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Oct 1, 2001 11:04 PM

Street food in LA

  • j

The best food I've had in Mexico is the street food. Where can we go in LA? I have some thoughts and would like yours:

8th Street, south side near Guelaguetza: Tamales.
Downtown near produce market (say 10th and Main or so): I've had good breakfast burritos early on a weekend morning.
York Blvd around 46th Avenue: Seem to be a number of taco stands late at night. And at least one bar/nightclub that could be just across the border in an entertainment zone (I'm not going in there again. I don't know the rules).
Alameda Swap Meet.

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  1. there is a truck that parks on the south side of rose ave in venice... a couple of blocks off the beach... that has great tostadas de ceviche, and oysters and seafood cocktails...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Josh

      I was once a regular visitor to the laundromat hard by that truck's regular berth. The woman who owned the laudromat and the adjoining cleaners once described what happened after some dishrags from the truck were washed in one of her machines. Are you familiar with the word "maggot"?

    2. La Playita, on Lincoln 2 blks N of Rose, in SM, is as close to streetfood as you'll find-and just as cheap.
      Today I had a seafood burrito with avocado that must have weighed 1 1/2 lbs, and they charged me $3.50

      1. c
        Carolyn Tillie

        This is going to sound odd, but any Roach-Coach in front of any Auto Pick-A-Part.

        Half-a-dozen years ago, I had a boyfriend who was into restoring British cars. On weekends, we would haunt all the auto junkyards for parts and invariably, lunch was from one of those trucks. It didn't matter which one we went to because we travelled around. The food was always great!

        1. The Sunday Farmers' Market in Hollywood. Check out the Flava Bag Lady -- Gumbo Gumbo Gumbo! The Jamaican chicken curry's awfully good too. On the other side of the market they sell freshly roasted corn. Mmmmmm.


          14 Replies
            1. re: SKU

              Sunday mornings on Ivar between Hollywood Blvd. & Selma. The gumbo lady is on Selma with all the cooked foods. You can park for free in a large lot on Vine, then walk through the parking lot to the market.

              1. re: Sandra W.

                is this a non-pork gumbo? and this is cooked and ready to eat at the market correct? also, how much will a bowl of the "gumbo gumbo" set you back? what other good cooked foods do they have at the Hollywood farmers' market? thanks.

                1. re: kevin

                  There is pork sausage in the gumbo. A container costs $5. You will be full, or two of you can share. You can get it hot and ready to eat with rice, but I buy it cold without rice and bring it home. That way I get more gumbo and I make my own rice.

                  Other food stalls -- Corn Maiden tamales in all sorts of exotic combinations, including duck, lobster, etc. they are very popular, but I'm not a big fan; pupusas (excellent), home made sausages cooked there or take home; paella -- she cooks it in front of you, it looks absolutely picture perfect but I don't think it's very good; kettle popcorn, two or three other food stalls that I don't remember and haven't tried.

                  1. re: Sandra W.

                    sandra, one last question. do you know if the corn maiden tamales are made from lard (pork fat which is probably how it's traditionally made) or from vegetable oil. I'm hoping they're made from veg. oil. also, sounds like they are some kind of haute tamale. Are the tamales ready to eat like the gumbo? And how much does the duck or lobster ones cost? thanks again.

                    1. re: kevin

                      I've had corn maiden tamales a few times -- including last Sunday. Never tried duck or lobster, just green corn, blue corn, and pork. They're very tasty -- but not traditional, and probably not made with lard. I remember reading a JOnathon Reynolds piece in NYTimes Magazine trashing all california tamales on the basis that they weren't as good as the homemade real thing. Well, I've had the real thing, and yes it's better than Cornmaiden. But for a Sunday morning when you aren't looking to get indigestion... great. Don't remember the cost but not too bad...

                      1. re: Rafi

                        Rafi, your suspicions are correct. No lard in those tamales. Way back when, someone took me to a tamale making class taught by the Corn Maiden guy (who's Belgian). Anyway, I didn't master the tamale rolling in one hour. Mine fell apart in the steamer, and I've been too embarrassed to try again. But I remember him telling us that they decided to use vegetable oil or shortening or some such non-animal product in the masa to make the tamales healthier and lighter. I would add less tasty, but if you're watching cholesterol, I guess they'd be a godsend.

                        1. re: Sheryl

                          I prefer tamales from the places that Johnathan Gold reccomended in his piece last year in LA Weekly. You have to go to East LA but they are the real non-comprimising tamales. Generally pork in a red sauce or Elote...period. Masa is tender and light as a feather. Corn Maiden has nothing on these. They can be fun for a change of pace, just like Tamara's tamales. They just pale in comparison to the real deal. Even better yet are Salvadorean tamales. Pork or Chicken, look out for the bones.

                          1. re: Just Larry

                            I was in el salvador a while ago and the tamale literally melted in my mouth. it had no filling, just the corn, but they were excellent. they were homemade too. are salvodorean tamales supposed to be much tastier and lighter and meltingly soft than their mexican counterparts.

                            1. re: kevin

                              In my experience, yes.

                              1. re: kevin

                                Yeah, Salvadoran tamales de elote (corn, to distinguish them from the banana-leaf wrapped tamales -which also use corn- that have a soggier consistency and tend to be filled with chicken, olives, etc.) can be wonderful, pure, sweet corn; great when dipped in cream or with black beans.

                                For great sweet, Salvadoran corn tamales try Atlcatl on Beverly (near Western or so) or Los Chorros in Inglewood on Century.

                                1. re: kevin

                                  yes, salvodorean tamales are much tastier and lighter and meltingly soft than their mexican counterparts.

                          2. re: kevin

                            Back on the cusp of July-August, there was a string of questions about Corn Maiden that could have been best answered by contacting the Maiden directly. Finally, a brilliant someone -- why, it was me! -- saved everybody the trouble of going to a phone book or phoning information (lost arts in the age of computers?)

                            Here's the information again. Go crazy.


                            1. re: kevin

                              Sorry, don't know the price, don't know about the lard (but others say no lard). You can buy them hot to eat there, or they have them packaged cold (frozen maybe?) to take home.

                  2. v
                    Vanessa On The Town

                    Midnight Tacos. Midnight Tacos. Sorry, I had to say it twice because it's my new favorite. Been there several times in the last couple of weeks for late night grub. It's located on Santa Monica Blvd. near Virgil, I think. The tacos are a buck a piece and fabulous. Traditional choices of El Pastor, Cabeza, Carnitas, Asada and Lengua. I love the El Pastor and the Asada. It's all good. And for no extra charge you get rice and beans if you ask and the full condiment and salsa bar. Yummy!!