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Lennoxico tour w/pics

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Ever been to Lennox? I've stopped there over the years wandering back from LAX looking for restaurants and had eaten at a few spots, surprised at the dense Latino population that has grown there over the years, mostly Mexican and Central-American.

The stretch of Inglewood Bl. between Century Bl. and 111th St. is a residential neighborhood zoned for business, so there are houses that have been converted to restaurants and other Latino owned businesses.So, I took the metro to the Hawthorne station for a taste of Lennoxico.

Lennox Pollo is a serious pollos rostizados joint, and although I didn't eat there, the chicken looked and smelled wonderful.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/15437927...

La Feria reminds me of a tourist restaurant in Mexico, with a menu all over the map with seafood to carnes.Caldo michi,cocteles,pescado zarandeado,carne asada a la Tampiquena, and Southwestern fajitas, nachos, and combo plates.Mariachis regularly perform at this family restaurant with a nice ambience.This place could be in the Zona Dorada in Mazatlan! It's a place for the locals to celebrate birthdays,etc.Didn't dine here either, but it was nice to see this type of place, very oddly located on Inglewood Bl, in LA.

Don Rogelio's Tex Mex restaurant has been on my list for a while.An authentic Tex Mex place in LA not affliated with a ridiculous chain, or some other poor version of the substantial Tex-Mex cuisine .Don Rogelio's sits about 50 yards back from the street amidst a few vibrantly colored country houses, a little bit of Los Olivos in Lennox, despite the planes flying over every 5 minutes.Yes, Don Rogelio's is in a flight path.What caught my eye this day was the fabulous looking and smelling cocido being prepared.WHen cocido is done right it might be the only thing on the menu for me, when done wrong it's just a tedious beef stew, an irksome addition to the card.Don Rogelio's cocido is beautiful.

Don Rogelio's
http://www.flickr.com/photos/15437927...

Cocido
http://www.flickr.com/photos/15437927...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/15437927...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/15437927...

Dine in Don Rogelio's country garden, surrounded by a Latino candle shop, barber shop, market, and fountains with cords running along the grass.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/15437927...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/15437927...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/15437927...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/15437927...

The cocido has huge Texas sized vegetables and tasted delicious.Along with some tortillas and the chorus of low flying planes, pure heaven on Earth.Their menu has barbacoa,lengua chile verde, enchiladas, Tex-Mex menudo, Southwestern mole, caldo de pollo, and guisados, to name a few.All recipes are from la senora, a true Tex-Mex transplant to Lennox.

Mariscos Chente is run by a family from Los Mochis specializing in Sinaloan seafood.I enjoyed a nice taco de marlin here, and will be back armed with a 6 of Pacifico's.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/15437927...

I had some good food here a few years ago at Angelica's homey little joint, which is like a comida economica with Mexican and Salvadorean antojitos and platos.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/15437927...

There are other places to eat, street vendors, and a panoply of beauty salons located in peoples houses.

These restaurants are great, the kind that I wish were in my neighborhood.I can't wait to get back to try some more of Mariscos Chente, Lennox Pollo, and Don Rogelio's. I love LA.

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  1. The cocido looks very, very good. You have a bunch of links to photos in your post, but they all show the same pic's (as far as I can see). It looks like one link would have covered all of your photos. Is that right?

    9 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      You want an adventure? Next time, go after dark. This street (Inglewood Avenue, by the way, not Boulevard - totally different street) has long been one of my hidden stashes of Mexican food.

      There are two taco trucks that set up at night, around 6pm to midnight ish. One sets up alongside Lennox Pollo (corner of Inglewood Ave & Lennox Blvd). This is the better of the two trucks, IMO. The first time I went, I noticed they hung coils of dry chorizo (as opposed to the really loose, wet style) in the truck's window. I figure any business that hangs their food in front of your face like that (think Cantonese BBQ restaurant here) must take some pride in that thing. So I got the chorizo taco and damn if it wasn't some of the best chorizo I've ever had. Not too greasy, crispy, a little bit of char. Jeez, can't think of the name of the truck, but look on this corner.

