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Best Carne Asada Burrito In West LA Santa Monica?

Please help! I moved to West LA from San Diego five years ago and still have not found a juicy, high quality carne asada burrito. Could you please recommend a taqueria or other restaurant on the Westside that serves a juicy steak carne asada burrito (preferably without rice or beans)? A devoted burrito lover thanks you!

I forget the names of many of the places I've tried. For example, I found Tito's tacos boiled meat to be tough and not very tasty (even though I think their salsa is fantastic). The burrito place on Lincoln near Rose right next to the car wash had a pretty good all meat carne asada burrito that went downhill over time. The meat was fatty and the sauce they used to grill/fry the asada gave it an unusual flavor. Benitos on Santa Monica Blvd gave very little meat and way too much in beans and rice (which weren't very good). I've also been to Capo's Taco's on the north side of Santa Monica just West of Bundy and Jose(sp?) in the heart of Westwood village and I found the meat to be just okay at both of these places and the pico de gallo to be poor. I've also tried Super Taco and found it to be mediocre (but the salsa was good). I've been the many others that I can't remember. Unfortunately none impressed me.

To me, an excellent carne asada burrito is so juicy that you have to go out or your way to make sure the juices don't spill on you. The meat is tender and well seasoned and they don't add other stuff (rice, beans, low quality salsa's) that takes away from the flavor of the asada. In an ideal world, my burrito would be 85% carne asada 10% real guacamole and 5% good pico de gallo and/or other salsas.

Thanks for your suggestions!

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  1. I think it would help if you listed the places in your prefered geographic area that you have already tried, and found lacking. That way folks who have suggestions won't be covering places that are already on your been there - done that list.

    1 Reply
    1. Try Tacos Por Favor (Olympic at 14th) -- specialty is chorizo and cheese. Taqueria Sanchez (Centinela between Washington and Culver) -- specialty is shrimp. El Super Taco (Santa Monica Blvd and Brockton or Westgate, same minimall as Monte Alban) -- specialty is tortas. Others might add Don Felix, which I found significantly inferior to these three.

      2 Replies
      1. re: nosh

        Thanks. I've remeber driving by and thinking I should try it. I'm there tonight.

        1. re: nosh

          I'm with Nosh. The chorizo/cheese is oily but freaking good. Their carne asada and pastor were edible too.

        2. Second Tacos por Favor, I think they will make one all meat if requested, and try the red sauce. the Carnitas is also excellent.

          3 Replies
            1. re: BurritoLover

              Love, love, love Tacos Por Favor (I just learned that they deliver!) but I think of it as closer to Mission than San Diego style. I think rice and beans comes standard, though you can obviously order it without.

            2. re: Mateo R

              Finally got a chance to try Tacos por Favor. WOW. One of the best burritos if not the best burrito I've had in West LA. The line was out the door. A lot of people ordered the hard taco, which were huge and looked really good. I ordered a all meet carne asada with pico de gallo, salsa and guac. Very juice and tasty. I will definately be back! 9.5 out of 10. THANKS!

            3. You might also take a look at Bandini's blog "The Great Taco Hunt" -- although he's after tacos and not burritos, he's rated over 20 taquerias on the Westside, and he almost always tries the carne asada.


              1 Reply
              1. Even with the fire Lares on Pico in Santa Monica still makes my favorite carnitas burrito, the Manny Lane. Try it with carne asada if you haven't already.

                1 Reply
                1. re: cvc

                  I treid Lares on Santa Monica and even though I really like the decor and the restaurant itself, I found the food to be poor and overpriced. Really nice reastaurant, especially if your with a group, but not exactly a place I would go for the food.

                2. eduardo's on santa monica / westwood blvd. is really good about making burritos to order. they do marinated grilled meat - and it's not a down and dirty type of place - but i still like it.

                  their meat and guacamole and pico de gallo are all very very good individually. the size of the burrito has decreased over the years - but maybe you can ask for extra meat!

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: dtud

                    dtud. I tried Eduardo's last night and it was definatly one of the best burritos I've had in LA. A bit oo much cheeze and not as juicy as I would like but better than most. The salsa were excellent. Thanks for the recomendation.

