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My Recent Burritos (West Side)

a_and_w Feb 28, 2007 02:35 PM

Eduardo's: Two excellent spicy chicken border burritos on recent trips. These guys may make my favorite burrito on the west side. The key is the way they start by grilling the cheese with the tortilla, which helps ensure proper heat and melting. The drawbacks are the white rice, no whole pintos or refritos (i.e., only whole black beans) and no meat choices besides steak or chicken. Still, the meats they serve are tender and well marinated. If you're looking for carne or pollo asada, and don't mind black beans, this is the place.

Tacomiendo: Many thanks to PaulF and Dommy! for turning me onto this place. I was impressed with the orange rice and choice of beans (i.e., whole black and pinto, as well as refried). I was also pleased that guac, and sour cream come standard on burritos. I appreciated the choice of agua fresca besides tamarind and horchata, though I'm still looking for a place that has strawberry on a regular basis. Unfortunately, my burrito was rather poorly constructed, and quickly fell apart (PaulF warned me about this). Also annoying was the poor dispersion of ingredients -- guac and sour cream were confined to one end. Finally, my al pastor was a little on the dry side, and my friend's carne asada seemed to lack flavor. When I go back, I'll give some of the plates a shot.

Tacos Por Favor: Before I found Eduardo's, this was my go-to place because of the whole beans and multiple meat choices. Unfortunately, my most recent al pastor burrito was a bit of a letdown. The meat had a funny taste -- not so much rotten as strangely spiced. Also, I noticed they tend to skimp on the guac and sour cream, which you have to order separately.

Taco Plus: I rarely see this place mentioned but they're right up there with Eduardo's for my favorite burrito on the west side. Fillings and set-up are similar to Tacomiendo, though no refried beans or agua frescas. On back-to-back trips, the al pastor was tasty -- a nice balance of crisp and juicy. Best of all, the burrito was well constructed, esp. the second trip, with good proportions and dispersion of fillings. My main complaints are that they don't seem to serve refried beans, and the tortillas are a tad too thick (also a problem at Tacomiendo). Still, if you're a Bay Area expat looking for a Mission style burrito, Taco Plus is the closest I've found so far...

  1. mollyomormon Feb 28, 2007 02:43 PM

    thanks for the reports! I haven't been to Taco Plus in a while--I'll have to go back!

    1 Reply
    1. re: mollyomormon
      a_and_w Feb 28, 2007 02:53 PM

      Yes, I was really impressed -- probably even moreso than Tacomiendo. Fans of the latter should definitely give Taco Plus a shot. I also forgot to mention, I prefer the black beans to the pintos at Taco Plus.

    2. tony michaels Feb 28, 2007 02:51 PM

      Is Eduardo's in the little mini mall on the east side of Westwood with the Fantastic Sam's and adjacent to the car wash?

      5 Replies
      1. re: tony michaels
        a_and_w Feb 28, 2007 02:52 PM

        Yep, that's the daddy.

        1. re: a_and_w
          tony michaels Feb 28, 2007 02:56 PM

          Will have to give it a try. Though I will say I keep trying to like Tacomiendo and have just not found that one item that would keep bringing me back. Maybe a failing on my (taste buds) part.

          1. re: tony michaels
            a_and_w Feb 28, 2007 03:58 PM

            Or maybe you just have different preferences? Some 'hounds, for example, knock Eduardo's for being inauthentic, but it tastes great to me.

            1. re: a_and_w
              Debbie W Feb 28, 2007 04:30 PM

              I love Eduardo's and for many years I worked in the area and would lunch there regularly. Always a border burrito with steak but no pico de gallo, instead I would get a little container of their tasty salsa verde from the salsa bar and hand it over the counter to be added to my burrito while it was heating on the grill. I miss being able to eat at Eduardo's every week. I don't care if it's inauthentic.

              1. re: Debbie W
                a_and_w Feb 28, 2007 04:35 PM

                I'm a big fan of the chipotle, myself. Gotta remember the trick of having them put it on the burrito while it's being heated on the grill.

