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Where to find some really good tamales

Tari Jan 17, 2008 08:40 PM

Where can I find the best mexican tamales? I haven't eaten many tamales and at first I didn't think I liked them. Last week, my mother in law had some tamales that her friend had made...and it was really good. I was just wondering where else I could find some good tamales.
Any suggestions?

  1. s
    Sam D. Jan 28, 2008 12:50 PM

    I have tried the tamales from nearly all the places previously mentioned. My favorites tamales from a commercial source, not homemade, are as follows:

    1. La Indiana. The absolute best. Large & brimming with flavor.

    2. Cinco Puntos. Average size but excellent tasting. Also sold in some locations of Super-A Foods. A real bargain at $1/ea.
    3300 E Cesar E Chavez Ave
    Los Angeles, CA 90063

    3. Mama's Hot Tamales (Previously described) A bit pricey compared to others but they offer a much larger variety of different flavors & styles of tamales and most are very tasty.

    Juanito’s. Good but not great. The high ratio of masa to filling produces large & very thick-walled tamales.

    Those are based on my personal preferences. YMMV

    1. i
      ickster Jan 28, 2008 12:41 PM

      In addition to Juanitos and La Mascota, I like La Indiana Tamales, on Indiana just north of Olympic.

      1142 S. Indiana Street,
      Los Angeles Ca 90023.
      Telephone No.: (323) 262-4682

      I like their Red Chile Pork and the Chile Verde with Cheese.

      1. t
        toniw Jan 28, 2008 10:57 AM

        Carillo's in San Fernando and i think there's also one in Reseda. May be a ways for you to travel but you won't find better. They are the real deal

        1 Reply
        1. re: toniw
          truefoodie Jan 28, 2008 11:44 AM


        2. u
          umeakai Jan 24, 2008 03:46 PM

          Mama's Hot Tamales Cafe at 7th and Alvarado - usu. 7-8 varieties daily, incl. sweet tamales. Only $2.50 each if you order 3 or more; plentiful filling; and you support a good cause.


          1. goodhealthgourmet Jan 24, 2008 03:07 PM

            i haven't tried them, but i always drive past tamara's tamales on washington blvd. in culver city & wonder how they are.


            2 Replies
            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
              hrhboo Jan 24, 2008 04:07 PM

              Overpriced and bland. I really want to like the place because the people are so damn nice but sadly, the tamales are disappointing. And they use margarine in the masa.

              1. re: hrhboo
                goodhealthgourmet Jan 24, 2008 09:03 PM

                ugh...glad i asked! thanks.

            2. martyR Jan 18, 2008 02:23 PM

              I like Sandra & Lolita's tamales on Whitter, just east of Atlantic. Stop at Tacos Baja Ensenada across the street also.

              1. c
                chowmominLA Jan 18, 2008 10:34 AM

                I will forever swear by the chicken chili verde tamales from Gallego's Mexican Deli on Venice near Centinela. You must get that exact flavor, and the regular size (not the cocktail size.) It's at the top of my "top ten deserted island foods" list.


                4 Replies
                1. re: chowmominLA
                  hrhboo Jan 18, 2008 10:57 AM

                  Chowmom, have you tried any of the other varieties? Red Chile Pork is my favorite kind and I'm always looking for a good one on the westside. Nice to see you back!

                  1. re: hrhboo
                    chowmominLA Jan 18, 2008 01:16 PM

                    thanks :0) I've tried their plain chicken, beef, pork, cheese, sweet, pumpkin and even pineapple but my favorite is always the chicken chili verde because they put sour cream in it, so the inside has this creamy savory yumminess. The chili verde sauce is not spicy at all, but has just enough zing to give it a nice edge. I've never had a tamale that's come even close, except for the carnitas tamales I make myself with Gallego's prepared masa (they sell it every Wednesday for $2 per pound), which, of course, also have sour cream :0)

                    1. re: chowmominLA
                      budlit Jan 24, 2008 03:08 PM

                      I 2nd Gallegos, I love their tamales de elote (seasonal)

                    2. re: hrhboo
                      a_and_w Jan 28, 2008 06:23 PM

                      Love Gallegos. Try the corn tamales, if they have it. God stuff!

                  2. slowrider Jan 18, 2008 10:28 AM

                    La Mascota on Whittier Blvd. ( across from Johnny's Shrimp Boat ).
                    Really good pollo & raja tamales.
                    In business 50 years!

                    1. jonahlee Jan 18, 2008 10:00 AM

                      The Hollywood farmer's market on Sundays has 2 great places to get them, though I like the place on the East end. I love their green corn tamales with the spicy hot sauce. Makes my mouth water. You can also buy bulk frozen, and steam them at home, which works great.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: jonahlee
                        wutzizname Jan 18, 2008 10:12 AM

                        That's the Corn Maiden booth. Good stuff.

                        1. re: wutzizname
                          jonahlee Jan 24, 2008 03:03 PM

                          Yea, they are really delicious. I could eat them every day.

                        2. re: jonahlee
                          Diana Jan 28, 2008 11:26 AM

                          Second Corn maiden or also Gourmet Tamales, also found at some Farmer's MArkets (Encino and Studio City on Sunday.)

                        3. monku Jan 17, 2008 08:45 PM

                          Juanito's is my fav. You can make a meal out of just one.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: monku
                            Skunk2Racer Jan 18, 2008 03:56 PM

                            I 2nd Juanitos. I haven't had them in YEARS, Always went to La Mascota. However we had belated Xmas tamales today. the juanitos were twice as large and Juicy and tasty. For $1.55 each they are a best Buy!

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