                    1. re: BurritoLover

                      i'm so glad you liked it!!! a lot of chowhounds blast this place as "non authentic" or "gringo" - but when you think about the individual elements - it is more authentic than most. i love it and love the staff. they are a wonderful group that is consistent and a pleasure to be around. plus - all you can eat salsa that is sooooo good!

                      1. re: dtud

                        I just tried Eduardo's for the first time this weekend and was truly impressed! Was a little nervous that they used white rice and only offered chicken and beef. But the finished burrito was phenomenal -- as good as Tacos Por Favor, imo.

                        1. re: dtud

                          Wow...I live just off Massachusetts and Westwood, one light north of Santa Monica, and I've never been to Eduardo's. I must try it this weekend. Thanks for the rec!

                          1. re: Swervo

                            As another person who grew up in SD and misses our style of carne asada burritos, I had given up hope.

                            However, on another post a&w suggested Eduardo's and thankfully, my spirits have been lifted. It's as close as I've found to SD stlye; just make sure to order without queso.

                            Still not a fan or Tacos Por Favor; been several times and the carne is always on the drier side.

                            Looking forward to trying Fast Taco and Tacomiendo...

                            1. re: vinosnob

                              Thank you thank you thank you. I tried Eduardo's just a short time ago and the burrito was excellent. It didn't seem all that 'bertos style to me, but it struck a spot right in between Fast Taco and Martiza's, my all-time favorite Mexican food. It was closer to Maritza's than Fast Taco, actually, and for that I am eternally grateful.

                              I will be going there many, many times in the future. Thanks again to all who posted about Eduardo's!

                      2. re: dtud

                        LOVE LOVE LOVE Eduardo's for healthy fare too... A side of charbroiled chicken and a big side of pico de gallo and medium salsa; mix 'em up... yeah baby!

                      3. I Like TALPA on pico Blvd.......

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Skunk2Racer

                          I've never had the Talpa burrito, but the carne asada taco is fabulous. The meat in the taco is probably the most favorable carne asada I've ever had. I assume they would use the same meat in a burrito, but I have tasted a friend's carne asada plate and the meat was not as flavorful as the carne asada I usually have in the tacos. Talpa's salsa also packs a nice punch.

                        2. Tacomiendo blows me away, everytime.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Ciao Bob

                            Tried Tacomiendo a few days ago and it was really good. Not as good at Tacos Por Favor but still really good.

                          2. You might give Campos a try. They used to have great burritos but it has been a while since I sampled them so if someone has more up to date info hopefully they will chime in. The one thing I will say is, you won't be risking your retirement savings if you do decide to try it. You can order your burrito without beans as one of their options on the menu.

                            2008 Pico Blvd
                            Santa Monica, CA 90405
                            (310) 450-4477

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: tony michaels

                              Even though I didn't list it I tred Campos about a year ago and was not impressed. Based on your and others recommendations, I'm going to give it another try.

                              1. re: BurritoLover

                                i used to live in san diego and i know exactly what you are talking about BurritoLover! i used to have friends that go back to san diego to visit family bring back carne asada burritos for me. i've looked for years for burritos like that on the westside and never found it. the burritos you find on the westside is mostly not juicy, lean and packed with rice and beans. the only place that is close is Los Tacos? near a 7/11 by Santa Monica and Fairfax. their carne asada burrito is kind of close.

                                1. re: TravelJack

                                  How difficult have you found it that when you walk into a recommened burrito spot and you see that their burritos have rice and beans inside for you to request "hold the rice & beans" and they do so? Can it be that tough?

                                  1. re: JBC

                                    not tough, they just charge a buck more. all good in the hood..............

                            2. give don felix at sawtelle and washington place a try.

                              1 Reply
                              1. There are three places sort of a triangle of carne asada, around the corner of S. Lafayette Park Place and 6th (sort of 6th and hoover) one is salvadorian, one is mexico city, and I don't remember what the third is, it is the carneceria right there. But it is my favorite. sometimes if you are really nice, they'll even let you order the carne asada or carnitas omelette. Other times they won't.

                                1. Often times, you just have to request that your burrito be made the way that you described. Some are receptive, some aren't. I've found Taqueria Sanchez to be accomodating with such requests, but because my Spanish sucks, it has to be the right guy behind the counter for me to be able to get exactly what I want, i.e., someone who is kind enough to put up with my lousy Spanish, and also knows some English as well.

