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Tamales in OC for a party on December 3rd

Pate Nov 15, 2006 04:43 PM

Hi 'hounds,

I know you'll be able to help me out. I'm having a tamale party for the neighborhood ladies on Sunday, Dec. 3rd. When I did this last year I bought all the "stuff" and thought we'd make them but everyone just wanted to drink margaritas and eat. So this year I'm purchasing the tamales and renting a margarita machine.

My questions are: Do you know where I can buy good tamales in OC? I'm in South OC. Also, do I need to call and place an order in advance or do I just show up? I'll need about 30 of them. Lastly can I purchase them now and freeze them and then thaw and reheat prior to the event?

My MIL recommended Diana's in Gardena which is fine if I can't find a place closer but I guess the same questions apply.

Thanks for any suggestions you can offer.

  1. MEalcentric Nov 15, 2006 05:13 PM

    There is a mexican market in Tustin off of Redhill and El Camino real. Cant recall the name but I always see people buying bags of tamales from there. It's next door to Seoul Garden. I doubt you would need to call ahead for just 30, and I believe they come frozen, but I could be mistaken.

    4 Replies
    1. re: MEalcentric
      j
      jsl Nov 15, 2006 06:30 PM

      Las Golondrinas has the best in So. O.C. They are moist and keep well in the freezer. I prefer the Veggie and Rajas (cheese and 3 kinds of peppers) but they also have chicken, pork or beef. They have 5 locations, 27981 Greenfield Drive, Ste. G. Laguna Niguel. Another 25800 Jeronimo Rd. Ste. 700 Mission Viejo. Also they are located in San Juan, Capo Beach and San Clemente. I go to the Capo Beach or San Clemente locations and they use the same tamales. I would suggest you try one of each and see what you think. Sure beats driving to LA on the 5.

      1. re: jsl
        Pate Nov 15, 2006 11:22 PM

        Las Golindrinas would be convenient. I don't know why I didn't think of that as that's where I bought my masa for tamales last year. A mind is a terrible thing to waste...

        Maybe I'll hit all of the suggestions and do a comparative review. I can think of worse ways to waste time.

        1. re: Pate
          j
          jsl Nov 16, 2006 05:40 PM

          Please post after you have done a comparative. I have been doing the O.C. tamale search for a long time. So far Las Golindrinas for me but I'm sure anxious to see if there are better ones in our area.

      2. re: MEalcentric
        wowimadog Jan 3, 2007 02:44 AM

        i think it's this place, yes?

        carniceria las flores
        http://www.carnicerialasflores.com/in...

      3. s
        stormin norman Nov 15, 2006 10:10 PM

        Try the handmade tamales at Gallo Giro in Santa Ana...they tend to be a bit heavy w/ the masa,but I adore the red chicken tamales with a bit of their excellent salsa

        1 Reply
        1. re: stormin norman
          Professor Salt Nov 16, 2006 04:49 AM

          Maybe it's bad timing on my part, but I never seem to get a good one at Gallo Giro. They have been dried out and nasty every time I've tried, so i stopped trying. I just don't think they get the turnover with all the other stuff they make there.

          I personally look for a specialist shop where everyone is carting off dozens at a time, like MEalcentric describes. Doesn't mean quality, necessarily, but it does mean the inventory moves.

          I hear you on the salsa, though. I love the salsa verde there.

        2. f
          Frank_Santa_Monica Nov 15, 2006 10:47 PM

          What about that El Salvadorian restaurant on Harbor and 19th? I think that's where it is. It's really good.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Frank_Santa_Monica
            s
            SouthOCHound Nov 16, 2006 05:30 PM

            Papusaria San Sivar?

          2. q
            quinntran Nov 16, 2006 04:31 AM

            El Toro Market has great ones but the best ones are at Tamale Queen on First Street. Both are in Santa Ana.

            1. g
              glutton Nov 16, 2006 02:58 PM

              I realize that you asked for a rec in Orange County, but there is a great tamale place in downtown LA that might justify the drive. Mama's Hot Tamales has been mentioned many times on the board before. they've got a dozen different tamales from all over Latin America each day, so you'll get variety as well as quality. The prices are good. And they have both cooked and uncooked frozen tamales so that you can serve them hot and fresh. Great, great place... get a cup of their champurrado while you're waiting.

              2 Replies
              1. re: glutton
                Pate Nov 17, 2006 03:11 AM

                Would I need to call first and order them for pick up or can I just show up and get about 30? Their website is really intriguing. I'm thinking of scheduling some work up that way so I can check it out and pick some up. I just don't want to show up and have nothing to take home.

                1. re: Pate
                  g
                  glutton Nov 18, 2006 12:05 AM

                  You can do either. They have a cold case that is usually holding a bunch of tamales. however, at this time of year, when so many people are entertaining, it might be worth it to call ahead to get what you want. That way you can order exactly what you want without having to gamble on what happens to be available in the cold case.

                  IMO, the sweet corn tamales and the cheese w/ rajas are the way to go. But they are all very good.

              2. kare_raisu Nov 16, 2006 03:16 PM

                Northgate market makes a mean Tamal Oaxaqueno de puerco en chile rojo.

                1. m
                  MzMaggie Nov 16, 2006 08:37 PM

                  Gallo Giro definitely has the worst tamales I've ever had. I loved the ones I got at the carniceria in Tustin near Dhosa Palace. Someone told me they only have them on weekends, tho.

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