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Taqueria Chihuahua reopened in SM!!!

y
yogachik Sep 30, 2007 12:40 PM

Oh happy day! My favorite crispy taco in all of LA for the last couple decades, has a new location and is again open (the one that opened in Culver City last year is owned by the brother, who revamped the menu and made it more limited, this is the original owner).

It's on 1909 Lincoln, east side of the street, at Pico. Parking in the back! Same phone number as before (which I never forgot) 310 828 5003.

Am about to bite into my much-missed beef taco and some of their AMAZING guacamole. I'm so thrilled!

  1. Dommy Sep 30, 2007 12:56 PM

    Yes!! We saw them, ironically, right after yoga! :) Sadly the one in Culver City seems to be shuttered, after a few bad reviews, it never seemed to recover.

    --Dommy!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dommy
      y
      yogachik Sep 30, 2007 01:02 PM

      Yum, and it was as good as I remember. Also, their salsa is divine - very spicy, lots of layers, a certain sweetness to it, too.

    2. y
      yogachik Oct 1, 2007 03:20 PM

      bump to add:

      Went again today! Everything is so great, I like it so much better than Tacos Por Favor. There are a few tables (enough seating for about 30 people, total), a big, brand new counter, easy parking...

      1 Reply
      1. re: yogachik
        t
        tpigeon Oct 2, 2007 08:16 AM

        Shoot, I missed this one for my trip out. It was right by my hotel too :(.

      2. l
        LuluTheMagnificent Oct 1, 2007 03:24 PM

        Tell us more. What kind of meat, what toppings etc... Thanks

        1 Reply
        1. re: LuluTheMagnificent
          y
          yogachik Oct 1, 2007 04:04 PM

          Crunchy beef tacos are shredded beef, great flavor. Topped with a homemade salsa, a little melted cheese, fresh lettuce.

          They make their own chips, oh how I missed them.

          Enchiladas - I like them better here than Tacos Por Favor, personally. I like the sauces at Chihuahua better, and everything seems less greasy.

        2. a_and_w Oct 1, 2007 03:25 PM

          Any reports on the burritos? Specifically, how do they compare with Tacos Por Favor?

          1 Reply
          1. re: a_and_w
            w
            Wolfgang Oct 2, 2007 09:20 AM

            We saw TC for the first time on Sunday as we dined al fresco on chiliburgers across the street.
            I'm looking forward to trying the crunchy tacos this week.

          2. o
            Ogawak Oct 2, 2007 09:40 AM

            Yogachik: Thanks for your report on TC; a great neighborhood addition. Perhaps you could explain the menu for those interested. I went yesterday and ordered tacos assuming they were the crunchy kind (carne asada, carnita and fish). They were delicious, but not crunchy. Do you have to ask for "crunchy"?

            Also enjoyed their sopes. And the prices. Certainly cheaper than Tacos Por Favor.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Ogawak
              Servorg Oct 2, 2007 10:12 AM

              "Do you have to ask for "crunchy"?

              See if they offer tacos dorado on their menu. Those would be the crispy (fried) shell ones.

              1. re: Servorg
                n
                NYCnowLA Oct 2, 2007 10:30 AM

                i have thier menu in front of me and Dorado is exactly right. The offer beef, chicken, or potato.

                1. re: Servorg
                  o
                  Ogawak Oct 2, 2007 10:48 AM

                  Thanks, I did see "dorado" on the menu.

              2. b
                bakes1645 Oct 2, 2007 10:05 AM

                Tell me more. As a devout Taco's Por Favor fan, I'm always in the hunt for the next best thing. New to the westside so I've never heard of TC. Are their crispy taco's similar to TPF? How's the carne asada burritos?

                Might have to hit them up in the next few days.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bakes1645
                  y
                  yogachik Oct 2, 2007 01:24 PM

                  I prefer their crispy tacos over TPF, I also love their carne asada soft tacos. Haven't tried the burrito, but I love their seasoning on the carne asada, so I'm pretty confident recommending it.

                  LAtaco has TPF ranked #1 in LA, with Chihuahua (the brother's location) ranked #8, I think. And I do love TPF - I just like Chihuahua, better.

                2. g
                  glutton Oct 2, 2007 05:35 PM

                  very excited to try this out... However, all these comparisons to Tacos Por Favor is a bit unfair. Everyone has acknowledged that all but one of the tacos at TPF are adequate at best. It's their chorizo-and-cheese taco that is outstanding. It's their magnum opus. So, does anything at Taqueria Chihuahua match the magnum opus of TPF? I'm hungry.

                  1. ElJeffe Oct 2, 2007 10:37 PM

                    WARNING: I ate at Taqueria Chihuahua tonight, and it was terrible.

                    I was a big fan of the previous location, but I've got to disagree with the general sentiment about eating here, for the time being.

                    We had the crunchy Taco Dorado (beef), carnitas taco, carne asada taco, beef sopes, chicken enchilada, and the guac. We ordered at 9:45 right before they closed, but thats no excuse in my opinion.

                    Enchilada - Horrific. The chicken was tough, yet spongey, if that is possible. Sauce & cheese nothing special.
                    Carnitas - Average at best. None of the crispy goodness.
                    Carne Asada - Average. Poor meat quality although a nice sauce.
                    Sopes - The best thing we tried. The beef was shredded and nicely seasoned, but the masa was mushy, which is a critical fault for a sope.
                    Crunchy Beef Taco Dorado - Shell was good but beef was greasey and not that tasty.
                    Guac - Passable. You can make much better at home.

