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Apr 7, 2007 08:48 PM

Best fresh salsa and chips restaurant?


I'm looking for a Mexican restaurant in L.A. (anywhere, really, but preferably the west side or SGV) that has good fresh salsa and homemade chips and generally good Mexican food. Babita's is a little too expensive, though. Any other suggestions?


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  1. If you happen to pass through Los Feliz on your way between the west side and SGV, a stop at Malo on Sunset might serve you well. They have a chips and salsa sampler on the menu (along with many other very good small plate al la carte mexican items) which you get a choice of a few of their house made salsas. Pick what sounds the best, I go for the creamy habenero, have a drink, and soak up the black on black on dark red on black color scheme. You can even snag a table in the back of the dark bar area if you get lucky.

    After than, this is a change up, but I happen to like the chips and salsa at Tito's Tacos on Washington and Sepulveda. The salsa is mild. The chips are thick. But on a late spring afternoon on one of the picnic tables outside, it can be just what I am looking for.

    1. Seems salsa is a very personal taste issue, but when it comes to chips, do you like them salty? A bit on the oily side? Really crispy? If you prefer them really crisp, hearty with the flavor of toasted corn, I would try Gallego's Mexican Deli on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista. I am very impressed with alot of their foods - alot of our posters find their barbacoa to be excellent. They also have one deli case that is almost committed solely to tamales. This is one of the real deal places in the Westside.

      The chips are kind of an afterthought at alot of places, but Gallego's seems to take alot of pride in making everything the best that they can, including their chips. These are hearty chips that have a great toasted taste but only just a hint of oil. Not oversalted, the chips make a great accompaniment to their dishes, or just with their great salsas from the salsa bar - even alone.

      As travistarr also mentions, Tito's - the bane of so many Chowhounders - actually has very tasty chips - albeit they can be a bit on the oily side at times - are salted well, and for some reason, their standard red salsa which seems more like crushed tomatoes, onions, salt and pepper is a perfect match with their chips - maybe it's the saltiness of the chips making the flavor of the tomatoes bloom before you . I find their beef burrito is aceptable when ordered in combo with rice, cheese and guac, while others prefer their fried beef tacos. I think the meat inside their tacos is "hard to identify." Their chips and salsa are worth a shot though. But if anyone asks you who recommended Tito's to you, I wasn't here...

      Gallego's Mexican Deli
      12470 Venice Blvd
      Mar Vista, CA 90066
      310-391-2587 - call first - they tend to close early

      Tito's Tacos
      11222 Washington Place (not Boulevard)
      Culver City, CA 90230

      5 Replies
      1. re: bulavinaka

        PS- I must thank Dommy! and Tony Michaels for the Gallego's rec. These two veteran Chowhounders consistantly offer excellent recs to us all...

        1. re: bulavinaka

          Do you happen to know if Gallego's uses lard to fry up their chips?

          I like the chips and salsa at Border Grill.

          1. re: Frank_Santa_Monica

            To be honest, I don't know, but the amount of oil on the chips seems very low. As a guage, the brown bag holding the chips hardly has any oil spots on it. These chips are very thick and toasty. They will hold up to just about anything that you decide to pile on it or dip it into...

            1. re: bulavinaka

              Thanks so much! I love my chips salty and really crispy. I'll check out your suggestions. :)

            2. Los Toros is a Meat Market and they also have a restaurant next door. I go to the meat market and buy fresh made chips, salsa and guacamole. You can also have that in the restaurant with bottled beer. However, I have not been happy with the other items on the menu recently. Nevertheless, the chips, salsa and guacamole is the best I have had this side of New Mexico. Next time you have a party or pot luck bring these chips and you will be remembered.

              There is another location in SGV but I do not know the address.

              Los Toros Meat Market (Bags of fresh made Chips and pints of fresh Salsa and Guacamole)
              5225 Peck Rd
              El Monte, CA 91732-1122
              (626) 444-5757

              3 Replies
              1. re: Like go grinz

                likewise, not a restaurant, but the BEST chips IMHO are from Superior markets, homemade tortilla chips they make daily up by the fresh foods section. They have tons of salsas to try, too.

                1. re: TastELA

                  I just tried the Superior are SO right, thanks! Absolutely delicious. I saw a lemon flavored bag. I wonder what other flavors they have on other days?

                2. re: Like go grinz

                  Like go grinz, I wish I lived closer to El Monte-- these chips sound really good.

                3. Try Chichen Itza.

                  Chichen Itza
                  2501 West 6th Street
                  Los Angeles
                  (213) 380-0051

                  1. Don Antonios in West LA has the best chips I've ever had. Very addicting. There food is just average, though.