                                  Also, Tacomiendo at Inglewood and Culver in Mar Vista/Culver City, and on Gateway, just east of Barrington in West LA, has huge burritos filled with guac, but also with the stuff you don't want. Again, you just need to ask... and also try their tacos - fresh tortillas make a difference...

                                  1. There is a whole in the wall Mexican place but it has the best carne asada burritos (and tacos!). It's called Estilo it's at the corner of Centinela and Washington Blvd.

                                    1. I think u are one of the very few people who understands this problem with burritos in LA. I too lived in san diego and was trying to find the same quality burrito here in LA without much luck. Your burrito ratio sounds perfect. LA places don't seem to understand a real burrito doesn't have beans and rice. Most of the carne asada I've tried here is dry and/or overseasoned, bad quality meat, and cut up into smithereens. Please report back and let me know if u find a worthy burrito in LA!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: olivexjina

                                        Great to see there are others who agree. I will definately report back and let everyone know what I find.

                                      2. Hello everyone. I will be trying most if not all of the spots recommended on this post and will provide my feedback.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: BurritoLover

                                          Just tried Campos and I got an "all" meat carne asada burrito. It was $4.97 out the door and it seemed good to me. Juicy, no gristly bits or overly fatty meat and tender enough. The next time I will have guac and pico de gallo added in. I also have to say, these guy's are some of the nicest, friendliest and quickest servers around.

                                          Right on the SE corner of Pico and 20th Street in Santa Monica, (with the entry to their ample lot off of 20th).

                                            1. re: BurritoLover

                                              Is that carne asada at Campos? I haven't eaten there in years, but the beef they used to serve was a stewed beef - kind of like Tito's but better seasoning - more chile powder. As you might know, carne asada is not stewed, but a cut of beef - preferably somewhat fatty - is marinated or rubbed with salt, pepper, spices, and maybe some vegetables, then grilled whole. Once it is cooked, it is sliced into thin strips and served. Taqueria Sanchez bakes their carne asada, which still comes out nice and juicy.

                                              I used to eat at that location when it was Las Palmas back in the 70's. They had the best hard shell beef and chicken tacos - they mixed some oil and vinegar dressing in their lettuce, which went wickedly well with the meat and cheese. They changed to Campos around 1980, and kept alot of the recipes the same, then expanded from one location to what they are now. I stopped eating there because of a couple of not-so-good experiences and also because of the abundance of other places that have since opened that I personally perfer.

                                              If you like to grill, head down to Sanchez Meat Company (carneceria) on Inglewood, just south of Culver, and grab a few pounds of their carne asada and grill it at home. People line up for this, especially on weekends and holidays, and you can order in advance by phone.

                                        2. your search for a decent burrito in the westside is like trying to find a chipotle in pico-union. if you are willing to venture closer to downtown, try Mariela's Taco on 3rd St. and Catalina, next to the Payless Shoe Store. They have another location on Sunset, west of Alvarado?, but its closed on Tuesdays.. no idea why. You can also check out the more popular, trendy King Taco brand. They have numerous locations in Koreatown (its called El Taurino, on Hoover south of Olympic), Pico-Union (Pico and Alvarado), and a few others in downtown, east LA. they have spicy sauce. I think Mariela's burritos and red sauce is more flavorful, but less spicy.

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: ihatefoodies

                                            i beg to differ. there are a handful of spots that serve up good (if not great) burritos on the westside; which can be evidenced by the posts above.

                                            1. re: ihatefoodies

                                              I'm willing to give these places a try. I tried King Taco and was very disappointed. Meet tasted boiled.

                                              1. re: BurritoLover

                                                Does anyone know if different King Taco's have different food. Maybe I tried a bad one.

                                                1. re: BurritoLover

                                                  King Taco's strength is not carne asada, but their pork al pastor. The Pasadena location is weakest and the East LA locations tend to be better

                                              2. re: ihatefoodies

                                                I'm very picky about my burritos, but in the week I've been living on the west side, I've already had many excellent burritos (Tacos Por Favor, Campos, and Eduardo's).

                                                1. re: ihatefoodies

                                                  Total nonsense. I live on the WLA/SM border and there are at least three places within a mile of me that would be contenders for best burrito in most other cities.

