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Dec 17, 2006 07:22 AM

Corn Tortilla Masa in WLA/Santa Monica

Looking for a source to buy corn tortilla masa to make
tamales in West Los Angeles or Santa Monica. Any suggestions?


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  1. Are you looking for higher quality than MaSeCa? That's available at most grocery stores (Ralph's, Vons), and I bought a bag a month or two ago at Smart n' Final. They have 5 lb sized bags as well as 25 lb sacks, so be sure to look around for what you want.

    For higher quality corn flour, I've seen fresh ground in the refrigerator at Surfas in Culver City but never used it. I can't even remember at this moment if it was polenta or tortilla corn flour.

    FWIW, I would say most of the Mexican restaurants/carts/shops use MaSeCa because it's widely available and cheap, but I know you might be trying to find something higher quality to use for your homemade tamales.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Pei

      I'm looking for the prepared masa not the kind of you find at Ralph's or Von's.

    2. Please do not use Maseca or any other dry flour to make tamales. Make the trip to a tortilleria and buy the fresh masa that is ground specifically for tamales. You can get the prepared masa (preparada) that already has the shortening etc. in it. You might have to add a little liquid to thin it for spreading on the husk but that's it. You can also buy the masa and add your own ingredients if that suits you. Look in the Yellow Pages for tortilleria's in or around your area. If there are none, venture to ELA where there are plenty. If you plan to make a lot of tamales and need a lot of masa, I would call first and order ahead to make sure it's avaialable at this time of year.

      10 Replies
      1. re: Neta

        But what if I want lard in it, not shortening? Do any tortillerias in LA use lard?

        1. re: Neta

          This is the type of corn tortilla masa that I'm looking for. Thanks.

          1. re: Neta

            Neta, do you have any recommendations in ELA?


            1. re: Sitka

              To tell you the truth, I usually buy my masa at the Max Foods market in Montebello, right off of the 60 freeway on Via Campo. They sell it in 5 pound bags. You can find it at Cinco Puntas, Lupitas, any place where they sell the already made tamales. You probably could also find it at any Mexican market like Superior, Gigante etc.

                1. re: Sitka

                  Top Value in Mar Vista has big bags. So does Gigante in Inglewood... Also you want to buy Masa for TAMALES or "preparada", NOT the one made for tortillas... two completely different textures...


              1. re: Sitka

                better late than never, I found bagged Masa at Food 4 Less on Sunset - 5420 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles - (323) 871-8011. Typically some grocery stores in hispanic community will carry or cater to the neighborhood needs. The Food 4 Less in W.LA I didn't see any masa. Plus the produce is cheap at Food 4 Less on Sunset.

                Masa Restaurant
                2063 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107

                1. re: ThEater

                  if you don't mind making the drive La Morenita (Cypress Park) grinds their own masa from scratch.

                  Grab a tamale 2 or 3 while your there.

                  One of the best deals in LA at 1.25 a piece tax included and with a side of guac.

                  1. re: burntwater

                    The highlighted link leads to a Boyle Heights location, not Cypress Park. Different La Morenita? Confused me for a moment 'cause i didn't recognize the street names.

                    La Morenita
                    1320 La Puerta St, Los Angeles, CA 90023

                    1. re: Akitist

                      That's funny I don't remember putting in that link.
                      Is it an automated system on here that searches by name?

                      Here's an LA weekly review from a while back.

            2. these guys usaully have both types of masa for sale...Gallegos Mexican Deli
              12470 Venice Boulevard (just east of centinella on the south side of venice
              )Los Angeles, CA 90066-3804
              (310) 391-2587