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Good burritos in LA?

  • g

I recently moved from San Francisco, which is filled with great burritos. I've noticed LA has good mexican food but generally not good burritos. The fast food place Chipotles has tried to replicate the experience, such as picking your fillings as it's being made, but it's just not the same. Can anyone familiar with San Francisco style burritos recommend anything good?

Thanks!

GF

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  1. Not quite sure what SF-style means. But if you are in the Valley, try El Jerezano on Hazeltine just south of Oxnard in Van Nuys. Excellent burritos. Van Nuys style.

    1. I also do not now what a SF style burrito is, however, you might want to try El Tepeyec. I used to enjoy the chile colorado burrito at Margarita Jones, across from USC on Figueroa St in L.A.

      1. A discussion here a while back sent me to a place on Hollywood just east of Vermont, right at the point where Hollywood starts to angle toward the southeast. It's on the south side of the street. The carne asada burrito there is the best I've had in Los Angeles. (Lengua, however, was not quite stellar.) I'm sorry I can't recall the name right now. Casa Diaz?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Stan

          Could you be thinking of Dos Burritos in the Jon's shopping center? The shopping center is on the corner of Hollywood and Vermont, however it's the southwest corner.

          I had a good burrito there about six weeks ago, and relatively cheap.

          1. re: Stan

            Could you be thinking of the carne asada burritos at Yuca on Hillhurst? If not, give em a try.

          2. Used to live in S.F. too. There are no burritos here that come close to La Taqueria (my favorite)or the other great S.F. burrito places. I have searched high & low & tried them all!

            1. For a memorable burrito experience (or a truly epic torta cubana experience), try El Gallo Giro. There's a plethora of meat options, which they stew themselves (and some of which you wouldn't discuss in polite company), REAL refried beans, Mexican white cheese, tortillas made on the spot, etc. They also have a juice bar.

              There's one in East LA, one in El Monte, one in Santa Ana, and probably a couple others I haven't yet been to.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Bradbury

                I perhaps should have added: it's a great and hearty and soulful burrito, but perhaps not "SF style" if you were really looking for the sour cream, guacamole, etc. It seems the further up the coast one gets from Baja, the more ingredients show up in a burrito.... I'm not sure I want to know what's in a Vancouver burrito ...

                1. re: Bradbury

                  "It seems the further up the coast one gets from Baja, the more ingredients show up in a burrito.... I'm not sure I want to know what's in a Vancouver burrito ..."

                  Great analysis.

              2. You might want to check out this previous thread discussing burrito's.

                Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                1. Ok, I'll bite - what is a "San Francisco style" burrito???

                  15 Replies
                  1. re: felix

                    Everyone seems to be curious what I mean by SF style burritos, and that is a good question. Overall, SF burritos have more ingredients in them compared to LA burritos, there are more options for what to put in them, the quality of the ingredients is very high, and the experience of ordering them is totally different.

                    When you order a burrito in SF, you choose your ingredients as it's being made. The first thing they ask is, "What kind of beans?" You usually have 4 choices - pino, refried, black, or refried black. The great thing about this is you can get crazy and order half refried, half pinto, or other combinations depending how wet/dry you like your burrito. Then you choose your meat, and there are many, many choices. There are all the usual suspects, plus more unconventional things like fajita-style, tofu, etc. The meats are spicy, charbroiled, and high quality. Then you add rice (which seems to be better tasting than LA places), salsa choices, cheese, sour cream and guac. (I've noticed the typical LA burrito has rice, beans, and meat, and usually that's it. Begging for the other stuff can get you a strange look in response). Then of course there is the fantastic salsa/hot sauce bar.

                    More than anything burritos in SF are a way of life. If you walk the mission there are burritos places everywhere, along with long lines, as they are the #1 cheap food option of most everyone in the city. Of course I will not find that here, but I'm wondering if anything comes close. If anyone is curious to experience the SF burrito but doesn't want to drive that far, check out Chipotles -- the chain place that tries to copy the experience. It's okay, not terrible, but not great.

                    1. re: George

                      You'd probably be happy with the burritos at Baja Bud's. There's one on the corner of Sepulveda and National.