                                                  1. El Texate in Santa Monica has 2 Carne Asada Burritos, 1 of which is smothered in mole negro sauce, both are served "with rice and beans" and I must confess it's been 5 years since my last one so ask to make sure they serve those on the side. - $8.99

                                                    If your a real Burrito Afficionado and are Interested in Exploring the Burrito in all it's different Cultural Interpretations, then the following might be worth sampling:

                                                    Jose' Bernstein's - Korean (at a Mexican Deli) - Westwood Village - 935 Broxton Ave.
                                                    Spciy Galbi Kimchi Burrito - Korean BBQ, Kimchi, Spanish Rice, lettuce, tomato, onion, cilantro, & sauce. Suggestion - It's a great idea but ask them to cut the rice in half, or eliminate it),and double the meat & kimchi; expect to pay more than $4.99 for the upgrade. The meat is not of the highest quality. This is the place you mentioned and your right the salsa is poor.

                                                    Bombay Cafe - Indian - W.L.A.
                                                    Lamb (or Chicken) Frankie - "...handmade egg-washed "tortillas" are filled burrito style." And they can really crank up the heat level.

                                                    Sunnin - Lebanese - Westwood
                                                    Beef Kebab (*) Hot Sandwich #46 - wrapped in light dough and eaten like a buritto, just remember to ask for the jar of green chile condiment they have behind the counter for a little heat.

                                                    Many Persian restaurants also take a beef or chicken kebab and sorround it inside a thin dough, like a wrap, and they can be quite good but they usually have no spicy sauce to go with it. At least at Canary they gave me a serrano chile on the side which worked o.k.

                                                    (*) The 1+ inch square beef cubes make for better quality beef than almost all (or all?) beef served in a traditional mexican burrito.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: JBC

                                                      I've been to many Persian restaurants and have never seen what you describe.

                                                      1. re: BurritoLover

                                                        I just happen to have in my drawer a few Persian To-Go menus which I shall quote from:

                                                        Sheaherzad - Westwood
                                                        Under Sandwiches - "Rolled" in bread with green salad:
                                                        #21 - Chicken Barg - Marinated brest of Chicken Kebab $14.95
                                                        #22. Barg Sandwich - Marinated Filet Mignon $15.95 (the most expensive I've seen)

                                                        Shamshiri Grill - Westwood
                                                        Lunch Specials:
                                                        #12 - Chicken Kabob Sandwich Wrap $6.95
                                                        Chicken Kabob with fresh herbs, pickels, tomatoes and dressing "wrapped" in flat bread.

                                                        Again, the concept is simple - You take any Kabob and wrap some dough around it. It looks and eats like a dry burrito and the "QUALITY" of the meat is VASTLY superior to that which one consumes in your average, and way above average, burrito! The flaw is that they don't normally have any spicy heat condiment to put in or on it; Sunnin (Lebanese) is the exception (as I mentioned originally) but still their green stuff isn't quite hot enough for me.

                                                        1. re: JBC

                                                          I stand corrected. Having grown up eating Persian food and having been to almost every if not every Persian restaurant in West LA, I totally agree that their meet is, as you say, VASTLY supperior, to what you find at most mexican places.

                                                    2. Go try the barbacoa burrito at Gallegos Mexican Deli. South side of Venice Blvd. in a strip mall just west of Centinela. Simple, flavorful, juicy, hard to keep the wrapping paper dry, burrito.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: its overhead

                                                        Do tell more. Is the barbacoa beef or pork? Marinated, chargrilled, or spice rub?? Just meat, onions and salsa or beans and rice in the burrito? On the more or less expensive side?

                                                        1. re: nosh

                                                          well, yes, at Gallegos they are an old, established deli that was in Santa Monica for 40 years before they moved to Venice Blvd. They don't go out of their way to serve the masses. They open 7 or 8am to 6pm M-F. And they close at 4:30 on Sat!
                                                          but there are a ton of treats on the menu. I believe the barbacoa is beef and it is a heavenly marianade. Just meat, onions and salsa. So good. If you're lucky they sometimes have sweet, flaky empanadas for a desert, I think the cherry is fantastic. Good luck getting over there when they're open.

                                                      2. Wow - barbacoa? I hope they're open tomorrow night... if so, I'm there...

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: bulavinaka

                                                          Sadly Gallegos is not open at night, nor are they open Sundays!! ARGH!!! I figure they MUST be doing some major catering business with the hours they keep! :P


                                                          1. re: Dommy

                                                            Thanks - just found out myself tonite... bummer... thanks for the tip...

