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Where can I find the world's best burrito?

  • m

I used to live in the city of Orange in OC and there was a little mom and pop food stand called El Mucho Taco that used to serve the best Mexican food. I was a huge fan of the bean and cheese burrito. It was a heart attack wrapped in foil. I don't know much about preparation techniques but it seems as though the refried beans were twice cooked, at least that is what some have said after explaining to them what I was tasting. It was such an evil, greasy, cheesy sensation that when I returned to Orange, after moving away, to find that El Mucho Taco was no more I cried. I live in West LA now and and find myself in most parts of LA and OC weekly so if anyone knows where I might find an equal to this amazing bean and cheese burrito I would be eternally grateful. Thanks, in advance!

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  1. Just sound like a burrito made with refried beans. Try Pancho's Tacos on Lincoln in Santa Monica or Paco's Tacos at any of their 3 locations (that I know of). It may not be on the menu but hey...it's just beans and cheese.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Larry

      If Pancho's in its current location is any relation to the Pancho's that once stood on the southwest corner of Ocean Park and Lincoln, this is a place that produces the most miraculously foul food I have encountered outside of a Pekingese college cafeteria.

      San Francisco's La Taqueria on Mission near 26th Street is the gold standard.

      1. re: Samo

        How bad can a bean and cheese burrito be?

        1. re: Samo

          :If Pancho's in its current location is any relation to the Pancho's that once stood on the southwest corner of Ocean Park and Lincoln, this is a place that produces the most miraculously foul food I have encountered outside of a Pekingese college cafeteria.

          Wash your mouth out with Tabasco.
          The orig Panchos cleared out more hangovers and psychedelic trips over 20+ years than I care to remember. Not to mention fresh radishes at 7am.

          The new one has a similar menu-but it's not really the same.
          Their vegie burrito has black beans-guac-rice.

          1. re: Samo

            Re: Pancho's (formerly of OP and Lincoln, and now Lincoln at Ashford):

            We didn't call it "the Paunch Raunch" for nothing back when loomed at it's former location. While I can't completely concur with the "miraculously foul" label above (I have had much much worse!), it certainly is not for "sprouts and lentils" crowd. Yes, it most definitely serves it's culinary purpose at 1:00 a.m. after a fine evening out with the gang, but you may conjure a touch of the ol' "squerte pepe" come morning.... depending on the previous evening's imbibings...

            That said, I can't totally knock a beloved S.M. institution.

            PS: Long Live Tito's.

          2. re: Larry

            there are 3 Paco's Tacos locations??? I only know of the Culver City one. Where are the other two??

            1. re: Jenji

              One is in Monterey Park in the plaza where Ralph's is, its right next to the water store. :)

              1. re: Jenji

                Tom's Tacos on Beach and Ball in the city of Stanton was a Tito's many years ago. The menu is still the same and the crowds are way lighter.

                Tom's Tacos
                3024 W Ball Rd, Anaheim, CA 92804

              2. re: Larry

                I was thinking of Tito's, not Paco's. My bad.

              3. If you should find yourself in or around East L.A. I would suggest you give El Tepeyac a try. It was even mentioned in one of Joseph Wambaugh's books, as it is a favorite of the LAPD. It's at 812 N. Evergreen Ave. The way I get there is off of the 5 (Santa Ana) Frwy.
                on 4th st. Go east on 4th go Evergreen and turn left (N) to the address. It is just east of the 5 and just south of the 10 (San Bernadino) Frwy's. I used to have a dentist on 4th, so after I left his office is was over to El Tepeyac to undo his work.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Mike Kilgore

                  Holy SHIT.

                  i went to el villa tepeyac with my dad the other day and we split the manny special.

                  the burrito is five pounds, amazing, they give you a big plate, half with sour cream and the other half with guacamole.

                  we ate the whole burrito in 13 minutes. It was amazing, Best burrito i've had in a long time :)

                  its great, i suggest this OP!!!

                  1. Sorry for not going into the food and scene here a bit more on my first post, (which gave great directions, but was woefully short on what matters). Burritos are the "holy grail" here. I typically order the Hollenbeck, which is huge. Filled with rice, beans, guacamole and stewed pork, topped with Rancero sauce. Nice and spicy without being too hot. I have tried their machaca burrito too. It is more for the purists as it contains only meat, cheese and egg, but somehow the taste is much deeper and more complex than you would expect. Many people swear by the taquitos with guacamole. I find the guacamole to be good to excellent. The scene is one not to be missed. People come from 60 miles away for the food and to see and trade banter with the owner, Manuel Rojas. In fact, the namesake burrito for the owner is probably 5 pounds of the biggest burrito you will ever see. Prices are very reasonable and it's a festive place with people of all nationalities. The restaurant has been open since 1957. I can not recommend it highly enough. Go and see for yourself.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Mike Kilgore

                      El Tepeyac does have giant burritos, but it should be mentioned that they are the Mexican-American equivalent of spaghetti-and-meatballs, celebrations of abundance rather than of the nuances of a particular cuisine. Still, when you've got to have a Manuel's Special, nothing else will do.

