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Famous Tamale Place in LA

Every year just before Christmas, the local news channels show a small tamale shop with people waiting in line down the block and around the corner. So I guess they must be good. I think you have to call in your order ahead of time. Anyone know the place I'm talking about. By the time it's on TV it's too late to order.

TIA
Richard

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  1. Could be Lilliana's, Juanitos or Los Cinco Puntos

    1 Reply
    1. re: Burger Boy

      Thanks, BB. I'm thinking it might be Juanito's in EastLA.

    2. I've seen those broadcasts and I'm pretty sure it's Mama's Hot Tamales near Macarthur Park/downtown area.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Sugar Jones

        Mamas is relatively new, the last 4 or 5 years, i believe, the other three have been around for 30 years or more each and are famous for thier tamales in the ELA community.

      2. La Indiana?

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        La Indiana Tamales
        1142 S Indiana St, Los Angeles, CA 90023

        1 Reply
        1. re: cjla

          I knew I was forgetting some place!

        2. I try to never watch the local news so I'm not sure to which shop you're referring, but I can recommend La Mascota Bakery in Boyle Heights - I buy their masa every year for my tamales and can attest to the long lines this time of year. Well worth it.

          http://www.lamascotabakery.com/

          My MIL was born and raised in East Los and has been frequenting this bakery since she was a kid. Their masa is the best I've ever had - I live in the valley, prepared masa can be found at a thousand markets around here, but none tastes like La Mascota.

          2 Replies
          1. re: jencounter

            Thanks for the help everyone. I went to the KCBS-TV website and did a little searching and found a reference to a Dec 2006 report featuring Juanitos. Of course, I imagine if I saw KNBC or KABC it was probably different.

            1. re: jencounter

              I knew I was forgetting 2 places.........LOL I have had the chile and cheese here and love them. I think you can not go wrong with any of these, it is just a personal preference.

            2. Yeah i think its Juanitos i heard there really good

              1 Reply
              1. re: chef2chef

                Juanito's is much better than Mom's on Pasadena Avenue which someone rec'd the other day. I bought a half dozen at Juanito's and on my way home decided to eat in and try Mom's.....no comparison. The masa at Mom's seems kind of dry and kind of stingy on the filling. At Juanito's one tamale is a meal for me.

              2. I went on a personal quest for LA's best tamales a couple of years ago and researched all the top-rated, most-talked-about spots. After an exhaustive trek around town, I came up with 2 definitive Tamale Champions (and yes, I tried them all...Lilliana's, Mom's, Juanito's, you name it).

                For best pork tamales, that honor went to TAMALE MAN (3320 N. Eastern Ave. 323-221-5954) in El Sereno. Moist, meat-filled goodness. Perfect filling-to-masa ratio and they're HUGE.

                The best chicken tamales were found at LA MASCOTA BAKERY (2725 Whittier Blvd, 323-263-5513) in East LA. Simply fantastic. The mole-type filling is just like mom (my mom, not Mom's Tamales) used to make. La Mascota also had the best cheese and rajas tamales and here's a great tip: unlike other tamaleros, La Mascota does NOT add lard to their masa making the cheese and rajas tamales truly vegetarian. Your veggie friends will be doing backflips. Oh, and yes, the closer you get to Christmas, the longer the line at La Mascota.

                I'm hungry now.