      There's a second truck a few block north (closer to Century), a more gaudily lighted one called Taco Dolar. Both trucks charge a buck for their tacos. There's usually more people at this one, perhaps they get more turnover, but the food's not quite as well done. It's set up next to an empty lot that turns into an illicit night market where Spanish language CD's and pirated DVD's are sold.

      You know what? I just realized I haven't been here since the city cracked down on taco trucks. I can't say with certainty that they're still there. But just in case...

      1. re: Professor Salt

        Ha, I knew I wasn't alone.Yes, Inglewood Ave., thanks for the correction.Glad to know another food thrill seeker is out there.I will take your advice and go back at night, and on the metro even.

        1. re: streetgourmetla

          Yeah, just can't promise you what's happened since the taco truck ban. Please do report back!

        2. re: Professor Salt

          I don't think there's cause for worry - the current taco truck bans are up only for unincorporated parts of LA - which covers much of what we call East LA, but not Lennox. Yet. So you're probably in the black for now.

          1. re: Thi N.

            Nice. Since you're our in house expert on this stuff, can you keep us updated on the local truck developments?

            1. re: Professor Salt

              I saw the Taco Dollar truck sitting across from Don Rogelio's last weekend. After "streetgourmetla's" original post I decided to hit Don Rogelio's again. I found the place about a year ago and met the owner who is a lady from Texas. I believe her name is Viola and another time I talked to her son who is a contractor and is gradually making improvements to the place. They're U.S. born so their english is impeccable. Usually I see a sweet faced hispanic gal or a rather elegant looking hispanic guy at the counter. They don't speak much english, but they are as nice as can be. The first time I went I got a burrito which is served wet. Viola apologized for it taking a while because they made the tortilla fresh. No reason to apologize! They make a nice burrito. Actually they also make several other things for breakfast like chilaquiles, but I've never ordered them. I usually drink a jamaica with my meals.

            2. re: Thi N.

              Unfortunately unless there's been some annexation in recent years, Lennox is unincorporated LA County sandwiched :-) in between Inglewood and Hawthorne.

              To the OP, do you have a current address for Mariscos Chente? The LACO health dept. doesn't list one in this immediate area. TIA!

              -----
              Don Rogelio
              10618 S Inglewood Ave, Lennox, CA 90304

              La Feria
              10903 S Inglewood Ave, Inglewood, CA 90304

              Lennox Pollo
              10822 S Inglewood Ave, Inglewood, CA 90304

              1. re: DiveFan

                Mariscos "Chente"
                10020 Inglewood Ave.
                Lennox, CA 90304

                Had to dig through the overstuffed shoebox for this one!

                What is most intriguing about this place is the menu of Culichi(people from Sinaloa) specialties:aguachile,camarones al ajillo,camarones costa azul(bacon wrapped shrimp),camarones chipotle, camarones culichi,filete empapelado,pescado dorado,etc.
                These are serious Sinaloense dishes, I mean, one doesn't just put camarones Culichi on their menu unless they mean business and are from Sinaloa.I've been traveling throughout the Sinaloa state every couple of months or so on business for the past 6 years and have tried so many mariscos places in LA claiming the Sinaloense style, and they always just talk the talk.They put down the improper Mexican seafood accompaniments of Mexican rice and refritos with everything, have more non-seafood items on their menus than seafood,have a non-Sinaloense cook make a few bad versions of Sinaloan signature plates,or overload their menus with lame cocteles using inferior seafood bought at El Super.

                I enjoyed my taco de marlin, but will be going back to delve into Mariscos Chentes menu.I have my fingers crossed.

              2. re: Thi N.

                Another topic with some local references:
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/502086

                -----
                Unnamed taco truck
                Inglewood Ave and Lennox Blvd, Lennox, CA

          2. Thanks streetgourmetla,

            Agreed w/ Servorg, that Cocido looks delicious! :)

            1 Reply
            1. re: exilekiss

              Thanks Exilekiss, I think I'm going for the mariscos tomorrow afternoon.I will have to look away and plug my nose when I pass Don Rogelio's, which will surely have that cocido roaring by that time.