                      1. re: George

                        If you like grilled meats (not much selection beyond beef and chicken, though) and fresh guacamole, sour cream and lettuce on your burrito, you'll probably like the burritos at Baja Bud's. There's one at the corner of Sepulveda and National.

                        1. re: George

                          Yes, the classic Mission Burrito. It is nowhere to be found in LA, that I know of. The fresh-mex chains (Poquito Mas and Baja Fresh are better than La Salsa) make a similar style burrito but it pales in comparison to the burritos you can get pretty much anywhere in SF. LA Burritos tend to be more the style of burritos you get in Mexico. A normal sized flour tortilla filled with a stewed meat and salsa. No rice, no quac., no sour cream. A different deal all together.

                          1. re: SKU

                            "A normal sized flour tortilla filled with a stewed meat and salsa. No rice, no quac., no sour cream. A different deal all together."

                            Ohhhhh, you mean "authentic."

                            1. re: Joe B.

                              Precisely. Though don't get me wrong, a good Mission burrito can be delicious, it's just different.

                            2. re: SKU

                              I had Poquito Mas on Sunset in West Hollywood just this last week. I got the carne asada tostada. My husband got the carne asada burrito and our friend got the chicken tostada.

                              I used to love that place, but this meal SUCKED. The carne asada was burnt, not charred, BURNT, which made the burrito and carne asada tostada inedible.

                              Far from being stuffed with all that's promised on the menu, the carne asada burrito was about an inch thick. The only thing that was good about it was the tortilla.

                              And of course, the salsa, which I will always love. The garnishes did live up to the promise of freshness, but again, the burnt carne asada destroyed the meal.

                              Our friend who ordered the chicken tostada ate less than a third of it.

                              It's a real shame because I used to love the Poquito Mas on Westwood.

                            3. re: George
                              m
                              Michael Robertson Moore

                              Once upon a time (ca. 1994) on the Upper West Side of Manhattan there was a restaurant advertising "San Francisco Mission-style Mexican food", burritos a speciality.

                              Obviously the word got out somewhere along the line.

                              1. re: Michael Robertson Moore

                                That's Benny's Burritos, in the East Village, which touts "San Francisco-style burritos" and has a "Mission burrito" on their menu.

                                But considering the bad reputation that Mexican food in New York has, I've wondered how the place called New York Burrito in Costa Mesa has managed to stay in business as long as it has.

                                One other distinguishing factor of "San Francisco-style" burritos that hasn't been mentioned is that the tortilla is usually steamed instead of grilled, giving it a rather sticky, glutinous texture to hold the mass of fillings together.

                                1. re: Chris G.
                                  m
                                  Michael Robertson Moore

                                  Didn't realize Benny's advertised SF origins. The one I was thinking of was neither Benny's nor its uptown cousin Bertha's, but some now-forgotten place.

                              2. re: George

                                How 'bout them SF Giants?

                                1. re: George

                                  I has a burrito at Chipotles in Marina Del Rey last week and was not impressed. I like the burritos at Baja Fresh much better.

                                  1. re: Norm

                                    Chipotle is owned by McDonald's. Is it any wonder?

                                    1. re: mc michael

                                      And the division of McDonalds that supplies the milk shake mix is a member of OPEC.

                                  2. re: George

                                    when i lived in sf many many years ago, i lived on the burritos at el faro mexicatessan in the mission,,is it still open? they even used to take food stamps

                                2. Whatever you do, avoid the "Pregnant Burrito" at El Nopal on National in Palms. I have been wondering about it for months, so I finally gave in last night and got a couple for me and my wife. They were horrendous. Like you, I prefer a burrito filled with a variety of fresh, flavorful ingredients--and I couldn't care less how inauthentic said burrito is, all you LA burrito-heads out there. This monstrosity came literally swimming in an insipid brown sauce. It contained very tender, flavorful chicken (which was totally overwhelmed by the sauce), avocado and onions. The tortilla had the texture of chicken-skin. The side order of salsa was salty and acrid. I ate everything. There was much gnashing of teeth and cursing of the Gods that night.

