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Awesome/affordable mexican food near LAX?

I am taking a friend out for dinner who is staying at the Los Angeles Airport Westin Hotel. Any good eats in that area?

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  1. Paco's on Centinela just south of Washington Blvd is pretty good. What makes this place great is that it's been there forever! Great atmosphere. Be prepared for a wait to sit.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jenuine cowgirl

      I second the recommendation for Paco's, but would just like to save the original poster a long drive by pointing out that there is another Paco's much closer to the airport. This location only opened a few years ago and is much larger, so it has a bit of a different atmosphere than the other location though the food is the same. I believe its just off of Sepulveda on Manchester, just North of the airport, near Staples.

      6212 W Manchester Ave
      Los Angeles, CA 90045
      (310) 645-8692
      pacoscantina.com

      1. re: Marvin

        Parking is much easier too--huge lot in back. Centinela is tight.

        1. re: Marvin

          The couple of times we went there I was not impressed. I thought it's worse than El Torito, Acapulco, Chevys and other TexMex joints if it's possible to believe.

          Had the Chili Rellenos which was completely yucky (I love them in authentic hole-in-wall joints).

      2. The best and closest Mexican food to LAX in a nice setting with good margaritas and food is probably Panchos in Manhattan beach at the western terminus of Rosecrans as it meets Highland Ave. at the Pacific Ocean.

        http://www.panchosrestaurant.com/

        5 Replies
        1. re: tony michaels

          Panchos has a long menu; the setting is pleasant and the food is good but gringo.

          1. re: Lee by the Sea

            You're right, but it's an easy do... their margaritas are pretty gringo as well, but they go down nice and easy, and the food usually sits well with most people. I think if you're used to eating at taquerias, then it's a no-go, but if you're looking for a decent meal with comfortable surroundings, it will work?

            1. re: Lee by the Sea

              you were being kind.
              what campbell's canned soup is to soup, panchos is to mexican food.

            2. re: tony michaels

              I asked a similar question a while ago, and Panchos was one of the answers I got; can't say I really recommend it. Yes, pleasant setting, so/so food. It really isn't all that close to the airport either, especially if there is still construction going on on Rosecrans...

              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/32581...

              1. re: susancinsf

                For the margaritas, go with something above the basic one. The Dirty Maggie is a top shelf cadillac version.
                Food there has a lot of combinations and special dishes above basic tacos and such.
                Construction on Rosecrans is east of Sepulveda. Should not affect coming from airport if you take Sepulveda from Century Blvd.

            3. How about Casablanca on Rose and Lincoln. Great Mexican food and they make their own flour tortillas which they serve with a wonderful avocado salsa. Their specialty is Calamari in many ways, besides the other Mexican regulars.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Mother Hubbard

                And now we're 15-20 minutes north of the airport...

                1. re: Lee by the Sea

                  probably much more than 20 min.
                  remember: there is horrible ongoing construction on lincoln blvd.

              2. Is your friend Mexican? If not then he would probably be content with any of the recommendations above. Hacienda del Rey on Lincoln Blvd, across the street from Bristol Farms serves good, strong margaritas and they keep a hot griddle going in the back with a little lady doing handmade tortillas that are delicious. My Mexican friends in the neighborhood prefer Hacienda over Pacos, but then, again, we have been known to storm the Hacienda and simply eat tortillas, queso fundido and drink margaritas. They offer a very reasonable California/Mex menu.
                If you drive further down Lincoln into Marina del Rey you can find Tlalapazola. Their menu is upscale Southern Mexican with fine fish entrees and a decent mole.
                But for awesome AND afforable I take afficionados to La Casita Mexicana in Bell where the entire menu is extraordinarily authentic, from Puebla and Oaxaca Mexico. They serve no liquor, but, the mole negro is to die for, as well as the chiles en nogadas. My friends loved the Queso Azteca appetizer. Its like a queso fundido with several kinds of Mexican cheeses, chilies and wrapped in a banana leaf, grilled and served with fresh home made corn tortillas. Something so simple as chilaquiles divorceadas, a dish drizzled with red and green mole sauce, runs maybe $6.95 and is probably the best in town. It's a 20 minute drive from LAX by taking the 105 to the 710.
                ....Hmmm think I need a Casita fix.

                Hacienda del Rey
                310) 670-8588
                8347 Lincoln Blvd, Los Angeles

                Tlapazola Grill http://www.tlapazolagrill.com
                310-822-7561
                4059 Lincoln Blvd. Marina del Rey, CA 90292

                La Casita Mexicana www.casitamex.com
                (323) 773 - 1898
                4030 East Gage Ave. Bell, CA 90201

                3 Replies
                1. re: sassille

                  Cozymel's is also really close to the airport on Rosecrans just east of Sepulveda. No need to take the freeway.
                  COZYMEL'S
                  Manhattan Beach
                  2171 Rosecrans Ave.
                  El Segundo, CA 90245-4718
                  Phone: 310-606-5505

                  1. re: ToroTaku

                    It's not bad for upscale TexMex. Parking is easy.

                  2. re: sassille

                    imho tlapazola is so better than hacienda del rey that i don't even consider them to be in the same league.

                  3. Titos Tacos is an institution. Can't be beat for fast, cheap and good Mexican.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: ZEN

                      I must protest -- it can be beat by pretty much anything including crunchy tacos from Taco Bell. I don't understand the hype.

                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                        Tito's: naguhyde tacos with neon cheese
                        Affordable - yes
                        Edible - a couple of items
                        Awesome - uh-uh, no-way

                        1. re: sassille

                          actually,
                          i think you are being way to kind to the place.
                          i can't even come up with the words to describe how gross the food is.
                          your description, however, is the closest i've seen to the indescribable truth.

                          1. re: westsidegal

                            The "salsa" is pretty good - goes perfect with their chips... other than that, I can't stomach their food anymore...

                      2. re: ZEN

                        titos serves horrible, bland, grease bombs.
                        i understand that if you were brought up on them, they seem terrific.
                        (for years i felt the same way about canned campbell's vegetarian vegetable soup because that's what my mother 'cooked' for us)
                        nonetheless, it's awful food.

                        1. re: ZEN

                          titos serves the original bland-grease-bomb food that folks went for in the 60's.
                          many of us who were kids and teens in the 60's grew up on that stuff so we developed a liking to it and now it has nostagic value
                          that doesn't necessarily mean that the food is good enough to recommend it to anyone else., , , ,