            2. We have a very close relationship with Dolores Huerta Elementry School... I have yet to enter a class there that wasn't over 90% Latino... :)

              But still, it never occurred me to scope out the chow scene... thanks for the great leads! :D

              --Dommy!

              3 Replies
              1. re: Dommy

                I have to check this out, soon, very soon. I never heard of Lennoxico before. Sounds great!! Thanks for sharing!

                1. re: Dommy

                  Was your 90% guess just based on observation?If so, I'm impressed because the stats I found online put Lennox at about 90% Latino, combining all the Latino groups in town.

                  Next time have a bite and send your report.

                  1. re: streetgourmetla

                    Actually, it was strictly observation... but just double checked with my official numbers and it's 92% for the total, and the kid number would actually naturally be higher...

                    Yeah, people are always suprised at how Latino "Inglewood" is (They have the best Gigante in the region!!!). But again, after a DISASTEROUS visit to LAX tacos and not being impressed by the Taco Trucks around the area durring the day... I kinda wrote the area off...

                    --Dommy!

                2. OK, so I went back to Mariscos Chente, and Wow!! Just to qualify my statement, I am a Sinaloense fan through and through, and a frequent chowhounder in the Sinaloan state.Most passable mariscos joints in LA are Sinaloense, in menu at least, and up 'til now I have been on a quest for a decent place that had A)a true Mexican mariscos cuisine of pure seafood B)a real Sinaloense menu, not just a couple of dishes, and C) the flavors and sensibilities of Sinaloa.And, Mariscos Chente has made my wish come true.

                  I ordered camarones Culichi, the comfortable and rich crema de poblana sauce over shrimp that is a Sinaloan specialty and was brought right back to the flavors of Las Palmas in Culiacan.Unbelievable, and served with only a white coastal rice and cucumbers, no beans, or french fries to ruin the balance.

                  This place pnly has mariscos, no milanesas, carne asada, or fajitas to play to the non-seafood, or tourist class of diner.The menu is filled with Culichi favorites like camarones borrachos, chicharron de pescado(yum!!!),pescado zarandeado, and camarones El Ajillo.This is the real deal folks, and gets my vote for the only true authentic Mexican regional seafood restaurant in LA. A completely humble establishment with delicious, authentic, and homestyle Sinaloan seafood.

                  They will be opening the main restaurant at 4532 South Centinela where there was a fire some time ago.The owner Sergio Penuelas and his wife will be moving to the new location and keeping the Lennox address as well, but they will cooking at the Centinela restaurant.Sergio said that they will be doing the pescados zarandeados(can't wait) at the new restaurant, which is more spacious and set up to cook whole fish.

                  For now you can see Sergio at his Lennox location.I will post when they have officially start in the new spot.I will put this restaurant on Eat Nopal's best Mexican restaurant heavyweights list.

                  If you go, let Sergio know that "el saxofonista de Marisela me mando" (Marisela's sax player sent me) Ask Sergio to make you something puro Culichi! He will have beer at the new restaurant but for now it's BYOB.I brought my Pacifico's, from the great Culichi city of Mazatlan.Viva Mariscos Chente!!!!!

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: streetgourmetla

                    Thanks for the report streetgourmetla! :)

                    Did Sergio give you an ETA on when they were opening up their Centinela restaurant? Or if you find out, please let us know. Thanks.

                    1. re: exilekiss

                      Is that where Mariscos Estilo Nayarit is now?

                      1. re: Servorg

                        Yes, Mariscos Estilo Nayarit is Mariscos Chente.

                        1. re: streetgourmetla

                          I thought it sounded familiar! I have been a couple of times. To be honest, I'm no expert in Mariscos restaurants, so I wasn't too impressed... will have to give a shot again...

                          --Dommy!