                                  1. Whatever you do, avoid the "Pregnant Burrito" at El Nopal on National in Palms. I have been wondering about it for months, so I finally gave in last night and got a couple for me and my wife. They were horrendous. Like you, I prefer a burrito filled with a variety of fresh, flavorful ingredients--and I couldn't care less how inauthentic said burrito is, all you LA burrito-heads out there. This monstrosity came literally swimming in an insipid brown sauce. It contained very tender, flavorful chicken (which was totally overwhelmed by the sauce), avocado and onions. The tortilla had the texture of chicken-skin. The side order of salsa was salty and acrid. I ate everything. There was much gnashing of teeth and cursing of the Gods that night.

                                    1. l
                                      lunchwagon@yahoo.com

                                      I've never had the so-called SF/Mission burrito, but am gonna be up in Frisco next weekend, and I'd love to try a couple. Can you recommend a place, and your favorite combo?

                                      David

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: lunchwagon@yahoo.com
                                        m
                                        Melanie Wong

                                        Here's a link to a pretty comprehensive discussion of the usual suspects.

                                        Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                                      2. Casita Taco - Burbank, North Hollywood, Universal City. Wonderfully marinated carne and pollo asado burritos (and other dishes). My favorite in L.A.
                                        The Gran Burrito in East Hollywood is also pretty good. It's kinda like The Hat for burritos - don't know about authentic, but cheap, ample and tasty.

                                        1. SF burritos sound like Del Taco burritos with all that gooey stuff, e.g., sour cream, rice, tofu(?!) in them. So thankfully, I can't recommend a place in LA that sells SF-style beyond Del Taco and Taco Bell.

                                          If you like to actually taste the charbroiled meat and subtle smokiness of well prepared frijoles, might I offer a favorite of mine in East LA (near border of Montebello). All salsas made fresh daily.

                                          Taco Village
                                          3501 W. Beverly Boulevard
                                          Montebello, CA 90640
                                          (323) 722-9758

                                          1. m
                                            Mr. Drummond

                                            unbelievable. No one seems to get the El Farolito
                                            experience. It's 2:10am and you've been kicked out
                                            of Gino & Carlo's in North Beach -- head spinning,
                                            giggling like a school girl, and the stomach is warning
                                            you what the hangover may be like. Onward. You fumble for cab
                                            fare and come up with $3.85. Rats. So where else will
                                            have you? How can you spend the last of the money you got hocking cd's? Hmmm. A walk to the Mission is what you need to ease the spins and work up an appetite.
                                            Walking by way of the Broadway tunnel, you plug your nose and sing mock-opera at the top of your lungs --
                                            laughing at the echos mixing with car horns and your
                                            friends impromptu B.A. Down Market St. you pipe down so the drunk Trannies don't grab you. Weave down to the smells of Heaven hoping you won't be heavin'. Get in line at 24th and Mission with the Puma wearing
                                            millionaires 'cause the Mission burrito is being served. A grill sporting a zoo full of meat. Giant tortillas resembling pizza crusts. Make up your mind quick 'cause Jorge can't wait all morning. The dapper shoe selling guy snoozes in the back booth. You ask for salsa and chips to stem the gnawing and keep down the booze. Praying for the people in front of you to
                                            get fed up with the line and go home. Now's your chance! Chicken or Asada or even Head meat! pile on the beans (negro y pinto?) rice and hot, mild or medio
                                            salsa. Your stupid antics slow as you bite into the sopping wet burrito while sitting upright in the yellow plastic booths. Go late nights to Echo Park and
                                            try the re-create the above. Ask your Balladeer next time your at Barragan's. Seek and you shall find.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Mr. Drummond

                                              No offense, but if you want a stark scene you could walk thru the Midnight Mission area in LA before heading to Grand Central Market for tacos, gorditas, burritos. Great assortments of nuts at other vendors, too.

                                            2. Take it from a person who has lived in the Westside before Sam Yorty was Mayor of LA, and whose family goes back to the late 1800s - you've obviously never been to the Westside if you think no working class Mexicans live here. Our "touristy/transplant part of LA" was founded by the Lopez, Machado, Higuera and Talamantes families back in the late 1700s. I grew up with the Garcia, Machado, Delgado, Camacho, Gutierrez and Griego families, just to name a few.

