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El Nopal on National Blvd.

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I live close to El Nopal and have never tried it so I thought I would give it a try. I have to say that I was not the least bit impressed. I got 2 hard shell beef tacos and a side of guacamole. Everything just seemed so tasteless to me. Luckily, I didn't eat there so I was able to fix the tacos up a bit and season everything better. I know they say this place is famouse for their "Pregnant Burrito" and I hope if I give it a try it will taste better than what I had today.

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  1. I fully agree with you. I've lived near there for 15 years and both times that I've been to El Nopal I was so disappointed I swore I'd never go back. If you want a great burrito on the Westside, go to Tacqueria Sanchez on Centinela. El Nopla sucks - I'm surprised it's stayed in business.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jeryy

      Service was indifferent. Felt like i was eating at a bus station. The food was the same, served cold and tastless. You have to work hard to mess up cheese enchiladas. Don't even give them a second chance.

    2. I used to pass by this place all time. I always saw that "home to the pregnant burrito" so I tried it. I was disappointed. It was just a regular wet burrito. It wasn't THAT big and tasted a bit bland. Maybe they should convert this place to a take-out place and lower their prices.

      2 Replies
      1. re: kek is khmer

        i tried the pregnant burrito also. i expected a burrito with a pregnant looking bump in it for some reason but it was just a big wet burrito and like $10.95

        no beans inside the burrito. just chicken, raw onions and slices of avocado.

        not worth it

        1. re: Bandini

          Terrible food- and Over priced-
          $10 Burritto stuffed with rice and beans-Where is the Beef?
          I will not return-
          One of the worst mexican meals I have had-
          No thanks

      2. You are very close to Gloria's Cafe on Venice at Jasmine. This is the real deal for Mexican food. If you want to try one of their special dishes I suggest their Carne Adobada, which is beautiful pork carnitas simmered overnight in this addictive sauce with plenty of tender onions floating in it. But all of their dishes that I have tried are great and it's family run so service has always been very, very friendly and accommodating.

        http://losangeles.menupages.com/resta...

        1. There was a time... late 70's when El Nopal was really good. The pregnant burrito was filled with chicken rice and avocado and covered with a good enchilada sauce. But this restaurant, like Dr. Hogly Wogly's in the Valley - have slipped into at best mediocrity. Near El Nopal, hopefully Hu's Schezchan (sp?) still exists. They opened when I lived in that neighborhood and have been consistently good for a long time. I hope Hu's hasn't slipped as well.

          1 Reply
          1. re: fishyak

            I like Hu's a lot, but you have to be careful. They are particular about their hours -- 11;30 open for lunch and they are locked up by their 2:30 close. They recently added kung pao chicken to their premium lunch combos served with soup and a simple, tasty chinese chicken salad while raising the prices about half a buck. I like the lunch twice-cooked pork (ordered with no tofu) spicy and their eggplant in garlic sauce, though it is too one-dimensional and oil-laden for a single unshared lunch. Avoid the bready-battered sweet'n'sour.

            Best alternative for a good-value burger, pastrami, teriyaki plate, or "burrito" nearby is Harvey's on Palms and Motor. They have great prices, big portions, and really go out of their way to please.

          2. Thanks for posting this. I live up the street from Nopal and I've been searching for a new taco (hard) place. I'll try gloria's next. I'm not a fan of Titos or Campos.

            3 Replies
            1. re: jessisthebest11

              Contrary to the posts above, I've been happily eating at El Nopal for almost 15 years now (I used to live up the street). That said, there is one thing and one thing only I eat there -- the carne asada burrito. It is -- feets up -- my favorite burrito in this crazy burrito town.

              Big fresh flour tortilla stuffed with the juiciest, leanest, most flavorful chunks of carne asada ever, along with avocado, cilantro, onions, lettuce, and handfuls of shredded cheddar cheese. Drench it in the house salsa (my favorite in the world) and BAM! Instant gratification.

              I've tried El Nopal's other menu items -- including the "Pregnant Burrito" (tag line: "that's not sour cream") -- but nothing compares, nothing compares, to the carne asada burrito.

              The same people have been running the place since I've been going; yeah, they can appear outwardly indifferent, but once you get to know them, nicer folks would be hard to find. The service has always been prompt and accurate, in my experience.

              Before writing the place off, I'd suggest giving the carne asada burrito (#28 on the menu IIRC) one final shot. If you hate it, I'll let you take it out on me.

              1. re: CucumberBoy

                Their salsa is so good I could drink it!

                1. re: CucumberBoy

                  Darn, knew I should have eaten there long ago. It's in my copy of this classic book:
                  http://www.amazon.com/Fantastic-Dives...

                  CucumberBoy, please help us out - scan the menu and upload it to this Place link below. TIA!

                  -----
                  El Nopal
                  10426 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

              2. I used to live in Culver City in the late 80's and found their food always very delicious and consistent. It is now 18 months later than your review of July 2007 - as of December 2008, are there any other chowhounds who have gone and had different - hopefully better - experiences?

                I am planning a trip to LA to revisit some of my favourite haunts, and this was on the list. Gloria's is also on the list (I was a VERY frequent customer at her purple shack off Olympic way back when).

                2 Replies
                1. re: canadianfoodfan

                  I would definitely, definitely skip this and go straight to Gloria's. I was there just a few weeks ago and ordered something that I thought was relatively innocuous: huevos rancheros. It wasn't awful, but it was close: the eggs were super greasy, essentially soaking the tortilla; the beans were obviously out of a can and barely reheated; etc. Everyone else's food didn't look too great either, and no one was very excited about any of it. We ate, we left, we went back to work.

                  1. re: Queequeg

                    Queequeg wrote:

                    >>We ate, we left, we went back to work.<<

                    LOL. Sounds like an old Roman saying or something.

                    I'll try to grab-n-scan a menu next time I'm in the neighborhood, but still, see my orginal post: the carne asada burrito is the only thing I eat at El Nopal (along with the excellent salsa and so-so chips). I've tried a 1/2 dozen other entrees and they just don't cut it like the carne asada burrito.

                    And I stand by my undying love for their salsa -- there's nothing quite like it anywhere out there, at least that I've found...

                    But, yeah, everything else on the menu seems kind of weird, sub-par, if not outright gross. Very strange.

                    -cb-