                          1. re: Dommy

                            Well, you are an expert in Mexican cuisine, especially of the Yucatan.And, you know, the key to having the right experience is in what you order.

                            Sinaloans are the sushi masters of Mexico.Their raw shrimp, scallop, and fish preparations are a combination of fresh catch from the Sea of Cortez, and the skilled knives of Sinaloenses.The little puestos in Sinaloa that turn out magical tostadas of camaron crudo, the aguachiles, maleficios, and botanas of fresh scallop with lime and soya are amazing.Mariscos Chente can't go there due to the lack of affordable, and quality seafood.He could shop where the Water Grill shops, but thats not going to fly in Lennox with the local clientele.$20 for ceviche de camaron? No manches!

                            But, Chente does many Sinaloan shrimp dishes such as camarones culichi, camarones borrachos, al ajillo,al chipotle, costa azul, chicharron de pescado,and filete empanizado.They also due limited raw presentations like the aguachile and the ceviche de pescado.

                            The chef cooks home style, and puro Sinaloense.Try some of those dishes, and his zarandeado at the new location.Camarones Culichi is a comfort food that is very simple, but you will not find it on any menus in LA.Let me know if you do and I will make the trek.I'm sure you know a bunch of Yucateco dishes that are so common in Merida that no Yucateco restaurant here even thinks of doing.

                            Great botanas of callo, camaron, and lobino, whole fish dinners, and a variety of quality classic dishes will come when the Angelenos, both Mexican and Non-Mexican alike, stop ordering shrimp cocteles,ceviche from a Vallarta market trough, campechanas, and mojarra frita all the time at mariscos restaurants.

                            1. re: streetgourmetla

                              Great! I think I had the Mojo de Ajo which I always tend to find disapointing because the Yucatecan version is so different... I'll hve to try the Culichi!

                              --Dommy!

                              1. re: Dommy

                                Dommy -
                                Could you explain how the Yucatec version is different?
                                Sincerly your comida yucateca student,
                                alex

                                1. re: kare_raisu

                                  In the Yucatecan Version, the Ajo is ground with oil and sour orange into more of a paste. Then cooked all together, so it kinda coats the shrimp. It's a favorite of Marisco stands in the coastal towns of the Yucatan...

                                  --Dommy!

                  2. Camarones Culichi at Mariscos Chente.
                    http://www.flickr.com/photos/15437927...

                    luscious Culichi sauce up close and personal
                    http://www.flickr.com/photos/15437927...

                    1. Lennoxico crawl with Abby and the Pleasure Palate!!

                      On Labor Day I was fortunate enough to spend the afternoon and early evening with Abby's Pleasure Palate for a restaurant crawl through the city of Lennox, a place I have affectionately called Lennoxico for it's strong Mexican-American and Central-American presence. We made it to four restaurants for a feast of regional Mexican food with a Mexican-American cuisine thrown in as well. Pleasure Palate always brings out a fantastic group of diners and epicurean adventurers, and last night was no exception.Nine of us met up to embark on a tour of an under the radar restaurant mecca full of surprizes.

                      Lennox Pollo
                      Our first mission was to hit Lennox Pollo to sample the rottiserie chicken specialty from Mexico. As a PP member pointed out, Lennox Pollo is pretty easy to spot with its mural of floating rotisserie chickens painted on its bright yellow exterior wall.Inside, the hard working duo of Tonio and Angel prepped, ran the rotisserie monitoring with vigilance, and handled the business of pollo commerce. Lennox is not accustomed to outsiders, people in line asked us what we were doing taking pictures.When I asked Angel if it was OK to shoot he referred me to Tonio with incredulity. They didn't know why we wanted pictures and couldn't think of a good enough reason why not, so they acquiesced. When told of the huge internet stardom forthcoming they smiled and let us have the run of the place.

                      Lennox Pollo's sabor comes from the state of Guerrero in Mexico. We got the special for $9.99, two whole birds with tortillas and salsa. You can also purchase sides of rice, beans, or macaroni salad from this little homey shack of chicken paradise.There's just enough room in the place for the line of clients, and you may sweat from the heat of the rotisseries.