                                              The Westside doesn't have the breadth of Mexican eateries like the Eastside, but our strengths lie in the diversity of food that is available in LA. And let me name my regular stops for Mexican food that I greatly enjoy or enjoyed while they were around:

                                              Gallego's
                                              Taqueria/Carneceria Sanchez
                                              Monte Alban
                                              La Isla Bonita taco truck
                                              La Oaxaquena taco truck
                                              Tacos de Valle taco truck
                                              Sabor a Mexico (now moved to Midtown)

                                              It's a short list, but all are very respectable for what they do. And why you feel the need to slam a part of town that you obviously know little about is beyond me. It's about the food here - not downing a part of town that has some of the cleanest air and one of the most diverse populations in LA.

                                              8 Replies
                                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                                Diverse yes, Mexican majority no

                                                Some places to start, but none of these are near the 405/10 interchange:
                                                Lupe's
                                                Al & Bea's
                                                J&S
                                                Taco Village
                                                Mexi-catessan
                                                King Taco/El Taurino
                                                Manny's El Loco
                                                Tacos Baja Ensenada
                                                El Tepeyac
                                                El Merendero
                                                El Taco Nazo
                                                La Azteca
                                                Taco Ready
                                                And just about any taco truck on Huntington Rd/Mission Rd in El Sereno . . .

                                                1. re: Ernie

                                                  Great list for me to work on. I've been to a couple of those - El Tepeyac (tacos con machaca) after trips to Evergreen Cemetary, and (tacos con pescado at) Tacos Baja Ensenada, as well as some of the eateries/delis/taco trucks on and around York in Highland Park. Burritos are usually not what I order when I'm out that way - they take up too much room (especially at El Tepeyac) in my gut, thereby not allowing me a more diverse sampling. But I will definitely make the effort next time.

                                                  What would be your top 3 on that list, and what burrito(s) would you reccommend?

                                                  1. re: bulavinaka

                                                    Mexi-catessan for basic bean & cheese burritos
                                                    Taco Village for carne asada burritos
                                                    Manny's El Loco for their El Loco (chile relleno, steak picado, and beans) or machaca

                                                    Now I'm starving and going crazy for one of these!

                                                    1. re: Ernie

                                                      Mi madre, the El Loco sounds like my next trip to the Eastside... Is that the one on Pomona?

                                                      1. re: Ernie

                                                        After reading so many of Ernie's posts re. Mexi-catessan in Monterey Park, I finally tried it yesterday with a friend. We had the carne asada tacos and the taquitos especial. The service was very friendly, and the food was very good. For three tacos and one order of taquitos (piled high with guacamole, lettuce, cheese and sour cream), we paid about $12. Delicious food for a reasonable price...I really enjoyed it. Thanks Ernie and Chowhound. I will try the burritos next time. My only complaint is that the space inside is very small, and it's quite hot these days, so you may want to order to go. :)

                                                        1. re: katkoupai

                                                          i go to mexicatessan all the time(avg of once a week) and 90% of the time i get their all meat red chili burritos or red chili plate which comes with rice/beans and salad.
                                                          their green chili(pork) is very hot! half/half burritos is good too!
                                                          but you need to try the red chili

                                                          1. re: katkoupai

                                                            katkoupai - next time you go to mexicatsessan...do yourself a favor and get their all meat red chili burritos!
                                                            i must go there at least 25+ times a year and i get either red chili plate or burritos 90% of the time.

                                                            1. re: rickym13

                                                              Hi, Ricky. I will try this next time. Thanks for the suggestion. :-)

                                                  2. I lived in West L.A. for four years, ending last June. I lived near the intersection of Bundy and Santa Monica Blvd (within walking distance of Monte Alban).

                                                    There is certainly a huge Hispanic/immigrant population in that neighborhood. Brockton primary school is now primarily Hispanic, as is University High School, so there are a lot of good cheap Mexican food places around.