                                                        2. If you're jonesing for the Roberto's/Alberto's genre of burrito, I don't know that you'll find it here. Most of my memories from SD involve late night runs to those 24 hour Mexican spots, but the memories are still vivid, surprisingly.

                                                          They use just meat and guacamole, with perhaps some "dry" pico de gallo, possibly part of the guacamole. I don't remember any cheese, but its been a long time. The beef is not the best quality, but it tends to be peppered heavily (like with black pepper) and melds with the guacamole to make a better package than its parts. I liken the effect to a burger from Tommy's. It works together, but if you try each ingredient apart - not so much.

                                                          The other thing about the Roberto's burrito is they use a large tortilla and don't exactly fill it with all that much, so it stays dry and together throughout. Also, the fillings are not exactly juicy. If you're not talking about that genre, now that I've posted a treatise on the Roberto's late night bomb of a burrito, then as Rossanne Rosanna Danna put so well, "never mind".

                                                          The recs for Tacomiendo and Tacos Por Favor are about as good as you might find on the westside so long as you have them hold the rice/beans and any salsa. But neither will have that peppery tang I remember. Also, you may consider El Parian near Pico/Hoover (great asada) though I don't recall if they have guac. I think not. But you have quite a quest ahead of you given all the recs above.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: CulverJack

                                                            Your post brought back many memories of late night runs to numerous taco shops. Robertos/Albertos were good but not the best. I don't remember the names, but other taquerias had juicier burritos with better meat and bigger portions. I will be trying all of these places and reporting back soon.

                                                          2. Tacos Por Favor delivers? YES! I also love the carne asada burritos at the taqueria at the southwest corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and Bundy in W. LA. The name escapes me but they've got great food. If you're ever in Hollywood, check ou Tere's Mexican Grill on Melrose and Cahuenga.

                                                            1. "I also love the carne asada burritos at the taqueria at the southwest corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and Bundy in W. LA."

                                                              Sound like you are talking about Taco Plus which is on the SW corner of Ohio and Bundy in the little mini mall with the 7 Eleven.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: tony michaels

                                                                Been eying Tacos Plus myself. Do they have whole beans?

                                                                1. re: a_and_w

                                                                  By way of update, Taco Plus ONLY serves whole beans (black and pinto). Their asada is quite tasty -- as good as Eduardo's IMO, though I still prefer the overall burrito at Eduardo's.

                                                              2. I like Juquila - A downhome Oaxacan place on Santa Monica right near Barrington. They are especially good washed down with their negra modelo's ringed in chili salt. Juquila is also pretty good for mole.

                                                                Juquila Restaurant
                                                                11619 Santa Monica Blvd
                                                                Los Angeles, CA 90025
                                                                (310) 312-1079

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: tkemeny

                                                                  I was kind of underwhelmed by my one meal at Juquila...I hear Monte Alban nearby is even better.

                                                                2. I'm going to throw in my vote for Dos Arbolitos' carne asada burrito. I was originally just going to stop in for some tacos al pastor, and ordered the CAB on a whim. Great stuff. Overflowing with meat, so it does fail the One Hand Rule.

                                                                  Oops forgot the OP was looking on the westside. Oh well.

                                                                  1. If you want the antithesis of what the original poster described, go to Taqueria Chihuahua. So much beans and rice, I couldn't even taste the carne asada - and wrapped in a cold ungrilled tortilla. Probably the worst burrito I've had in a long long time. I usually get pastor, but ordered the carne asada just so I could give input on this post - I took one for the team, folks...

                                                                    1. First off YOU have to remember that YOU ARE in Los Angeles and NOT San Diego. L.A. Burritos come with RICE and BEANS. But you can always order them without.

                                                                      Last time I talked to Bandini of "the great Taco Hunt" his all time favorite Carne Asada Burro is not on the west side. It's on the east side in Montebello, a little place called Taco Village. Corner of Bradshaw and Beverly Blvd.

                                                                      If you ever get the chance to drop by order a Carne Asada burrito without the rice and beans.
                                                                      They have a good selection of fresh salsa from mild to very hot for you to add before you get back to your table.