                      Don Rogelio's was kind enough to let us eat the chicken in their outdoor dining area while we awaited our Tex-Mex feast, so we were off. The flavor of the tender birds was transendant, and as good or better than my best pollos rostizados experiences in Mexico.No salsa or tortillas needed, but you can't argue with such a delectable tradition.

                      Don Rogelio's
                      For our Tex-Mex tasting, the accomodating staff at Don Rogelio's brought us their best offerings. Cocido, lengua, barbacoa, carnitas in mole, and chile verde.Rice, beans, homemade tortillas, and some real homemade guacamole joined the cast of delicious entrees. I was already an enthusiast of DR's cocido, so no surprize that I love it; my other favorites were the lengua and the chile verde. Tex-Mex cuisine is all about the sauces. The lengua was cooked in a ranchera sauce, so tender it could be cut with a fork and the sauce was superb. The chile verde resonated with the natural flavors of tomatillo and braised then stewed pork, no canned green chile sauce here. I enjoyed everything else except for the carnitas in mole, which just didn't work. The barbacoa had a mild sweetness that while simplistic, was enjoyable. All that with a little Tex-Mex hospitality thrown in.It was not a bad start to our crawl.

                      Mariscos Chente
                      We opted for Mariscos Chente for our third stop since belts were becoming tight and some of us were about to hit the wall, and we didn't want to miss this opportunity to have some Mexican seafood. Our 4th destination would be saved for the optional encounter. Chef Sergio, his wife Angie, and owner Magdalena(Angie's mother) are wonderful people. Magdalena, from Nayarit gets her shrimp directly from Mazatlan, and Angie makes a great hostess and waitress. Sergio is a Sinaloan chef from Los Mochis, Sinaloa.The seafood of southern Sinaloa, and northern Nayarit share dishes, cooking techniques, and traditions. Nayarit borders Sinaloa to the south, but as Angie says, one minute you are in Sinaloa and the next Nayarit.

                      I had to have our group try the iconic aguachile and the Sinaloan camarones Culichi, but I left the rest up to Angie. Our degustacion included the aguachile, camarones Culichi, camarones a la pimienta, chicharron de pescado, and camarones checos. I will do Mariscos Chente proper witha separate post, but this was outstanding. We were wowed by this amazing Nayarit/Sinaloa wealth of culinary dishes. I am a partisan when it comes to Mexican seafood especially the state of Sinaloa, not easily impressed, and Mariscos Chente has swept me away. We even enjoyed the coastal rice.

                      Angelica's
                      Not sure if we would make this one, I didn't give the lone employee Gabby much time to prepare for our visit. We lost one of the original nine here, as our menu discussion unraveled his composure."OK, I'm out" he said, as he surged from the prone position and walked out. This was quite a lot of chow even for us diehards. Luckily for Gabby, we would only order a mole verde from Puebla, and trocitos en salsa roja(beef in red sauce) with some homemade tortillas. Angelica's is a D.F. style comida economica which also serves El Salvadorean antojitos to oblige the Salvadorenos of Lennox, so one of our remaining eight tried their first pupusas. Gabby deftly made pupusas, and tortillas(excellent)made to order while preparing the mole verde and trocitos.She apologized for taking so long as all eight of were served within about 15 minutes? I think Gabby could show Rachel Ray what can really be done in 30 minutes or less. The mole verde was excellent and a first for me.I've only had mole verde from Oaxaca and mole poblano from Puebla before. The trocitos en salsa roja tasted just like your Mexican grandmother makes.I know, I have a Mexican grandmother.Angelica's is home cooking featuring guisados, sopes, pambazos(forgot we tried these too), meats stewed in complex salsas, and other platos tipicos. The mole verde is the find here, though, as well as Gabby.

                      end notes
                      We spotted the Taco Dollar truck parked next to a throng of locals as we were leaving Angelica's for those that had mentioned the taco trucks.We wanted to but just couldn't eat another bite, but it smelled great, had a huge crowd, and seemed to be a festive scene. Teenage boys showing off for the girls, familes perusing the pirate DVD aisles for the latest, and tacos being gobbled down to the sounds of Los Tucanes de Tijuana.All afternoon and evening we were stared at with wonder.A group of people walking in our neighborhood speaking english?Are they tourists, here in Lennox? We were asked if we were from out of town at one point. Besides that, it was a relaxing evening walking and eating like kings in a very family neighborhood, a Latino neighborhood, and a place worthy of being a new food destination.