                    I will give this place another mid-day try, but for now, I'd say don't get your hopes up. Stay with TPF, La Playita, or Taco Miendo.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: ElJeffe
                      w
                      Wolfgang Oct 4, 2007 09:47 AM

                      I went to Taqueria Chihuahua last night around 7:45 and was disappointed enough for it to be my last visit. I ordered the beef taco dorado and the al pastor burrito. The crunchy taco was fine and would probably be better to eat there versus having them wrap it in foil for my 5 minute drive home. The steam takes away from the crispiness. I also thought the taco was too greasy as if it was soaked in grease versus quickly fried. The filling was better than average and the salsa was good. The burrito was a huge disappointment and reminded me of the disappointing one time was enough burrito experience I had at the Olympic and 20th location. The refried beans overwhelm the burrito. It tasted like a bean and beef burrito, along the lines of the burrito at Tito's but without as much flavour. I like beans in my burritos but i don't want them to be the main event. I never tasted an onion and only tasted cilantro in one bite. The pork was only recognizable by the shredded texture of pork. It had nothing in common with al pastor as I know it. The burrito was a mushy mess in a substandard tortilla wrapped in yellow paper and no aluminum foil.
                      Watching the cooks through the glass window made me skeptical of what the final product would taste like. Then seeing my burrito and taco sitting on the steel rack for 5 minutes before the not busy at all cashier finally bagged them also turned me off. I hoped for a better than LP experience but LP is cheaper, better, and faster, but farther down Lincoln from my house.
                      It was $2.49 for the taco and $4.95 for the burrito.

                      1. re: Wolfgang
                        b
                        bulavinaka Oct 4, 2007 03:32 PM

                        I hope this place didn't reopen to disappoint alot of folks. I had the exact same issue with the burrito that I had at the location on Venice Blvd. I don't think even archaeologists could have found the carne asada in the mass of beans and stone cold tortilla. Although expecting a crispy crunchy taco dorada after taking it home is a bit of a stretch, they should have put your taco dorado in a container with the corners of the top cut off (a la Chinese takeout-style), or at least just in an open paper bag, and wrapped your burrito in foil to help warm up the tortilla! I think it's time for folks who enjoy this place or at least want to like it, to chime in and make suggestions...

                        As a sidenote, went to Gallego's on Venice today and had another great barbacoa burrito and chicken verde tamale. And those killer tortilla chips are worth the trip alone...

                        1. re: Wolfgang
                          m
                          misty Oct 12, 2007 05:35 PM

                          As I drove down Lincoln Blvd. and came upon their recognizable logo, I felt elation when I discovered that Chihauhua had reopened. I had such fond memories of the dirty tile floor, busy menu, musty bathrooms and impeccibly delicious food at their Olympic location!!! I have to say I was utterly disappointed after eating a meal from the new restaurant. First of all, it has totally lost its charm and secondly, the food was barely edible. I had a carnitas plate. The meat was dry and stringy. The rice was dry. The beans were not tasty at all. My friends with me, each ordered something different... one had taquitos... dry dry dry. There was this very funky cheese on top that was difficult to swallow. The other friend ordered a burrito that so heavily beaned, there was probably only a tablespoon of meat in it. I will say that the chips and guac were pretty good. I would possibly give Chihuahua a second try, only because this particular visit was such a disappointment from the other restaurant that I can't imagine the food could be so bad again. On a positive note... I like the fact the kitchen help wear gloves. After my second visit, I will post here again.

                          1. re: misty
                            g
                            glutton Oct 13, 2007 10:32 AM

                            Sounds like they're wearing gloves to protect themselves from the food, not vice versa.

                      2. g
                        gsw Oct 13, 2007 10:31 AM

                        I had lunch at Taqueria Chihuahua the other day. I had never been to the Olympic location (dammit! always meant to but never got around to it), so I was pleased to see it was opening up relatively close to my workplace.

                        I ordered a combo plate with a chili relleno and a potato taco dorado, and a tamarindo aqua fresca. First off, the cashier had trouble ringing me up, but they were good-humored about it. Then, after a few minutes they called me back to the counter to say they didn't have tamarindo, so I changed it to jamaica.

                        I ordered "for here" but when it came there was no place to sit - and in any case, they had already packed it up in a styrofoam clamshell, so I took it out and drove back to work.

                        It smelled delicious on the short drive - I could smell something wonderful and cinnamon-ish in the sauce. Once at work, though I discovered that they had given me a cheese enchilada in colorado sauce, instead of the chili relleno. So that was the wonderful sauce I'd been smelling!

                        The taco dorado was really good - a little greasy, but that may have been from sitting in the clamshell for a few minutes instead of going right on the plate. I'm not used to a potato taco, but it was delicious and a good combo of textures with the crunchy shell and the smooth filling.

                        The Colorado sauce on the enchilada was delicious! But the cheese inside was just your basic orange cheese - good and filling but nothing to write home about. And I was disappointed not to have gotten the chili relleno.

                        I loved the jamaica agua fresca.

                        So I'll try it again. They don't seem to have many seats. They have a narrow counter along the front window with high stools, but that's not very comfortable. I'll give them another chance and see. For a work-day lunch, it's certainly fine, but at this point it's nothing special.

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