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Montebello, California good eats

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  • Mariela Mar 10, 2004 09:15 AM
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Can anyone recommend a restaurant in Montebello that serves reasonably priced good Mexican food in a casual atmosphere? Also, are there any areas to be avoided in Montebello? I am also trying to get a general view on the town as far as crime, gangs, etc. Thanks.

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  1. Montebello overall is pretty safe with exception to the South section which they call the "Montebello Projects" and is home to the SSM (Southside Montebello gang)......
    There is also a small Armenian population which mostly reside in the Northern area of Montebello...which also include members of AP (Armenian Pride gang)......
    It has never been a great food destination for me although there are a few places that fit your request such as El Rey Azteca on Whittier & Concourse (I think) - but with it's close proximity to East L.A. proper you will find a number of great places......Just do a search on the board.....

    1. Taco Village in Montebello is one of the few places where I like the carne asada. The meat is nicely lean yet flavorful. It is a very casual place, more like a taco stand than a restaurant. They have good tacos and burritos and a great salsa bar. If you order a burrito (my favorite is the meat, beans, and cheese), fill it up with fresh salsas of your choice and then hand it back to the cook who will wrap it up expertly for you.

      Taco Village
      3501 West Beverly Boulevard
      Montebello, CA 90640

      16 Replies
      1. re: Ernie

        Have not been to Taco Village.......
        Sounds like a Taco Room type set-up.....
        Is it better overall than the Taco Room?
        The asada must be better because the Taco Room's has always been mediocre IMHO......
        Do they have the cabbage/tomato/onion mix-up or something similar at the salsa bar ala Taco Room?
        Lastly, what is the cross street?
        I think I'm gonna hit it at lunchtime.....
        Thanks in advance for the info!

        1. re: slowrider

          I think the quality of meat is better than Taco Room. No cabbage-based salsa, but they have several varieties with different heat levels (my favorite is the hotter one that is more on the dark green side), along with the usual chopped onions, tomatos, cilantro, etc.

          It is between Findlay and Gerhart, I think right on the corner of Leonard. It is near an elementary school and is popular with the teachers there.

          Please report back if you go!

          1. re: Ernie

            okay.......
            checked it out for lunch...
            pretty good......the asada was lean and pretty flavorful as you stated......
            had 2 asada tacos and 1 pastor - did'nt really care for the pastor - the meat was dry and bland tasting....
            I felt the salsas lacked something - tried most of them but could'nt find one that had a nice flavor to heat ratio........
            went with a friend who had the asada burrito and really enjoyed it.....she had the meat and bean version w/guacamole.......
            will go back when I need an asada fix and try the burrito next time.....
            noticed a number of people getting the chile rellano plate -
            looked good may try that as well....

            thanks for the tip.....
            and if you ever ever find a place that has the Taco Room style cabbage salsa please post a message about it! I'll do the same......

            I used to live on Beverly & Sadler some years back in an apartment on top of Art's liquor store and noticed Taco Village but never tried it - at the time there was a Tacos Mexico right next door to me so I would always go there........good when your hungry after a late night......

            1. re: slowrider

              Thanks for reporting back, Slowrider and glad you liked the asada. I've never had their al pastor but would also like to try those rellenos one of these days. Their burritos are also a favorite as I like the simple, clean tasting olla-style beans they use. Since they make the salsas fresh I think the salt levels vary from day to day -- sometimes an extra pinch really makes a big difference

              We've probably crossed paths at some point. My dad had a law office (defending lots of ELA13 members BTW!) years ago a block away from Taco Village so used to go Art's Rudy's Bike Shop, etc. too

              1. re: Ernie

                Ah, will try the salt trick next time......
                Could be, on the path-crossage - have also been to Rudy's a number of times......
                Ever go to the Lampliter next to the muffler shop on Atlantic? Or Smiley Dan's (which I think is now closed) across from Art's? Used to frequent those spots as well......

                1. re: slowrider

                  Don't remember Lampliter or Smiley Dan's, but did love going to Marcel & Jean's French Café, burgers at the old Bill's Paradise, the broasted chicken place, Frumento's Italian deli, etc.

