chile verde on the westside/southbay
i just moved here from colorado and i'm looking for a decent chile verde somewhere near marina del rey/culver city. i went to pacos tacos last night and decided that just testing place after place isnt the way to go! everything about the food was fine, but the chile verde isjust not what i'm looking for. i dont expect it to be green... just tasty/hot. in fact, i'm used to a more orange or salsa looking sauce. can anyone help?
also, im looking for a good CRISPY chile relleno. anyone?
lastly, are any of the 24 hour places i see around any good or are they sketchy?
i looked through hundreds of posts before posting this, but most people had their own reasons for why this place or that place was good and the green chile was rarely mentioned... sooO...
Your post inspired me to visit a place that Used to serve great pork with green chile sauce - Marisa's in Downey - which I hadn't visited in a few years. Unfortunately, the dish came with a ton of slightly overcooked pork with almost no sauce; it used to have generous amounts of roasted chile. I'm pretty sure they converted the sauce to wimpy jalapenos since they are cheaper than New Mexico/Anaheims.
My favorite chile verde is at El Burrito Jr. They have a few locations, but I only have gone to the Torrance one, 21141 Hawthorne Blvd. (near Albertsons in the shopping center). Nice chunks of pork in a slightly thick green chile sauce, plus rice and beans and tortillas for (I think) under 8 bucks. It is guaranteed to chase off any cold bug you might feel coming on.
This is not the same thing as the New Mexico type of "a bowl of green chile"...if that is what you are looking for.
Is this authentic? I don't know. All I know is I like it. Friendly staff, quick service, never any problems. Try it.
Two places stand out in the Westside:
#1: Lares on Pico in Santa Monica. Absolutely superb chile verde. You can order it as an entree, or get it in the "Manny Lane" burrito, which is served wet - lots of green sauce and melted cheese on top. I've been eating this burrito for over ten years now, and have not found anything close. While it has little to no heat, the sauce is so flavorful and savory, along with super tender pork, I always leave satisfied.
#2: The Talpa on Pico & Barrington. Pork in Spicy Tomatillo sauce. Like Lares, you can get this as an entree, or in a burrito. Unlike Lares, this dish packs quite a kick, so have plenty of your favorite cold beverage on hand. Since you're looking for something on the spicier side, this may be just what you're looking for. I notice the color of the sauce varies from a brownish orange to a greener brown.
I would hate to have to pick between the above two versions - they are both equally as good, but very different. As to chile verdes at other places on the westside, I've tried most of them and been sadly disappointed, Paco's included. Also, the Talpa has a standard chile verde, but it's nowhere near as good as the pork in spicy tomatillo sauce.
Hope this helps, and if you try either or both of them, let us know what you think.
Chile verde is more of a New Mexico/Colorado thing, and there have been any number of threads on this board about the dearth of places that serve such in Southern California.
That said, one of my favorite California/Mexican places has just announced their closure in West LA and relocation to the South Bay -- they make awesome chiles rellenos. Here's the link, so you can follow along when they reopen: