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Best Mexican place for Newbies?

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My Cousins have immigrated from Korea, and they've been here for MONTHS and have yet to eat at any Mexican place. They spend most of their time eating Korean food in Korea Town. The furthest they've deviated from standard Korean fare has been Pizza Hut and California Pizza Kitchen.

I've tried to tempt them before with some El Taurino tacos, but they weren't diggin' it (they hate cilantro, which I can't really blame them for, it's an odd taste to get used to).

So what's a great place to take them that's yummy and a good place to introduce them to Mexican fare?

Anywhere in Los Angeles is good, but traveling to a good place is no problem.

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  1. They might enjoy a bowl of albondigas soup at Mi India Bonita, in East L.A., followed by a quesadilla or a chile relleno.

    Another good bet would be Sabor a Mexico for their Estilo D.F. quesadillas. Unfortunately, there are currently in transition to a new permanent site but are going to be temporarily located quite near Ktown at 2624 W. Jefferson.

    1. Tere's Mexican on Melrose. Great quesidilla with chorizo, nice pork and fish tacos, chile verde, and many other tasty treats for cheap in a very laid back enviorn.

      1 Reply
      1. re: murray26

        I love the chili relleno burritos and the fideo con pollo (chicken vegi soup) at Tere's. Also their chips are the best in I've had anywhere; I think they make them themselves with their homemade tortillas or something.

      2. If your cousins like fish and shrimp it may be a good idea to stay with that in mind for "newbies" but just do it Mexican style. I have two places that you might consider for shrimp.

        El Jacal (This is a nice little sit-down place once inside. Several types of shrimp dinners and a some really good asada tacos, chips and salsa are also great)
        13414 Ramona Blvd
        Baldwin Park, CA 91706-3902
        (626) 813-4419
        Open 7 days, 8am to 9pm.
        Several blocks East of the 605

        Tacos la Bufadora (lMore like a fast food spot for lunch with maybe the best Deep Fried Fish and Shrimp tacos and burritos in L.A.. Try the Shrimp Burrito with NO rice & beans request only the taco ingredients. Menudo Sat/Sun while it last)
        10990 Lower Azusa Rd (Just West of Santa Anita.)
        El Monte, CA 91731
        (626) 575-7174

        1. Wow, can't do cilantro? that's a bust

          Just take them to el cholo then lol

          1 Reply
          1. re: ns1

            i actually totally agree with this (except not el cholo) -

            but take them to a pretty basic la-mexican place like don antonio's (pico - wla) or el compadre (sunset - hollywood) or gilberts (pico - santa monica). they don't have to eat the salsa and the food is pretty tame in terms of "odd" spices. it's just really tasty comfort food.

          2. If they're mostly used to Korean food, I'd try thinking in terms of dishes that'll make the most sense to them:

            Big chigae fans? How about a steaming bowl of pozole or menudo?

            If they like seafood or sushi how about throwing back oysters and civiche tostadas with cold beer?

            I'd guess they'd enjoy dishes like that before the usual enchilada combo platter at the typical "chips-n-salsa" joints.

            They need their "gateway" meal. :)

            1 Reply
            1. re: yrpoison

              I agree with yrpoison. Need to ease them into the experience. Start with margaritas. Stick with seafood or beef fajitas, ceviche, etc., but stay away from cheesy dishes or refried beans -- too foreign. Or just order an appetizer sampler platter so all can experiment without too much commitment. A place that appeals to gringos is your best bet. El Cholo might actually be a good "gateway" restaurant.