                  1. re: Ernie

                    Wife went to Montebello high and when we dated we hung out at all those places and how about the pizza at Vito's? Ever had a dog at Chronis?

                    1. re: Bruin2

                      Chroni's is great, one of my favorite hot dog and hamburger stands in all of LA.

                      1. re: Bruin2

                        Man I miss Vito's!
                        The best pizza I have ever had - great crust (with cornmeal on the bottom), great toppings! It was the best IMHO!

                      2. re: Ernie

                        Never ate at the Marcel & Jean's - although they used to live next to some friend's of mine just off of Whittier Bl. a few blocks from the restaurant - not sure if they're still there and alive or not now though......
                        Love Frumento's, the broasted Chicken place and the old Bill's Paradise though! What do you think of the Paradise Cafe now? I really like their soups......

                        1. re: Ernie

                          BILLS Paradise had the best hamburger almost as good as chronis .The best soft tostada in town his salsa was the bomb .Bill was a WW11 GI AND A good guy .Bills son worked with his dad but he was a college guy and was looking to do other things.I would like to find bill jr and get some of his dads secret recipies and sell them to nick.

                          1. re: 66lar

                            the reicipes were sold to loco hamburger on glendora ave in w. covina . I am trying to remember where exactly was bills located it has been years since i have heard that name.

                            1. re: linda3209

                              bills paradise was on the north side of beverly blvd, just a few blocks west of garfield ave. the mexican bill burger, the soft tostada, and the tacos were great! his guac was really good too. i lived in monterey park at the time, and introduced many a friend and girl friend to bills during my days at mark keppel, up the road a bit in alhambra, and cal-state l.a. bill had great ladies working the window for him too,,one of them was named alice, i think. this was during the mid 60's to the mid 70's. i went back one time several years later, probably was after bill had retired and sold the place to new owners. the open "patio/benches" area was enclosed by then and the menu was pretty much the same, just not as good as when bill had it. not sure how much longer it was open after that, and no idea what is there now. thanks for the info about bills recipes,,,next time i am down in so calif, i will check them out.

                              1. re: casperntn1

                                We used to go to Bill's when we were students at ELAJC in the 50s. But it was a little stand, I believe on the south side of Beverly. Mostly tacos, burritos, and tamales, but great! Is the restaurant on the north side of the street still in operation? I must drop in when next I'm in the neighborhood.

                                1. re: edtotten

                                  Bill's was on the northwest corner of Beverly and Findlay Ave. I used to work at the old beat up gas station across the street in the late 60's early 70's. Awesome tacos, burgers and cherry cokes.

                        2. re: slowrider

                          There is a Lampliter downtown on 8th and Flower. I wonder if they are the same owners.

              2. I have friends that recommend Uncle Robby's but I have not tried it yet. I trust their opinion though.

                Uncle Robby's
                539 N. Montebello Bl
                323.722.9535

                1 Reply
                1. re: Brian (OC)

                  Oh yeah, Uncle Robby's is pretty good.....
                  like a fast-food type place in a strip-mall on the corner of Beverly and Montebello Bl.....
                  they have really good breakfast burritos and they are only one dollar!!!!......try the machaca it's really good!
                  Open at 8:00 A.M.

                2. Tacos Baja Ensenada

                  5385 Whittier Blvd

                  Its not TECHNICALLY Montebello, but its like 5 minutes away. Good quality fish tacos, baja style of course. Its been raved on this board frequentlly, although I'm not as enthusiastic as most (but it is very good).

                  1. I think one of the best Mexican restaurants in Montebello is Raphael's in the mini-mall on the northwest corner of Beverly and Wilcox. We have been going there for years and the food is consistently good and reasonable. The soups, cocido, albondigas, menudo, chicken and seafood are all excellent. The mole is very good but my favorite is their chile verde which I have yet to find a comparable at any other restaurant whether in E.L.A. or Montebello. They have great salads and an excellent seafood cocktail if you're looking for something light.