                                                    El Super Taco on the NE corner of Brockton & Santa Monica in West LA might satisfy your cravings. It's an off-spring of a successful taco truck. It's very clean, the people are very nice, and most of the time the meat is not grisly. I loved the salsa bar, especially the pureed habenero. It's VERY cheap.

                                                    Anyway, I only had a burrito in S.F.'s mission district once decades ago, but I do think that there are good burritos in West L.A./ Santa Monica.

                                                    How about Gilbert's El Indio? It's sit-down border Mex but I love border Mex:

                                                    Gilberts El Indio (CASH ONLY)
                                                    2526 Pico Blvd (x 25th Street)
                                                    Santa Monica, CA 90405-1829
                                                    Phone: (310) 450-8057

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: ValleyGal

                                                      Thanks valleygal. I'm a fan of the super burrito at El Super Taco, though their meat sometimes leaves a little something to be desired. I'm also disappointed they don't have whole beans. Haven't tried Gilbert's but it's on the list of Mexican places to try.

                                                    2. Of any kind? Then the Barbacoa Burrito at Gallegos in Mar Vista and the Shrimp Burrrito at Carneceria Sanchez on Inglewood in Culver City. As someone who was REALLY apprehensive about Westside Mexican food, both of these made me happy to be there..

                                                      But Mission Burritos they are not... (gracia de dios!)

                                                      --Dommy!

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Dommy

                                                        The barbacoa burrito at Gallegos has been on my radar for some time but I haven't tried it. I'm not a big shrimp burrito guy. How's the asada, al pastor, or (dare I say it in LA) the chicken? BTW, I'm going to start a post on the Boston board to find your relative some tortillas in Cambridge!

                                                        ETA: For Dommy!

                                                        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/527745

                                                        1. re: a_and_w

                                                          Gallegos is more of a Cocina Economica in style. I would not count on them having El Pastor or decent Asada (Since they do not have a grill). But great Tamales, Fresh Tortilla Chips (Best in L.A. I think) and good guisados (Hence the Barbacoa.

                                                          And you are a doll! My Uncle's Fellowship is over and now he's knee deep in setting up the Mexican American Museum near Olvera Street where he's reveling in Luz del Dia's fresh Tortillas. I seriously was scoffing about the lack of Tortillas, until we went to the local Stop and Shop and saw the Tortillas there were all dry and mealy looking and shipped all the way from New Jersey!! Aye! Poor Tio!! We would have sent him Tamales too if I trusted my local Fed Ex man... LOL!

                                                          --Dommy!

                                                      2. My preferences

                                                        King Taco - All meat carne asada or al pastor
                                                        Alerto's - carne asada burrito w/sour cream
                                                        --> That's ALERTOS, with 2 locations on brookhurst in fountain valley

                                                        15 Replies
                                                        1. re: ns1

                                                          Thanks ns1 -- I'm familiar with King Taco but not Alerto's. Any recs of places further West or North?

                                                          1. re: a_and_w

                                                            Honestly I haven't eaten a burrito in a few years. I'm too into taco's at the moment ;)

                                                            1. re: ns1

                                                              I'm a burrito addict, so abstaining is not an option. But I'm totally into LA tacos, too!

                                                              1. re: a_and_w

                                                                1. barbacoa burrito at gallego's.
                                                                2. carne asada burrito with avocado at the rose avenue truck between 3rd and 4th in venice.

                                                                1. re: Wolfgang

                                                                  Tried a carne asada burrito with avocado at the Rose Ave taco truck. It was very good, but not what I'd call great. The asada was toothsome without being chewy (that's good) and I liked the small size and the use of whole pinto beans. I was also pleased to see pico de gallo, which is often missing on LA burritos. As usual, my main complaint was structural integrity. This burrito just wasn't very carefully rolled and had no exterior wrapping (e.g., foil or paper) and fell apart midway through. On a related note, I didn't like that the tortilla was cold (as opposed to grilled or steamed). I also usually like rice, crema, and cheese on my burritos, but didn't see those options.

                                                                  Bottom line, I think you can get a better version of the same burrito at Taco Plus and Eduardo's, both of which charbroil their asada. But I would probably go back to the Rose Ave truck to try the al pastor in taco form.

