Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Nov 26, 2001 08:27 PM

mexican food

  • d

suggestions wanted for authentic mexican in the la area. or directions to a recent thread. thanks!


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Senor Fish is the best chain around for authentic Mexican. There is one downtown and one in South Pasadena. P.S. I used to work at Variety, up until shortly before Cahners bought it. Glad to know another foodie has taken my place there! Enjoy.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Jean

      maybe i caught the place on a bad month...but senior fish is horrible...i went to the downtown location and ordered a shrimp burrito and 2 fish tacos to share....and they were both unedible...the problem was that the tortilla on the burrito was soggy, no wet....and the fish was rubbery and greasy...i sent the tacos back and got new ones..and the same thing happend....the original sr fish on broadway was great... in past ive had a decent meal at the downtown but i wont go the one in south pas better??? am i going crazy?? or is this to be expected from a once great stand that decided to expand and lost Q/C???? is there a category for great fast food seafood???? bye bye

      1. re: icarus

        Maybe the name has changed, I don't know, but the one I've always had good luck at is on Colorado Blvd. in Eagle Rock. (Senor Frog's?)
        Also, try La Cabanita in Montrose (just north of Glendale), great imaginative, sort of nouveau Mexican.

        1. re: Patty

          The one in Eagle Rock changed hands -- it is no longer Senor Fish but Senor Fresh. It's kinda cute, you can tell where they painted over the "i" to make an "re." The food is good but not as good as it used to be, I think. I agree that the original Senor Fish, which was actually on Figueroa at Avenue 52, I believe, was tops. The one in South Pasadena is always good, I find, especially for breakfast, but that's coming from someone who likes the downtown location too. And I agree, La Cabinita is superbo, particularly for the mole.

          1. re: Patty

            Drove by the Eagle Rock location today and it is once again Senor Fish! They have hung a banner covering the "Fresh" with "Fish". I have always had good luck at Senor Fish with the camarones in butter and garlic sauce, and with the caramel french toast at breakfast -- a fabulous pillow of doughy bread stuffed with caramel, pecans, and, I think, bananas, unless I'm confusing that with banana pancakes.

            1. re: Jean

              what's the exact address for the senor fish in eagle rock. and is it open for breakfast everyday? the caramel french toast sounds really good.

              1. re: kevin

                The Eagle Rock Senor Fish is on Eagle Rock Boulevard, but I can't remember the exact cross street. It is a few blocks south of Colorado, on the northwest corner. Since it only recently reverted back to Senor Fish from Senor Fresh, I have not actually eaten there for a while. The Senor Fish in nearby South Pasadena definitely serves breakfast, though, at least on the weekends. It is on Mission right across from the Trader Joe's.

      2. Here is a link to a recent discussion about Mexican breakfasts, but all of the places mentioned serve dinner as well, and all of them would be interesting choices.

        Also there is the oldest Mexican food restaurant in LA, El Cholo. Some say it has slipped, but it is still a place worth considering. I like the original restaurant location on Western, just south of Wilshire Blvd. You can google search a phone and address with no problem.


        7 Replies
        1. re: Mike Kilgore


          I've eaten at both locations recently, and the food seemed better to my wife and I at the Wilshire location. Is your preference for the Western location due to the atmosphere, food, or something else?


          1. re: RussellH

            I found it more Mexican and less Americanized than the SM location. But some people like the other way round better. There is no substitute for differences in taste to make the world of food, art and marriage a more interesting and satisfying place.

            1. re: Mike Kilgore

              Mike, thanks for the info. I must have just hit the Western location on a bad night. The difference wasn't really about Mexican vs. American, but about tasty vs. I don't think I need to come back here.

              That being said, try taking your wife for lunch to the cafe at Bergamot Station. Then you get a 3 for 1 food - art - marriage! What could be better?


              1. re: RussellH

                Russell, What have you tried at the Bergamot Cafe? Do they mostly do lunch type items? We haven't been, but if they are open on Sunday's we would be up for a visit.

                1. re: Mike Kilgore


                  I ashamed to admit I don't remember, but I don't remember. They had sandwich/salad/soup items and my party tried serveral, everything was pretty good. They are only open Mon - Sat though, as most galleries are closed on Sundays.


          2. re: Mike Kilgore

            Bliss is El Chollo plain nachos with plenty of jalapenos and your favorite libation. Just had the best ever shrimp fajitas at El Chollo in La Habra Heights. The Western Avenue or La Habra Heights are the only El Chollo's worthing going to. The new Pasadena location, which I believe was formerly the English Pub where the Doo Dah Parade was conceived it not worth the trip. It seems to always be packed, and the only meal I had there was carnitas, which was my first experience with carnitas, and based on that experience may be my last.