                                                                      Why? you ask. . . . simple, the carne is juicy, the burrito is pretty big. The tortilla comes straight of the griddle nice and warm. Plenty of meat when you order without the rice and beans.
                                                                      Now if you order it with the rice and beans, which I have. They don't over power the meat, it's an even blend of all three. But it makes for a REALLY full meal, so if your not into big lunches.

                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                      1. re: nrique

                                                                        Okay, none of the joints listed above make a decent burrito. I'm sorry, but LA is serioulsy hurting when it comes to burritos. As a VERY picky burrito eater who learned about the true nature of burritos up in Santa Cruz (Nor Cal burritos are FAR superior to anything you'll find in So Cal) I can confidently say that I've tried 'em all here in LA, and there is only one place that makes it right.

                                                                        Poquito Mas at the corner of Westwood Blvd. and Olympic in Westwood. It is next to a Hollywood Video in a strip mall.

                                                                        Order the Classic Burrito, but don't forget to order it with Black Beans (hard to find at So Cal joints). They make their own tortillas, their carnitas is soft and tender, the carne asada steak is grilled to perfection and they even do a damn good pollo asada. They'll do fresh avocado instead of guac, too. They grill the burrito on the griddle to warm it and melt the cheese, then wrap it up in foil -- the way a burrito SHOULD be eaten. All this "wet burrito" crap is nonsense. To top it off, they have a stellar help-yourself salsa bar (a rarity anymore in LA with all the E Coli breakouts) with REALLY awesome mole sauce and pico de gallo salsa. They're all Latinos behind the grill and the place is immaculate, always clean as a whistle. Plenty of seating, decent prices and the one time they got my order wrong, the owner himself took it away and remade my burrito and it was exactly right. Free chips too!

                                                                        Two other places for a DECENT burrito are Tortilla Grill on Abbot Kinney in Venice and...get ready...Chipotle. I know, the chain is owned by the same company that owns McDonald's. But they are clean, fast, cheap, consistent, they make it right in front of your face and they have free-range pork carnitas. Hope this helps!

                                                                        1. re: montanahans

                                                                          Have you been to any of the places listed in ELA? It sounds like you are limiting your burritos to West LA which is as big a mistake as claiming those disgusting, gummy, bland, over-filled Northern California nightmare burritos are superior to what is available here.

                                                                          1. re: montanahans

                                                                            I call bull on at least on thing in your report:

                                                                            There are fresh salsa bars everywhere I go in L.A. At least just about everywhere I go.

                                                                            BTW - Are Latinos behind the grill some sort of rare occurrence in Mexican restaurants?

                                                                            In any case, you lost me at "cheese" in the burrito. When I order a carne asada burrito, I want some beans, some asada and maybe a little pico de gallo or salsa.

                                                                            Just out of curiosity, is there lettuce or rice in the Classic Burrito.

                                                                            Finally -- I just checked their menu online. It must be old because it says the classic burrito is available with charbroiled chicken or steak. I don't see carnitas on the whole menu.

                                                                            I've never been, so I can't comment. It might be great. But from the web site, this chain seems more like a La Salsa than a family owned taqueria.

                                                                            And they do make wet burritos.

                                                                            Tortilla Grill's burrito I've eaten. Not sure which one I ordered, but the one I had was gigantic and had lettuce and rice and all sorts of non-burrito items.


                                                                            1. re: montanahans

                                                                              "Okay, none of the joints listed above make a decent burrito."

                                                                              That's absurd. Virtually all of the places mentioned are better than Poquito Mas or Chipotle, neither of which comes close to making my list of "best" burrito places in WLA. I also have yet to see anyone but Latinos behind the grill at any of the taquerias I've tried. Frankly, I question the accuracy of your information...

                                                                              1. re: a_and_w

                                                                                He showed his card when he praised the Mission Burrito above all others... in which Chipotle is the EPITOME, fresh-o-matic and all...

                                                                                That's okay.. they can have it, becuase it's one less person in line in front of me at El Tepayac...


                                                                                1. re: Dommy

                                                                                  Ack! Chipotle is emphatically NOT the epitome of a Mission burrito. Dommy, I'm begging you, the next time you're in SF, please try one of the taquerias I recommend. You've made so many great suggestions re Mexican in LA -- I want to return the favor!