                                                                  1. re: a_and_w

                                                                    Cream and Cheese are going to be hard to come by in Burritos, especially street burritos. In our tradition, Burritos like Tamales were meant to be 'lunch' foods portable and to be eaten 'later' (I never bought food in Disneyland until I was 20 years old and I went at least once a year since I was 3 years old... LOL!), so my Ama NEVER put crema in burritos because it was a bit sketchy.

                                                                    You'll have better luck at sit down restaurant places, but don't be too surprised if you get a 'look'.

                                                                    --Dommy!

                                                                2. re: a_and_w

                                                                  Have you had a green chili or a bean & cheese burrito at AL & Beas? There is something very good about these. I think they put some kind of brooth or spoonfull of something in jthere ust before folding it into a burrito -- not sure, but whatever they got it sends the final product over the top.

                                                                  AL & Beas Mexican Food
                                                                  2025 East 1st Street
                                                                  Los Angeles, California 90033
                                                                  (323) 267-8810

                                                                  1. re: JeetJet

                                                                    Wolfgang: Barbacoa at Gallegos is on the list of places to try. Is the truck the Cemitas truck in front of Smart & Final?

                                                                    Jeet: Nope, but thanks for the tip! Can you describe the ingredients a bit more? Also, are we talking a burrito you can eat with your hands? Just curious...

                                                                    1. re: a_and_w

                                                                      I think wolfgang is talking about a different truck than the one you mention. He actually gave very precise directions, it turns out. The truck you are thinking of is further south (I think). Down by Baby Blues BBQ or something like that?

                                                                      I think a carnitas burrito from the truck Wolfgang suggests would be great. I rarely eat burritos (Not to be a purist. I just can't commit to that much of one type of meat or salsa. I like to dress the taco al gusto and I prefer the flavor of corn tortillas to flour and I prefer the tortilla to meat ratio of a taco much more) but they have some very nice carnitas there.

                                                                      1. re: a_and_w

                                                                        As Frommtron says, different truck. I haven't tried the Lincoln truck yet. The Rose truck was not there two Sundays ago around 6p. I don't know if it's absent all day Sunday or leaves its post in the evening.

                                                                        1. re: Wolfgang

                                                                          Sorry for the confusion. Come to think of it, the place I'm thinking of is much further east on Venice in Culver City -- I can't remember the exact cross street. It has "Cemitas Poblanas" on the sign, and I hear the cemitas are amazing. But I can't seem to get past the tacos, which are among the best I've had on the west side. Two al pastor and one asada, both with avocado...delish. Anyway, I'm going to try to hit Wolfgang's truck for a burrito in the very near future.

                                                                          PS: To clarify, do you know if the truck you're referring to is there on weekdays?

                                                                        2. re: a_and_w

                                                                          AL & Beas green chili burrito is filled with a couple of big scoops of a stew-like green chili from a large pot which has been cooking slowly for a long time. It is not a simple one-two-three, we are done. This burrito is made with the same attention Nana gave her home cooked food. This is a family run place.

                                                                          I first learn about AL & Beas from a glass worker who I hired to build a vanity. We were talking burritos because I bought him lunch while he was working on my home. I asked if he had a good place for a burrito and he mentioned AL & Beas. He said he lived in East L.A. all his life and this is the most popular place around for a burrito. He added that a good burrito is hard to find. He told me that if I go I would see lots of different people there. I think he was referring to the long line of people dressed like construction workers, office workers from downtown, suits from City Hall, Sheriff’s, locals, Street crews – you got the picture. After eating there twice I thought I had a great find for the board. Then I did a search and found it is an old well known and well love place. I had the green chili first and the bean & cheese the second time. Very good.

                                                                          1. re: JeetJet

                                                                            funny that you mention that you will see all kinds of different people there....one time i saw oscar de la hoya in line to get his burrito there

                                                                            1. re: JeetJet

                                                                              Thanks so much for this rec! I LOVE Chile Verde... this was THE Burrito filling of my youth! My favorite thus far is Toney's in Pasadena.

                                                                              --Dommy!

