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Mar 16, 2007 09:15 PM

l.a. expat seeking "l.a."-type authentic mexican food

can anyone familiar with la's version of authentic mexican food (think loteria!, la cabanita, king taco, or la estrella) recommend a similar restaurant in the boston area...i'm even willing to drive an hour from boston if it's really good.

i've been disappointed by all of the authentic mexican restaurants in boston (i was sad after eating at casa romero, el pelon, sol azteca, etc.). i'm looking for: salsa made with fresh tomatoes instead of canned; freshly fried tortilla chips that are light and thin with a fresh coat of grease and a dusting of salt; food that actually has heat; and even food cooked with lard.

thanks if you can help.

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  1. This is a perennial topic of discussion on this board, and as another displaced angeleno, i share your pain and can say it's just not really available here. (i should qualify that: i've tried most of the places mentioned on this board that are relatively T accessible in metro boston, but can't comment on things farther away) Sadly, those real platos tipicos places just haven't made it up here. (Yet??)

    One thing that can be quite tasty (just don't try to compare it to a CA version) are the fish tacos at El Pelon-- if you go when it's not crowded and you get them hot, crispy, with a not overpowering sauce and the pickled cabbage, it's quite nice. (I realize this probably isn't the kind of thing you're seeking, given the places you mention, but boston hasn't really gotten past the "mexican food = tacos and burritos" phase) The burritos at El Pelon have always been a disappointment to me, though....

    For things that are also found in Salvador or other places, there might be some hope. I've had some passable tamales and chile relleno from Taqueria La Mexicana in union square in somerville, but the other options there are more hit or miss. Can't remember their chips-- it's not something I pay attention to so much. Boca Grande also has a menu format that's at least kind of recognizable for a mexican place-- they never seem to live up to my hopes, though... :(

    1. Having moved here from California, I doubt you will ever find EXACTLY what you are looking for, but I think you'll need to go to East Boston and check out some of the more authentic (read: Mexican food for Mexican people) places there. That's where you're going to find the stuff cooked in lard, decent carnitas and pollo asado, fresh tortillas. There are a lot of options in Eastie - Taqueria El Rancho Grande, Rostiria Cancun, Rincon Limeno, Rosteria Jalisco - that cater more for the taste you're looking for (though I can't guarantee they are all up to the quality level you are used to). Just drive over, park around Maverick Square, and go sniffing around.

      1. Check out previous posts on Tacos Lupita in Somerville; it's Mex-Salvadoran, and it's highly regarded here for things like pupusas and tortas. Don't know specifically how transplants feel about it. (I lived in LA for 5 years, but to this day all I miss about it is the fact that I could get frozen yogurt in myriad funky flavors on literally every corner. I'm sure those stands have all been replaced by Starbucks now anyway.)

        1. I grew up in cali and the northwest, I am sad to report that u wont find what your looking for....the closest i have found in 7 years is rotisceria cancun in maverick square, mostly for papusa (not mex, but delish) and for burritos and such. The flavors are authentic here and I find that to be as comforting.....

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