      2. Pei Feb 28, 2007 03:41 PM

        Try California Mexican Grill some time. I usually eat burritos and tacos from the Cemitas taco truck, but CMG has toasty grilled tortillas and some seriously flavorful meat. I've only been two times, but so far so good.

        photos: http://www.chezpei.com/2007/02/califo...

        2 Replies
        1. re: Pei
          a_and_w Feb 28, 2007 03:57 PM

          California Mexican Grill sounds promising -- thanks for the tip!

          1. re: Pei
            y
            yclops Mar 1, 2007 10:33 AM

            California Mexican Grill struck me as a cross between El Pollo Loco and a traditional taqueria...a bit odd, but not in a bad way. Good grilled meats and I was floored by the salsas...truly excellent. The "Gramma" breakfast burrito has grilled chicken, egg, onions, beans, etc....again a bit odd, but I liked it.

          2. v
            vinosnob Feb 28, 2007 03:48 PM

            Definitely want to try Eduardo's; I drive by it all of the time. However, what's with beans and sour cream in a burrito? I don't get it; that's just filler in my opinion. I like my burritos in the San Diego style which is simple.

            Meaning carne asada (or pollo asado), guac and pico de gallo. Pure and delicious.

            I have yet to find this kind of burrito and when I request it, I get a skinny burrito or beans sneak back in.

            Does this style exist in LA??

            5 Replies
            1. re: vinosnob
              a_and_w Feb 28, 2007 03:55 PM

              vino, you are in luck. Eduardo's does a "traditional burrito" with just cheese, guac, meat, and pico.

              1. re: a_and_w
                v
                vinosnob Feb 28, 2007 04:15 PM

                SALVATION!! Thanks for the tip...

                1. re: vinosnob
                  v
                  vinosnob Mar 9, 2007 09:11 AM

                  Tried Eduardo's Border Grill and it did not disappoint. Still not on par with the San Diego burritos I grew up with, but Eduardo's is damn close! Being a purist, I got the carne (without cheese) with guac and pico de gallo. Thanks again for the tip a_and_w!

                  1. re: vinosnob
                    a_and_w Mar 9, 2007 11:01 AM

                    I'm glad you liked it and feel your pain -- nothing matches the Mission burritos of my youth!

                2. re: a_and_w
                  garvanza girl Feb 28, 2007 04:50 PM

                  This place sounds good, regardless of authenticity. I'm not a fan of burrito filler myself - thanks for the tip!

              2. DanaB Mar 1, 2007 12:01 PM

                I have to be a nay-sayer on Eduardo's. From prior positive reviews on this board, I tried it out a couple of times and was underwhelmed. It's basically yet another knock-off of the "La Salsa" concept, and while it's not a chain, the food is nowhere near as good as any random taqueria you might stumble across.

                3 Replies
                1. re: DanaB
                  a_and_w Mar 1, 2007 04:57 PM

                  I can't argue with your preference but...

                  Eduardo's meat is far more flavorful and their burritos better constructed than La Salsa -- not to mention any number of "random taquerias" I've tried in LA and elsewhere.

                  1. re: a_and_w
                    Pei Mar 13, 2007 03:40 PM

                    The grilled snapper in my fish burrito was very delicious. Flavorful and moist. My only complaint was that the bell peppers in it were raw! I've never had a burrito with raw bell peppers (or really any bell peppers) in it so it was off putting for me to have the hot soft fish with the cold crispy bell peppers. It made it taste less like a burrito and more like some kind of fusion wrap. I should have asked how the peppers would be, but I thought they'd be grilled until sweet instead of raw and grassy. Next time, no bell peppers!

                    1. re: Pei
                      a_and_w Mar 13, 2007 06:19 PM

                      Amen to that! I personally believe bell peppers have no place on a burrito, but I know others feel differently. For me it's beans, rice, cheese, pico, sour cream, and guac -- maybe some onions, cilantro, and hot sauce. Again, however, I know preferences diverge.

                2. a_and_w Mar 9, 2007 09:02 AM

                  Finally tried the carne asada at Taco Plus after many visits where I was distracted by the al pastor. Very tasty and tender. Can't quite bring myself to try the chicken, which looks a tad dry. I also forgot to mention in the OP -- I order my burritos with BOTH sour cream and cheese (you have to specify) and without lettuce.