                                                                              2. re: montanahans

                                                                                Tortilla Grill has the most white-washed burrito I've ever eaten. You can't even taste the meat because of all the cheese, sour cream, lettuce and guacamole in it. Please.

                                                                                1. re: montanahans

                                                                                  I echo Poquito Mas as the best carne asada burrito on the westside - or any Poquito Mas - they're fantastic.

                                                                              3. I moved to LA 8 years ago after spending the first 23 years of my life in San Diego. I lived within a mile of an Alberto's, 2 Roberto's, a "Super Bertos", and some other assorted places (most of which seem to have gone under or become El Cotixan...still good, but not quite as good.)

                                                                                I know exactly what you mean about not being able to find the good Berto's style carne asada up here, especially at a 24 hour joint. Benito's on Santa Monica is 24 hours, but only their rolled tacos (and maybe their quesadilla) remind me of home, the carne asada burrito is sorely lacking.

                                                                                At any rate, while I haven't been able to find a replacement Berto's burrito, the best carne asada I've found is at the unfortunately named Fast Taco on Ocean Park between 29th and 30th, in the same little street mall as The Counter and Il Forno. The meat is better than most, it has guacamole in it instead of rice & beans, and it's suitably hefty. It's not the same, but it strikes me as a middle ground between Berto's style and my single favorite mexican joint of all time, down in Clairemont, Maritza's.

                                                                                I recommend it, it's still my favorite carne asada burrito in west LA. Like I said, it's not Berto's style, but as someone who grew up loving those burritos, I like this one, so it's worth a shot.

                                                                                As for Campos, at least the Campos on Jefferson near Centinela seems to always have rather substantial chunks of gristle in their all asada burrito. That, and their guacamole is closer to avocado sauce than actual guacamole.

                                                                                Otherwise, on occasion, I'll make the hour or so drive out to Chino, there's an Alberto's out there, I believe on the corner of Ramona and Mission, but my memory may be hazy. It's authentic San Diego style, but it is a hell of a drive.

                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Swervo

                                                                                  Again, focusing in WLA for the best burritos available in Los Angeles is a mistake. If you are willing to drive to Chino, check out Taco Village on the Montebello/ELA border. Do a CH search on Taco Village for more details. I am very picky about carne asada and their beef is consistently lean, good quality, with good char flavor. They also have a great fresh salsa bar. I've been going there since a kid and they have kept the quality up.

                                                                                  1. re: Ernie

                                                                                    True. On a leisuerly Saturday, I'm game for driving anywhere.
                                                                                    However, during the week, I would imagine most people don't have the time to drive around the city so finding places near home is ideal.

                                                                                    1. re: Ernie

                                                                                      You're right, and West LA is almost a wasteland for good burritos, but I'm also intensely lazy (it's something that 24-hour 'Bertos on every corner will do to you), so that kind of drive is not something that I regularly do..

                                                                                      I have a feeling that the thing that us former San Diegans love about our burrito joints is something that West LA prevents: the places we love were in low-rent joints and had low-rent but immensely satisfying food, while everywhere in west LA is high-rent and ends up either being low-rent on the food (read: beans/rice instead of guacamole and bad toritillas) or feeling the need to justify the price (read: trying to be too fancy, and not just giving us the marinated cubed beef, onions, cilantro, tomatoes and guacamole that we want).

                                                                                      However, one thing that I cannot excuse is the tendency for most West LA joints to make what is essentially avocado sauce rather than guacamole. Putting an avocado and sour cream in a blender makes Jesus cry, and I wish they'd stop doing it.

                                                                                      That travesty is the main reason why I just cannot go to Campos anymore. They seem like they're on the right track, but what they call guacamole is an affront to everything good and true.

                                                                                      1. re: Swervo

                                                                                        Please give Taqueria Sanchez a try... the one that's a stand at Inglewood and Culver. I never go to the sit down Sanchez, only the stand (next to El Abajeno, across from Tacomiendo).

                                                                                        Their burritos most certainly have avocado on them, not saucy guacamole.

                                                                                        Their shrimp burrito is very good, in fact, and so are many of the others.

                                                                                        1. re: PaulF

                                                                                          I will give that a shot, I've only been to the sit down one on Centinela near Culver. I wasn't blown away by the carne asada there, but I've also had much worse.