                                                                          2. re: JeetJet

                                                                            i second a & b green chili burritos. they are the best. their combo is not too shabby either

                                                                  2. i would have to disagree with a post. i have been eating at el nopal for literally all my life (35 years) and always come back. they have some of the hottest salsa and it delish. all the food is good and fresh. there is a reason mexican restruants call it gringo style with all the sauce and cheese on it.

                                                                    1. started a similar post, far more recently, but for the record - you wont get what you are looking for. stick with tacos or fly up to SF - the alternative(as im sure you have realized from this post) is a waste of time.

                                                                      1. Ok, this one is a stretch and anyone who has ever had a craving for a burrito at 2 or 3 am in the Valley. You need to check out El Indio on the North West block of Roscoe and Balboa. They make 'em spicy 24 hrs a day and there is a huge variety of meats. Speaking of it just makes my mouth water.

                                                                        1. Gilberts/El Indio in Santa Monica or is it West LA (Pico at 26th). The Super Special Burrito is one of the best burritos around.

                                                                            1. I agree with Ernie, SF burritos DO sound like Del Taco revisited!. Or perhaps even more like those from Chipotle. Those at El Tepeyac are (IMHO) just big, with not much else to recommend them. What surprises me is that I didn't notice any mention of Burrito King, at the NW corner of Sunset and Alvarado in L.A.. This may be the last of (unless the one on Hyperion is still open) what used to be a great chain of Los Angeles burrito places. TRY IT. It's unquestionably and by far the best burritos I've ever had. Be sure to try the ones with Machaca (similar to Ropa Vieja) and Chorizo, although ALL ARE GOOD!

                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                              1. re: bagdoodle

                                                                                I live down the street and have been here 3 times. Each was not memorable. Much better burritos at Taco Zone up the street (WAY less grease than burrito king). Even better burrito's at king taco. Just my opinion.

                                                                                1. re: ns1

                                                                                  Taco Zone Suadero burrito is awesome. Burrito King is gross.

                                                                                  1. re: blackbookali

                                                                                    I've had both and it boils down to this..

                                                                                    If I feel like being unhealthy = king taco; if I feel like being healthy = taco zone

                                                                                2. re: bagdoodle

                                                                                  Been following this thread and must say that it has been good reading! I am finally adding my 2 cents.
                                                                                  I agree with A & W that LA is not a great burrito town. Tacos whole different story. Those who have posted about how SF Mission style burritos are just bad and wrong have obviously not had the burrito that A & W and know of , as they are not gummy and lettuce filled steamed tortilla messes! If you think this is what a mission style burrito is than you have obviously not had the best that SF has to offer!
                                                                                  Also agree that it boils down to "why look for something in LA that you found and loved in another city". Yes, I admit It took me awhile to figure that one out..
                                                                                  One main difference for me seems to be finding burritos with whole beans vs. refried, it just how I prefer them..
                                                                                  I have had some of the "good LA burrito" recs from this thread and none have done it for me... i.e.. Tepeyac, Algeria, Taco Loco, Burrito King, Gilbert's El Indio, King Taco ( IMHO overated), and yes even El Taurino...
                                                                                  Look forwarding to trying Al & Beas (been on list of go to for awhile) and Gallegos among others listed here and I have noted, that are found both EAST and WEST as my folk are now/ have been everywhere around here for awhile now!

                                                                                  1. re: LaLa Eat

                                                                                    I order one burrito at Gallego's - the barbacoa, and I order it neat with just a little cheese. You may be a little disappointed when you see this burrito hit the counter as it may seem a little runway modelish in build compared to the typical broader shouldered beasts. Don't let its relative slightness fool you though. It is very beefy and satisfying. I'll probably get struck by lightning for mentioning Tito's in the same sentence along with Gallego's, but if you've ever had the "100% steer" beef burrito ordered in the same way from Tito's and liked it, then you will find Gallego's version to be far more refined in flavor and quality. You'd be surprised how many homies like Tito's beef - it's similar to a Chile Colorado, but visions of home in mom's kitchen stir in their souls when they bite into the barbacoa at Gallego's.

                                                                                    Gallego's can be a little thrifty on their chips, or maybe I should rephrase this and say that they have some of the best chips on the Westside, so I always feel the need for more. Get an extra bag with some of their nice salsas to snack on at home....