                      I would like to thank Abby for putting this together, and can't wait for her write up.Cecilia, Lisa, Dao,Mike, Jeff, Tom ,Barb, thanks so much for your daring enthusiam, excellent palates, and jovial company in this Lennoxico trip. I really enjoyed our dining together. So, was I exagerrating about the low flying planes?

                      Pics to come!

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: streetgourmetla

                        Hi streetgourmetla,

                        Nice report! After your initial report I wanted to visit Lennox already, but after this new report I'll have to go as soon as possible. Thanks. :)

                        1. re: exilekiss

                          Exilekiss, I hope you make it out there soon, too.Here's a little inspiration:

                          Lennox Pollo
                          http://www.flickr.com/photos/15437927...
                          http://www.flickr.com/photos/15437927...

                          Don Rogelio
                          Lengua ranchera
                          http://www.flickr.com/photos/15437927...

                          Angelica's Restaurant
                          http://www.flickr.com/photos/15437927...
                          Trocitos en salsa roja and mole verde from Puebla
                          http://www.flickr.com/photos/15437927...

                          Mariscos Chente
                          aguachile
                          http://www.flickr.com/photos/15437927...
                          camarones a la pimienta
                          http://www.flickr.com/photos/15437927...

                          provecho!

                          1. re: streetgourmetla

                            I REALLY shouldn't look at your pics this late, now I'm salivating like Pavlov's dog.....

                            -----
                            Mariscos Chente
                            10020 Inglewood Ave, Lennox, CA 90304

                            Mariscos Chente
                            4532 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                            Angelica's
                            10533 S Inglewood Ave, Inglewood, CA 90304

                            1. re: streetgourmetla

                              Hi streetgourmetla,

                              Thanks for the great pics! It all looks outstanding. :) Can't wait to go.

                        2. A few weeks ago we went to the Lennox location of Mariscos Chente, and man was it delicious. The place itself is pretty much dive-y, but the service was super friendly and the food was excellent. I had the whole fried fish, and it was perfectly seasoned and crispy. My dining companions also said their entrees were great. They didn't have much in the way of beer, but somehow the Tecate was perfect for the meal and hit the spot.

                          I'm going to have to try the Centinela location now.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Faulkner99

                            Awesome.I go to the liquor store across the street and get Pacificos to stay on theme,but Tecates do just fine.I haven't checked in with them lately, is the Centinela location open yet?Last I talked with the owners they were bogged down in inspection hell.

                            1. re: streetgourmetla

                              I happened to drive past the Centinela location a few nights ago, and it looked closed.

                          2. Went here with a group today,Mariscos Chente was incredible as always, and their chicharron de pescado was even better than before.Looks like they may be in their new location by next week, so I will be checking back.

                            Angelica's got a fresh coat of paint, a brilliant yellow now, and they are still crankin' out the delicious mole.Viola, the owner of Don Rogelio's came over and said hello, apparently tha place used to be a motel and she still owns all the buildings.

                            And, Lennoxico just gained another restaurant, Pollo Grande, a pupuseria and pollo rostizado Salvadoreno.They have a full Salvadorean menu and some Mexican food, a trend in this neighborhood.Looked nice inside.

                            Taco Dollar was already humming when we left, a friend tried the chorizo taco and liked it, I only had room for a small taste, and concurred.It's a tacos varios truck, with al pastor fried on the grill, not on the spit, but tacos are a dollar.Popular with the hood.