                                                                                          Anything good in the area by my work (I'm basically right by the Home Depot on Jefferson) makes me happy. That place is almost a wasteland, though a lot of that has to do with the sheer amount of construction in the area, so driving anywhere for lunch is a chore.

                                                                                          1. re: Swervo

                                                                                            I'm not sure if I ever had the asada there ... I can't remember ... but they do have the avocado ...

                                                                                            Jefferson at Home Depot is not a good lunch spot unless you have the time to go into Playa (maybe for a burger at the Shack) or up to the Marina.

                                                                                            Unless you are a game programmer at EA ... in which case my son will want to meet you and I'll have to take you to lunch anywhere you want to go ...

                                                                                            1. re: PaulF

                                                                                              Heh, no, sorry, a different tech company, we're about a block away from EA. I do know some folks at Activision though :)

                                                                                    2. re: Swervo

                                                                                      That avocado sauce of which you are not so fond of is actually the real taqueria stuff that's found around here - Go to Boyle Heights/East LA and it's prevalent there as well...never indulged in taquerias in Mexico so I don't know if this is "authentic," but it seems to be the style of alot of places here... And we have no shortage of avocados either, so it ain't that...

                                                                                      1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                        Yeah, I don't know which is actually authentic mexican. I can tell you that the vast majority of joints down in San Diego don't go for the avocado sauce, and that's what I grew up with. It just makes me sad seeing an avocado be beaten down like that :)

                                                                                        1. re: Swervo

                                                                                          I think it's about the flavor and more about the pour. The avo sauce seems to be blended with tomatillo - which I like - I don't think of it as guacamole but more of a sauce. And it pours well on to the top of anything that you're eating, like a taco or burrito. I think when having something assembled by the kitchen and guac is available, the guac coming to temperature with the other ingredients and eaten immediately is devine.

                                                                                    3. El Cholo on Western. Variety of dishes and comfortable ambience. Bar has great happy hour and huge selection of tequila. Ask bartender for a tequila drink, Mexican Flag.

                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: letynjery

                                                                                        El "Faux"lo is run by nice folks, but is not a place to get authentic Mexican food, especially a burrito. Go to drink and sing the SC fight song, but never to find excellent food.....

                                                                                        1. re: herculesmulligan

                                                                                          Here are two favorites of mine that I think fit the bill. But I don't know the name of either of them. The first is the taco truck permanantly parked in front of the meat market next to Smart and Final on Lincoln just South of Rose. The second is only available on weekends inside a Mexican grocery on the East side of Motor Ave. two blocks South of Palms. A wonderful old lady named Sylvia will knock your socks off with her burritos. They're cheap and full of meat. The common theme - meat market (carniceria ) taco stands! Jeryy

                                                                                          1. re: Jeryy

                                                                                            If you don't mind a small drive to Venice Beach you will get one of the best burritos there... Of course you can't go wrong with the Taco shop in Hermosa and Manhattan Beach either! For me there is only one great and that's Tio Albertos...

                                                                                            1. re: barcelona

                                                                                              What is the place in Venice Beach you allude to?

                                                                                              1. re: tony michaels

                                                                                                I was thinking the same thing ... ?

                                                                                      2. Someone mentioned Tacos Por Favor in Santa Monica, on Olympic a bit east of Lincoln. I concur. Everything they do there is simply fantastic.

                                                                                        I personally prefer a burrito which is not terribly messy. I like the beans and rice to soak up some of the juices which would otherwise run down your arms. I think you can order it any way you'd like at Tacos Por Favor.

                                                                                        Also, consider going to Sanchez Meat Market in Culver City, on Inglewood Blvd. just south of Culver. I was fortunate to live around the corner from there for four years. They sell mind blowingly good tacos out the front window, as well as pre-marinated and pounded skirt steak for carne asada from the butcher case. I've taken that out and grilled my own a couple of times, and it's hard to beat. You can then make your own burritos to your exact specifications.

                                                                                        While you're there, directly next door is El Abajeno, a stand-in-line cafeteria service with tables where lots of Mexican families love. Again, outstanding Mexican food though I can not vouch for their carne asada. I tend to go for the chile verde there.

                                                                                        Buen Appetito!

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                          I'm not so wild about the asada at TPF. I do, however, love the chorizo and cheese tacos and burritos, and their enchiladas verde (chicken or cheese) are awesome.