                  1. Xericx Mar 13, 2007 07:39 PM

                    I had a burrito the other day from Por Favor. Carne Asada. It was pretty good, not earth shattering. Better than the previous times I've been there.

                    1. b
                      bulavinaka Mar 13, 2007 08:19 PM

                      I enjoyed an al pastor burrito at Taqueria Sanchez on Centinela. Lots of spice and the meat was moist - almost like a leaner chunky chorizo with pieces of pineapple. But I'm still on the hunt for that barbacoa burrito at Gallegos on Venice in Mar Vista.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: bulavinaka
                        a_and_w Mar 14, 2007 10:10 AM

                        Ooooh, al pastor with pineapple sounds promising! Did you see a spit? I get a special kick out of seeing that bright red al pastor with the pineapples on the spit...

                        1. re: a_and_w
                          b
                          bulavinaka Mar 14, 2007 08:59 PM

                          No spit that I've ever seen... but the pieces of pineapple were a nice touch. There's not alot in there - just enough to keep you interested...

                      2. ballulah Mar 19, 2007 09:50 AM

                        I wish I'd seen this thread BEFORE I headed out to LA last month! I keep hearing about the mythical Mexican food/tacos of Los Angeles and I wanted to give it a try, but time constraints and lack of research kept me eating hotel room service (blech).

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ballulah
                          a_and_w Mar 19, 2007 09:56 AM

                          LOL! It's all true ballulah -- I've put on ten pounds in the short time I've been here. Next time you're out in LA, also try to check out the Oaxacan places, which were a taste revelation to me.

                          I also have to add El Super Taco to the list of places mentioned. Recent visits yielded two excellently rolled burritos with the perfect balance of meat, beans, rice, cheese, guac, crema, onions, cilantro, and tomatoes. The meat isn't on par with Eduardo's, Taco Plus, or Tacomiendo, and the super comes with sauce (I order it dry). But the overall burrito is top notch and a player for best on the West side.

                        2. p
                          PimpinDG Mar 19, 2007 06:06 PM

                          I feel that the gigante burrito at Tacos Plus is the best burrito I've had in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the burritos in the Mission in SF are so far superior.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: PimpinDG
                            v
                            vinosnob Mar 20, 2007 11:41 AM

                            I couldn't disagree more. Definitely fighin' words to call the Mission style "superior". The mission style steamed burrito overstuffed with beans, sour cream and avocado slices is an outrage in my book; should really call it a "wrap".
                            On the flip side, a So Cal burrito that's grilled and filled with marinated, slightly crispy carne asada, fresh pico de gallo and authentic guacamole is without question one of the tastiest burritos you'll find.

                            1. re: vinosnob
                              wilafur Mar 20, 2007 02:21 PM

                              agreed!

                            2. re: PimpinDG
                              a_and_w Mar 20, 2007 03:30 PM

                              Amen, brotha. I've yet to find anything on par with a super burrito from Taqueria San Jose or El Farolito, not to mention veggie burritos from Taqueria Cancun. And don't get me started about the chicken burritos in this city -- meat is generally higher quality at the Mission places in SF. If anyone knows of places in LA like those mentioned in this post, please, please, please tell me.

                              1. re: a_and_w
                                e
                                Ernie Mar 20, 2007 04:06 PM

                                I think Mission SF style burritos are horrible gummy messes (steamed tortillas?!) with way too many wet ingredients. I much prefer the carne asada burritos at Taco Village in Montebello. Very simple but great carne asada, beans, cheese, and homemade salsas

                            3. b
                              bulavinaka Mar 20, 2007 10:20 PM

                              Had a great barbacoa beef burrito at Gallego's, a block west of Centinela on Venice blvd in Mar Vista. Nothing but alot of really tender beefy fall-apart barbacoa wrapped in a warm tortilla. It doesn't seem very large, but it is deceptively filling. If you haven't been to Gallego's yet, do yourself a favor and give them a try. Thanks Tony Michaels and Dommy!..!

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