                                                                                3. Try Alegria on Sunset over in Silverlake, they have black beans, they get all crazy with the vegetables, but can make taco/burrito purists happy as well.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: dithernot

                                                                                    I've become a big fan of Alegria. I'll be the first to say I'm not a huge fan of authentic Mexican lardy burritos. From my point of view, LA has worse burritos than quite a few cities around the country. But Alegria has huge flavorful burritos with high quality ingredients, and is altogether a big step above what you'd expect.

                                                                                    That said, I do not believe that you can find good Mission-style burritos in LA. Maybe try Gallegos in Venice?

                                                                                    1. re: aventinus

                                                                                      Hey, George.
                                                                                      I live on the ELA/Montebello border. I lived in the SF/Bay area for 10 years. It's just a different scene for Mexican food down here. I enjoyed taking BART to the 16th? and Mission stop and getting off for a tofu burrito with molcajete salsa and whole black beans or a barbacoa burrito with 10-15 ingredients inside. My favorite, and it's only because I grew up in East LA, is Uncle Robby's in Montebello, now called Juan Great Fiesta. They have a double wrap burrito that comes close to what I got in NorCal, and it's definitely good. Follow the advice on the rest of the board. Go to Tacos Baja Ensenada for some great fish tacos, to Babita for great refined Mexican fare, and to El Farolito in Orange County for downhome Mexican grub. But if you want a good SF burrito experience that is not chain based, go back to SF. I'm going to the Bay Area in August with my new bride and introducing her to Pancho Villa.

                                                                                  2. i know it's pointless for me to post something on a retired restaurant, but this place called Tia Juana in WLA had the BEST burritos. the owners retired last year. I cried for days.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: lifeinla

                                                                                      my top burritos:

                                                                                      al & beas green chili cheese burritos
                                                                                      al & beas combo burritos
                                                                                      mexicatessan all meat red chili burritos
                                                                                      el loco's - el loco burritos

                                                                                      1. re: rickym13

                                                                                        What's with all the El Nopal haters?

                                                                                        I'm squarely with FeedTheBelly on this one; been eating there since 1990. I used to live around the corner, moved to the Valley, and I still go there as often as possible.

                                                                                        That said, I only eat ONE THING on their menu: the carne asada burrito (I think it's #26 or #28 on the menu). Best I've ever had. I've had hundreds of these things, and the consistency of quality is astounding. I have never been disappointed in 18 years of faithful patronage. The most exceptional, flavorful, mouth-watering asada I've ever had the priviledge of mouthing.

                                                                                        Their salsa is in a universe of its own; as with all homemade salsas, you never know from one day to the next how spicy-hot it'll be. I've had my lungs scorched by El Nopals pungent, tangy, somewhat vinegary salsa on more than one occasion. LOVE THE STUFF.

                                                                                        Their chips are, sadly, lacking. They seem either from a bag or fried too long, not greasy enough. They are simply a vehicle for the salsa.

                                                                                        I'd tried a couple of items from the menu in my early days of patronage -- the "Pregnant Burrito" is, indeed, a strange, not-so-wonderful thing; "that's not sour cream!". It didn't work for me.

                                                                                        In fact, nothing there -- other than the carne asada burrito and the heavenly salsa -- shakes my moneymaker, sad to say.

                                                                                        But that burrito is, in and of itself, is my Holy Grail.

                                                                                        Gotta try an SF "mission" burrito next time I find myself traipsing thru those busy streets....I always end up eating Chinese or Italian or American cuisine...love that town! For a visit, anyway...

                                                                                        -cb-

                                                                                    2. You know, I too am from the Bay Area, and have been trying to find THAT burrito, but have long given up. I have fallen in love with tacos down here, which are clearly head and shoulders above the tacos in the Bay. But every once in a while I get a burrito craving, and the one thing that really bothers me about LA burritos (most atleast), is their almost NEVER wrapped in foil (essential in a Mission burrito), and they usually fall apart. Making it essentially nachos with pieces of tortilla.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: mdpilam

                                                                                        I think Chipotle has the closest thing to SF burritos.