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The battle to end all battles: Las Fuentes vs. Pacos's Tacos

f
feedthebelly Jun 9, 2008 05:11 PM

I used to literally work next door to Las Fuentes (in the valley on vanowen/reseda i beleive). The food there was great. Super salsa bar and the food was always delicious.

Moved back to LA and now go to Paco's Tacos (both locations) all the time. The fresh tortillas cant be beat, food is great, and service is always very nice.

I would actually have to lean towards Las Fuentes if i had to choose.

Chowhounds..your experiences or preferences?

  1. Eat_Nopal Jun 9, 2008 05:23 PM

    Paco's Tacos is mediocre.... I lean towards Las Fuentes without knowing anything about it.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Eat_Nopal
      monkuboy Jun 10, 2008 12:03 PM

      I've only eaten at Paco's once but I agree with you. The food was a big sloppy mess on the plate and not very tasty either.. I pick Las Fuentes by default.

      1. re: monkuboy
        Eat_Nopal Jun 10, 2008 12:28 PM

        Yeah... Paco's is a place for Yelp.. not for Chowhound.

        1. re: Eat_Nopal
          monkuboy Jun 10, 2008 01:05 PM

          Actually I've eaten there twice.. first time to find out why there was always a crowd waiting to get in and then 2nd time to see if maybe I missed something the first time. Both times were very disappointing.

        2. re: monkuboy
          j
          jack1234 Sep 27, 2009 07:54 AM

          i think monkuboy would agree with me that a 1960s titos taco would be the clear winner...post 1960s of coarse LF hands down down....

      2. m
        mar52 Jun 9, 2008 09:33 PM

        I live in Marina del Rey near Paco's.

        I'd drive to Reseda for some of Las Fuentes Salsa Negra in a heart beat.

        Hands down, Las Fuentes!

        3 Replies
        1. re: mar52
          WildSwede Jun 10, 2008 08:52 AM

          Grew up near Las Fuentes when it was teensy-tiny and Melodies was a Taco Bell. Las Fuentes will always take my vote. Burrito de Bistek Encebollado rocks!!

          1. re: WildSwede
            f
            feedthebelly Jun 10, 2008 10:51 AM

            yeah..i remember when melodies was a taco bell too. what is that place. i have never been in it. and how about the avocado salsa at las fuentes. cant be beat

            1. re: feedthebelly
              WildSwede Jun 11, 2008 07:29 AM

              Melodies is owned by the same people that own Las Fuentes. Many of the same items, but not nearly as extensive as the LF one. Also, they don't have the avocado salsa that I would swim in, if I could get enough!! ;-) But there is less of a crowd at Melodies.

        2. n
          ns1 Jun 10, 2008 11:14 AM

          hm I drive by this place all the time and never thought to go in (Las Fuentes). What's good?

          3 Replies
          1. re: ns1
            f
            feedthebelly Jun 10, 2008 11:56 AM

            everything is good. i ususally get the chx burritto with guac/mal leche (sour cream). hit up the salsa bar for outstanding stuff. honestlly..really really good and mexican food is my fav.

            1. re: ns1
              d
              debra Jun 10, 2008 05:47 PM

              I'm a big fan of their tortas, any kind. It's the perfect mix for me. I think they really excel in their meats -- asada, carnitas, pastor... When I want mexican, Las Fuentes is my go to place. Tortas, tacos, burritos, taquitos... Love it!

              1. re: ns1
                WildSwede Jun 11, 2008 07:30 AM

                Burrito de Bistek Encebollado is fantastic. I also like their nachos (it has an enchilada-type mild red sauce and cheese on it - really good. Breakfasts are good as well. AVOCADO SALSA!!

              2. Eat_Nopal Jun 11, 2008 08:51 AM

                Threads like this remind me that L.A's Mexican offering still has such a long way to go.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Eat_Nopal
                  f
                  feedthebelly Jun 11, 2008 10:14 AM

                  are you a big el nopal fan? is that what your moniker is? what mexican places on the westside can you recommend?

                  1. re: feedthebelly
                    Eat_Nopal Jun 11, 2008 10:38 AM

                    No.... Eat_Nopal = Eat Cactus..... its a mandate!

                    Its been a couple of years since I moved away from Mar Vista so I am not sure of all the new developments (i.e., Sabor a Mexico)... the places that excite me are board favorites Monte Alban (Barbaco Taco, Nopales, Bean Paste, Chilacayote Agua Fresca, Sopa Azteca, Mole Negro & Rojo etc.,), Guelagetza (Mole Verde with Espinazo, Costillas Enchiladas), Tacomiendo (Chile Relleno, Adobado Tacos, Escabeche, Jugos), Taqueria Sanchez (Lomo Taco, Nopales Gordita), Pepe's Tacos (Costillas en Salsa, Caldo de Res)...

                    In terms of straight tacos & burritos.... there is nothing on the Westside that I think is really, really Chowhound worthy (perhaps Loteria Grill depending on the line cooks will nail the Mushroom, Huitlacoche or Rajas tacos etc.,).... but there isn't much in Taquerias that really compares to say East L.A. or Tijuana...

                    Places like El Nopal, Juanitas, Paco's Tacos etc., do a couple of things well.... but definitely not worthy of mentioning on Chowhound.... their menus are more informed by the El Cholo - El Torito - Taco Bell axis of evil that co-opted & definied people's expectations for a Mexican menu... and are not at all represented of what people eat in Mexico or of restaurants in Mexico.... on top of that they are generally sloppy & kitchy...

                    1. re: Eat_Nopal
                      f
                      feedthebelly Jun 11, 2008 03:20 PM

                      now thats an explanation. thank you

                      your previous entry made it onto eater.com congrats

                      1. re: feedthebelly
                        Eat_Nopal Jun 26, 2008 12:36 AM

                        Thanks any time. I should explain that Monte Alban & Guelagetza etc., are not out of this world either... the cooking is pretty average for Oaxacan... I am not sure either is good enough to stay in business in Oaxaca but I do give them props because they have done such a good job of bringing their roots, being true to their regional specialties... taking some risks in the process... grasshoppers, pork spine "ribs", and blood sausage in generally tame West L.A... and that is worth applauding. And I think that is what makes them Chow worthy (and honestly the food is very edible if not spectacular)

                        I know some people will come back with an argument that Pacos Tacos is Jalisco cooking etc.,... I say bull. I know Jalisco well... Pacos menu isn't typical of any restaurant in Jalisco that I can think of.

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