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Sabor A Mexico muy sabroso - thanks, Dommy!!

Will Owen Apr 10, 2007 02:36 PM

Another inescapable excuse to go to Culver City, this time to pick up some art, and naturally I timed it for Lunch. I was thinking of a return to Dijonnaise, and then remembered Dommy and Patrick's going on about this taqueria on National, so I went looking for it. Easier to find than to get to if you're headed north, but one deeply illegal U-turn later I was in their fenced-in parking lot. Very tidy little place with lots of tables outside, very friendly owner taking orders, and it smelled damn good too. After scanning the way-too-many choices I wimped out and ordered the Combinación Parillada, a mixed grill of carne asada, shrimp, chicken, mushrooms, onions, sweet peppers and cheese, which comes with three handmade corn or flour tortillas and rice, guac on lettuce, and either black or pinto beans. I chose corn and pinto, and a medium jamaica, which came to twelve bucks and change.

The owner and I chatted of foodish things as I watched the cook prepare a huarache and an egg dish for the only other customers, a woman and her little girl, as well as the various ingredients for my order, until those all got assembled on a sizzling-hot serving skillet and laid on my tray, along with a separate plate with my rice, beans and guacamole, a foil wrap of freshly-heated tortillas, and real live stainless-steel knife and fork. I took that and my drink out to a half-sunny half-shady table on the patio and dug in. The flavors were clear and fresh but needed some amplification, so I went to the goodies bar and got a little tub of salsa verde and a wedge of lime and dressed my dish with these. The salsa was about twenty degrees hotter than I'd expected, but very good and fresh-tasting with a nice tang. As is always the case with these things the meats were all very well-done, but with such nice roasty flavors as these all I cared about was that I could chew'em, which I did. The cheese seemed to be something like a whole-milk mozzarella, just a handful of fresh shreds spread over the top at the last minute, and gave me some good strings to wrap on my fork. The tortillas were thick and corny, the beans smooth and rich (without lard...how'd they do that?), the rice tender and fluffy with kernels of sweet corn and some peas scattered through it. The guac was a treat, too, full-flavored and just smooth enough. The jamaica was a little disappointing, surprising since it's supposed to be homebrewed, but then the very faint dank undertone was something I've tasted in brewed iced tea, as well.

This was probably too much food for lunch, but it was all good and pretty healthy, and despite being the most expensive thing on the menu a genuine bargain. Next time, and you damn betcha there will be a next time, I think I'll do a taco medley or something equally exploratory. This menu is huge, so I've got a lot of ground to cover! Oh, and the menu says Taco Nights Friday and Saturday, 7 pm until midnight - tacos $1.00.

Sabor A Mexico
8940 National Blvd. (at the 10), Culver City
310-280-0380

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  1. Dommy RE: Will Owen Apr 10, 2007 03:10 PM

    YAY!! When I saw your Lily post I wondered if you had gone! :D So glad you enjoyed it! :D

    --Dommy!

    6 Replies
    1. re: Dommy
      mollyomormon RE: Dommy Apr 10, 2007 03:52 PM

      Any idea how late they're open during the week?

      1. re: mollyomormon
        Dommy RE: mollyomormon Apr 10, 2007 04:03 PM

        Durring the week... 9 and on weekends 10.

        --Dommy!

        1. re: Dommy
          s
          Silverlaker RE: Dommy Apr 10, 2007 04:11 PM

          Is it like Yucas... a stand w outdoor seating or can you sit inside?

          1. re: Silverlaker
            Dommy RE: Silverlaker Apr 10, 2007 04:15 PM

            No, it's a bit more 'refined' than Yucas. They have pretty much a full kitchen and really make the most of it. The menu is amazing large and varied. Their layout is very unique because of where it is located, basically inside a stereo installation garage. It's two small small rooms divided by the enterance of the garage. One room has the kitchen. Another room is a dining room. Then there is a small courtyard (Where you find the taco table, with grill and braising hub cap) and a few tables.

            To be honest, the one time I went to Yucas the tables were VERY grimey. Absolutely no personal service. These guys really go above and beyond in their food and their care of their restaurant (Cool Neon, real plates and silverware) and customers (Platers are brought to you).

            --Dommy!

            1. re: Silverlaker
              Mattapoisett in LA RE: Silverlaker Apr 10, 2007 04:17 PM

              Dommy answered better [and quicker] Than I

              Take care

              - P.

            2. re: Dommy
              hrhboo RE: Dommy Apr 10, 2007 05:08 PM

              They're open till midnight on the weekends - yaaay for late night taco tables!

        2. c
          CulverJack RE: Will Owen Apr 10, 2007 09:11 PM

          Thanks to all for the good words about this spot - the posts have been great and descriptive and as one who brings home tacos at least once a week, it's a fantastic new tacqueria for me. I had a similar great experience a few weeks back. One thing that sets this place apart is an expansive menu and lots of interesting veggie items.

          As with most taco shops, this is very family friendly and a bright, enjoyable place. On taco night, they do have a spit for the al pastor and I found it really great - tender and charred just right in spots, finished on the grill for a bit of crispness. I also ordered way too much food, but somehow managed to get through it all. Imagine that! Enjoy, and taco nights are definitely winners.

          1. BBB RE: Will Owen Apr 10, 2007 10:19 PM

            $1.00 tacos on the weekends start at noon according to the guy inside when I was there last Saturday. Yum yum.

            1 Reply
            1. re: BBB
              d
              Densible RE: BBB Apr 21, 2007 07:40 PM

              I went today after sending husband earlier in week to scope it out and taste test. He has shrimp tacos during weekday lunch and thought they were "good"-he is half Mexican and that is high praise indeed. I had the quesadilla with mushroom and epazote-it was delicious-especially the lightly fried but not greasy tortilla and the crema that I mixed with the piquant green salsa. Think they forgot to add the epazote though. No avocado or habanero salsa to be found :( I have been dreaming of the avocado salsa.
              I also has cheese enchiladas with mole sauce, black beans and rice. It is my ultimate comfort food and after asking twice for them to reheat my dish as cheese was not melted, I was very satisfied with the result. The mole was not sweet (hooray!) and it was layered over a foundation of enchilada sauce that was very well balanced and obvioulsy home made. My husband had the potato/poblano tacos with pinto breans and rice. Both beans were fantastic-very smooth (which I normally do not like ) and well seasoned but still mild. The rice was good too, still had body and better than most of the exhausted mush served at Mexican restaurants. It was great mixed with the mole/enchilada sauce.
              The taco grill was no where in evidence and we were there at 12.30pm on a Saturday. Good thing we do not eat meat. We were disappointed as we like to watch :)

              Thanks for the tip Dommy and everyone else who helped to convince us to make the trip from the beach.

            2. c
              Cinnamon RE: Will Owen Apr 21, 2007 08:46 PM

              Thank you! Must try this. :)

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