das Ubergeek! I could have told you that...(!!) How did that come to you? They have been around the Farmers' Markets for as long as I can remember, and I think they are quite good.

                1. re: liu

                  I think I had to tell someone else about it recently, and had to write on my hand to look at it one Sunday morning.

                  They're very good, but somewhat expensive.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    I like that they have so many flavors, and each one has its own taste. I have had others that all tasted the same, regardless of their flavor.

                2. re: Das Ubergeek

                  Corn Maiden is even carried at TJs. I bought some recently, and all they seemed like was masa with a slathering of sauce inside, basically masa and not much else. And at $3.99 for 4, highly overpriced.
                  May have to get to Encino tomorrow morning and try another version, as I have not been all that impressed with Corn Maiden - now maybe I did not try the correct versions, but...which ones are they then?

                3. The Gourmet Tamale Factory in San fernando on Maclay are the ones you need....Just too good when they are fresh...which is almost always!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: wizardx

                    I discovered the Me Gusta/Gourmet Tamale Factory pork and chicken tamales at the Manhattan Beach Farmer's Market (Tuesday afternoons.. the perfect time for tamales!!) and have been driving to San Fernando for a dozen at a time ever since! The meat is tender and the red and green sauces divine. I am excited to hear that they are also at the Burbank Farmer's Market on Saturdays.. just down the road from me!

                  2. I love the tamale vendors at the local farmers markets. Encino farmers market on Sunday has a good one. The Calabasas farmers market has a tamale vendor also. If you are into the uber gourmet tamales, I really like the tamale vendor at the Studio City Farmers Market on Sundays offers tamales with white masa instead with goat cheese. It was excellent. I also like the tamale vendor that goes to the Cerritos and Long Beach farmers markets. They offer a great red and green chille sauces. All the above tamale vendors offer savory tamales with great sauces.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: MeAFoodieYep

                      The tamales at the Encino Farmers' Market are made by Me Gusta/Gourmet Tamale Factory. Their tamales are IT as far as I'm concerned. When you go to the shop you can get them individually or in bulk, hot or cold. It's where I place my Christmas orders. Make sure you get the salsas which, while they aren't spectacular, go well with the tamales (try the red salsa with the pineapple tamale).

                    2. Hey, I'll drive to ELA if there are great tamales there. The one at the Studio City farmer's market on Sundays is Corn Maiden. Very fresh and clean and in my opinion, fairly boring. Cleaned up for gringos. You need a lot of sauce as they are very dry.

                      1. Some of the best tamales I've had outside of El Mercado in East Los Angeles is a small place at the back end of a market in Pacoima called Lenchita's. I bring them in for the crew at the office a few of whom are Latina and they always get rave reviews. They also make great Menudo, but bring your own pot and be prepared to stop somewhere and buy hominy.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Hughlipton

                          I believe the Encino farmer's market tamale vendor is Gourmet Tamale Factory; and, yes, they are delicious, especially when drenched in the amazing red salsa/sauce they have on hand (there's a tomatillo sauce as well but I prefer the red). The masa is mouthwatering and the fillings even better (I love the tender shredded beef). Nice big flecks of roasted red pepper in the masa -- a plus. Makes for a great, if unconventional, breakfast.

                        2. One of the best and hidden secrets for large moist chicken tamales wrapped in banana leaves and tomato sauce is at a small obscure Mexican grocery store in Tujunga on Foothill Blvd.

                          We stumbled upon this place searching for great local carnitas and not only did we find great carnitas - we found the motherlode of amazing handmade Mexican cuisine.

                          They have normal standard tamales wrapped in corn husks but these monster chicken/banana leaf versions are what we drive many miles from the valley for. They are simply amazing.

                          La Vaquita Farm
                          818-352-1415
                          7031 Foothill Blvd
                          Tujunga, CA 91042

                          (near Pinewood Ave & Marcus Ave)

                          1. One of the best and hidden secrets for large moist chicken tamales wrapped in banana leaves and tomato sauce is at a small obscure Mexican grocery store in Tujunga on Foothill Blvd.

                            We stumbled upon this place searching for great local carnitas and not only did we find great carnitas - we found the motherlode of amazing handmade Mexican cuisine.

                            They have normal standard tamales wrapped in corn husks but these monster chicken/banana leaf versions are what we drive many miles from the valley for. They are simply amazing.

                            La Vaquita Farm
                            818-352-1415
                            7031 Foothill Blvd
                            Tujunga, CA 91042

                            (near Pinewood Ave & Marcus Ave)

                            - -------------------------------------------

                            and one more thing - these giant amazing tamales are only $2 each. Which gives you extra change to buy the amazing Mexican sour cream to put on top of your giant tamale. WOW!!

                            -----
                            La Vaquita Farm
                            7031 Foothill Blvd, Tujunga, CA 91042

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: dmax

                              Alright so I'm replying to an oooold thread :( but this sounds a lot like a nacatamale (tamale typical of Nicaragua) Anyone know if this is the case?

                            2. We love California Tamale House on the corner of Nordhoff and Sepulveda. They have at least ten kinds of tamales at any given time, and they're consistently good.

                              1. You should try Gourmet Tamales In the City Of san fernando...