                      BTW, the godhead flautas in East L.A. are at Ciro's, right down the block.

                    2. Burrito King on the corner of Sunset Blvd & Alvarado in Hollywood. There was also (and may still be) one on Hyperion. Try the machaca or the chorizo, although all of their offerings are absolutely first rate. They're also BIG, but nothing like the absurd size of the Manuels' or Hollenbeck Specials at El Tepeyac. Don't forget to ask for the really good curtido, too.

                      El Tepeyac Restaurant
                      385 E Mill St Ste 4, San Bernardino, CA 92408

                      Burrito King
                      2823 Hyperion Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                      1. The El Abajeno burrito IS one big humongous burrito! We used to call it the Sunday Times because it resembles a rolled up Sunday newspaper. You might like their bean and cheese burrito but their combinations are even better.

                        El Abajeno
                        4513 Inglewood Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230

                        1 Reply
                        1. If grease and cheese are valid criteria, I have just the place. I've been craving a Kosher Burrito which, as we know, is long gone. I managed to track down a facsimile, a Pastrami Burrito at Pharo's, at Garfield and Atlantic, in Alhambra. While it hardly qualifies as the "world's best", and it's not the smae as the original Kosher Burrito, it was darn good. I'll certainly go there again. As the owner said, pastrami and chili make a great combination.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: oldusedcop

                            what's in a kosher burrito? or the original one? and is pharo's pretty darn good still?

                            i'll have to try it.

                            and of course a bean and cheese at manuel's el tepeyac.

                            1. re: kevin

                              The Kosher (small print "style") Burrito was a place on 1st downtown that made pretty decent sized burritos that had refries, cheese, onions, pastrami and I think mustard in a large tortilla. They were good but generally a source of heart burn. There have been others. None of them use particularly good pastrami.

                              1. re: mc michael

                                oh, oki dog has the pastrami burrito and that's really darn good.

                            2. re: oldusedcop

                              pastrami and chili make a great combination.

                              + two hot dogs = OKI DOG !!!

                            3. Yuca's on Hillhurst makes good burritos and tacos, etc.

                              2056 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                              1. surprised nobody has mentioned j.gold mainstays al and bea's and lupe's #2.

                                Al & Bea's Mexican Food
                                2025 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90033

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: ronsilverado

                                  A&B's is the standard for bean & cheese in LA.
                                  Although J&S in Montebello does some good burritos....their machaca burrito is the best.

                                  1. re: ronsilverado

                                    "surprised nobody has mentioned j.gold mainstays al and bea's and lupe's #2."

                                    Were they both open 10 years ago when this thread was originally posted?

                                    1. re: Servorg

                                      Ten years ago on a cool dark night
                                      There was someone killed 'neath the town hall
                                      There were few at the scene and they all did
                                      That the man who ran looked a lot like me

                                      The judge said ``Son, what is your alibi?
                                      If you were somewhere else then you won't have to
                                      I spoke not a word although it meant my life
                                      I had been enjoying a Kosher burrito.

                                      1. re: Servorg

                                        A&B's has been there for 40+ years, a historical landmark too I believe.

                                        1. re: monku

                                          i still think they make best green chili and cheese burritos in town

                                          1. re: rickym13

                                            i gotta go to al and beas then. there's a bunch of institutions i still haven't checked out and gotten around too yet.

                                    2. I'm not really much of a burrito lover but I'd say El Tepeyac.

                                      Used Fire Trucks For Sale

                                      El Tepeyac Restaurant
                                      385 E Mill St Ste 4, San Bernardino, CA 92408

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. If you are willing to drive to Manhattan Beach try El Tarasco on Rosecrantz Blvd.

                                        200 S Avenue 19, Los Angeles, CA 90031

                                        1. Stumbled across this via Google because I was looking for the worlds best burrito. I'm from the Dallas area, but since you guys finally sent us In-N-Out I figured I'd tip you off to one of our Texas chains that looks like it has recently moved out in that area. Check out Freebirds if you haven't discovered it yet. Their burritos are awesome. According to their website there is one near USC and one in Orange as well. Check it out, you won't be disappointed.

                                          1. As a bean and cheese burrito lover (w/sour cream and or guacamole) I have to concur w/El Tepeyac ~~ the beans are soooooooo good there; and with Oki-Dog (although I've only eaten there once, I'll never forget it)

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: laliz

                                              "...and with Oki-Dog (although I've only eaten there once, I'll never forget it)"

                                              I am certain that there are a LOT of people who feel exactly the same way as far as the "never forget it" part... ;-D>