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Jun 12, 2008 09:18 PM

Loteria burrito and hypes

I've been meaning to try Loteria at Farmers market for years because of all the raving posts I read here years ago. Never got around to it until today. Ordered the shredded beef burrito.

Wow it was bad! One of the worst burritos I've ever had. Very salty and bland seasoned beef. Mushy white rice. Tiny traces of avocado, picante salsa mashed up and everything distributed unevenly. I don't think it was an off day. This is just crappy Mexican. There was no "Mexican aroma" in the food. Also very mediocre salsas. And like 9 bucks.

In the early 80s taco trucks started appearing in my neighborhood - 8th & Normandie. There was one truck using chopped cabbages as filler and they were surprisingly awesome and I fell in love(can I still find them anywhere?) Anyways I devoted part of my life looking for good tacos/burritos and today I failed.

Lives up to hype:
King taco
La Taquiza
El Taco Nazo
Grand Central Market
Chitchen Itza

Titos tacos
Carnitas michocan on broadway

geographic pattern possibly gives explanations

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  1. Yes, except for 1 or 2 Oaxacan places, there is nothing notable west of Western Ave in Los Angeles that I would go out of my way for Mexican food

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ernie

      The one thing that I find great at Loteria is the carnitas in morita. Chunks of pork topped with a slightly smoky, spicy red sauce and sliced avocado. Wrapped in warm tortillas, this is one of my favourite Mexican dishes.

    2. Ordering a beef burrito at Loteria is like ordering the cheeseburger at a Chinese restaurant.

      Loteria is delicious in every way, and you can't beat the Farmer's Market for a fun setting and people watching. Like Wolfgang, I highly recommend the carnitas en salsa morita. The pozole is delicious, and you can get many well-prepared stewed meats here like cochnita pibil. Order the probiditas to get a real idea of what makes Loteria special.

      2 Replies
      1. re: BrunoB

        Agree on the, "Got the wrong thing"...when I read the post I was thinking, "Loteria has burritos?". Tacos man, it is all about the tacos! I really like those potatoes with peppers too....and they put it in a taco, yum. Big plate of tacos and a pitcher of beer and people watching makes for a great day. Sorry you didnt like it....I think Mexican food is like music in that everyone has their style/taste. Just ask a Texan who has better Mexican food...can inspire a fist fight, the whole LA vs Texas...

        1. re: bubbles4me

          I 3rd the "wrong thing" at Loteria.I went for breakfast and had the huevos rancheros with the papas con rajas and some deliciously smoky black beans and was completely satisfied.Enough with the burritos already.

      2. I'm really surprised about Carnitas Michoacan falling under NOT. What didn't work for you?

        1. I've never been to Loteria but if it's at the Farmers market I wouldn't expect to get anything worthy at a tourist trap. The fact they charged you 9 bucks for a burrtio is laughable.

          I have a saying for my friends trying to find good mexican food in LA....stay on the trail.
          The trail is usually Carnitas, Carne Asada, Al pastor, Lengua, or Cabeza.

          Off the trail is shredded beef and chicken.

          I think there are some cultural differences of the C-hounders as well which make for the wide array of mexican food reviews.

          Putting Titos Tacos in same category as a a taco truck or a La Fonda is like apple and oranges.

          I would consider Titos more road food then your typical LA taqueria.

          1 Reply
          1. re: burntwater

            Ha - love the "off the trail" term, but would only qualify that machaca (shredded beef, either w/ egg or peppers) is certainly "on", though yeah, chicken that's not mole, guisado or a la brasa in these parts is certainly taking a big risk on authentic-ness (grilled chicken burrito, etc.). Everyone has their own list of L.A. Mexican don'ts, but mine includes anything that resembles a cheeseburger (ground beef, lettuce, yellow cheese).

            But back to the OP, I didn't know Loteria had burritos either, but ordering one there is sort of missing the point. I think of Loteria as striving for something other than the overstuffed L.A. burrito, so have never gotten it. Mole tacos (chicken), fried plantains with natilla, and a fresh fruit drink and I'm a happy man. Expect to pay a few bucks more, but we're really taking about a $5 difference vs. any other Mexican stand for the same stuff, so I just, er, eat it.

          2. I'm with you on the Loteria-is-overrated wagon. The flavors have always struck me as muted and simplistic. If you've never eaten Mexican food east of La Brea, then Loteria will seem like the pinnacle of autheticity. If you're from the side of town where lots of Mexican people actually live and eat, you'll find that Loteria is just the emperor's new sombrero.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Woolsey

              Some of their stuff is good but it's just way overpriced. Like Frida, major ripoff.