            1. re: Mike Kilgore

              i like yucas, el taurino, marielas on sunset,third st. marielas always takes forever and i actually think the quality at the sunset location is better. i also like going to manuels even though the food is not always great. border grill is good but i can never afford it.

            2. Asking for Mexican food in LA is like asking for Italian food in New Jersey or Chinese food in San Francisco - it's WAY too wide a field. Nevertheless, here are some suggestions.

              If you want the sit-down type of Mexican, go to El Cholo which is on Western. Another possibility is the El Cholo on Wilshire & 11th in Santa Monica though it's not quite the same vibe. Yet another is Lare's (Pico & 29th in Santa Monica, do yourself a favour and don't park north of Pico).

              If you just want tacos, brave the line at Tito's Tacos (Washington Pl. & Sepulveda, Culver City) or go to Carnitas Michoacán (Victory & Coldwater Cyn., N. Hollywood, they have other locations) or Taquería Chihuahua at Olympic & 20th, Santa Monica.

              For the best tortas, you want Tortas de México, Foothill & Pennsylvania, La Crescenta.

              For the best tacos de pescado estilo Ensenada (fish tacos) you want to go to El Taco Nazo, Garvey about two blocks east of Rosemead in South El Monte.

              The best licuados (Mexican shakes) can be had at Bronco, Moorpark & Woodman in Sherman Oaks.

              Some say the best burritos are at Campos Famous Tacos, a branch of which is at Olympic & Barrington in West LA.

              For molé and other Oaxacan food, go to Guelaguetza at Palms & Sepulveda in Rancho Park or there is a place which name I can NOT remember which is next to Cafe 50's, Santa Monica & Federal, West LA.

              2 Replies
              1. re: PRSMDave

                Or El Chollo in La Habra Heights. Just had the best shrimp fajitas I have ever tasted there yesterday.

                1. re: PRSMDave
                  Fish Taco Girl

                  El Taco Nazo has the best tacos ever!! There are tons of Taco Nazo's everywhere try the one in Azusa North bound on Azusa Ave. If you like the one on Garvy you'll love this one!

                2. I'm new to this site, but plan to check in regularly.

                  I live in the Silverlake area and suggest you try Alegria on Sunset Blvd in the mini mall next to Milli's. The best Mex in my area. They are also BYOB.
                  We also love Guelaugetza? on 8th St or their new one on Olympic.
                  For upscale food/$$$ try the Border Grill in Santa Monica or Pasadena.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Grog

                    what kind of dishes are good to get at Alegria?

                    1. re: kevin

                      Everything! Breakfast and dinner are great. Try the carne asada plate, burritos, salads. I usually get one of the specials--sorry I can't remember the spanish names. The mole is also real good. Try typing in "Alegria in Los Angeles" in the search on the home page. You should find some recommendation. Remmeber to bring some cerveza!

                      1. re: Grog

                        I heartily agree--Alegria is fabulous---the Tacos Dorados with potatoes and cheese are especially good. HOWEVER, I must caution those going to go EARLY. Has anyone else had problems with the service??? I have had terrible service everytime there is more than 4 tables occupied, and since it is popular, that is pretty often. It is really frustrating because the foods is sooooo good. Mostly I order TO GO since I live nearby----so save yourself the trouble and try to hit it before 7 PM!!!!

                  2. I have to reccomend Border Grill, run by the Two Hot Tamales of FoodTV fame. How authentic? I dunno, but I do know that the lamb tacos are sublime and they make real Margaritas, without the b.s. mix that even most of the so-called better Mexican restaurants use.

                    For chains, you can't beat Que Pasa. Various (but not many), locations around town. There's one on Sunset in West Hollywood and another on Cahuenga in the SFV.

                    I like the previously mentioned tacqueria in Culver City, but I think the gold standard this side of East Los Angeles is in the Grand Central market. I don't even know its name but it's the stall against the south wall near the east side of the place. It's the one with the long line that sells all kinds of tacos and tortas. The lamb and the goat are amazing.

                    Finally, if your feeling really adventurous, a couple of weeks ago I read a review in the L.A. Times of a place downtown that sells barbacoa starting early in the morning and packs them in all day long. It's called El Taurino, on S. Hoover. It's open from 8:30 a.m. until two in the morning. You might go to the L.A. Times website to read the review. Sounds interesting.