                    Another choice, limited though, is Ordonez on Garfield just south of the 60 freeway. They have great tacos and I like the menudo and cocido as well. The rest of the dishes I've had have been good if not great.

                    As for the area, in all my thirty plus years living here (borderline of E.L.A.) I have felt completely safe and have never had a problem.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Neta

                      I really like Ordonez (good enchilidas). I believe it's also open 24 hours too.

                      1. re: prc49

                        Just about across the street from Ordonez is J&S with great, for the price, hard shelled tacos and a satisfying breakfast burrito. The tacos with the taco plate have guacamole. A la carte, doesn't.

                        My favorite bean and cheese burrito in LA. Other favorites include the taquito dog, special quesadilla(pastrami, guac, & queso), chorizo burrito, and soft tostada(imagine a non meat burrito).

                        J&S
                        887 N. Garfield Ave
                        Montebello, CA
                        (323)725-8106

                        Located on the west side of garfield, just south of the 60 fwy.

                        1. re: MPKen

                          Raising the dead... 7YO thread brought alive.

                          J&S is inedible while sober. This is straight up SYSCO food with not 1 iota of improvement.

                    2. They have a Broasted Chicken on Beverly Blvd which is pretty good.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: socal boy

                        i second Broaster Kitchen.
                        1440 w. Beverly blvd
                        Mntebello, Ca 90640

                        1. re: yoyo

                          Broaster Kitchen is a waste of frying oil and cheap poultry. Their "home made" pies (which are purchased from wholesale bakery) are equally abominable. The chicken is insipid, the wait interminable, the ambiance dreadfully suburban strip mall.

                          Montehello edible eats have been reduced to dozen in 7 years: Frumento's/Golden Oxx/Arry's/Ani's/Zankou -- again, being a franchise, barely passable/handful of ME Armenian restaurants. And maybe A1, since it used to be the historic Sam Woo, and still carries the same menu.

                          The most happening joints? BJ's at the mall, and Alondra Hot Wings (again. SYSCO crap). Depressing food desert of a city.

                          1. re: TonyC

                            +1 on Frumento's. As authentic an Italian deli this side of the 405 (nod to Bay Cities). Even carries Brioschi to settle your agita, if need be.

                      2. I've read the reviews listed below and concur. if you avoids obviously seedy neighborhoods and mind your own business, you shouldn't have trouble in Montebello. There used to be two good spots, although i admit it's been a while, if you want to break the mexican mold. One is House of Kabab, on whittier Blvd. The other is an Italian deli at the east end of Beverly called Frumento's.

                        1. Don't forget that bordering Montebello to the north is Monterey Park.....nuff said!

                          1. Been coming to Montebello for decades to get my fill of good eats from my favorite places like J&S, Taco Village, Tony's Italian Deli, Canton City, Amy's Bakery, and Broguiere's Dairy for their famous milk, chocolate milk and egg nog!

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: SoCal Foodie

                              What is it you like at Canton City, and where is it?

                              1. re: carter

                                I enjoy their "Cantonese style" chow meins (which contain veggies like sprouts, onions and bok choy), chop sueys, shrimp Cantonese with lobster sauce, egg foo young (oval patties with brown gravy), and their egg rolls which are pretty good too. This place has been around since the mid '60s.

                                Canton City
                                121 N. Garfield Ave at Whittier Blvd
                                Montebello

                                1. re: SoCal Foodie

                                  Thanks - egg foo young?
                                  So seldom seen these days.

                                  1. re: SoCal Foodie

                                    Sorry but I wanted to like Canton City and it was abominable. No flavor, watery everything and just bad food. Stay away.

                                    1. re: TastELA

                                      What did you order?

                              2. First, Montebello is safe. I go there abt once a month and Mom works there. Plus its next to East LA!

                                Here are the places that I frequent:

                                Chronis (Hot dogs that "Pop", been going here for over 40 years

                                Ordonez (24 Hours, Menudo every day and good salsa)

                                Miki Chan's (Good, fresh, filling Chinese fast food, a cut above Panda)

                                Arry's Super Burger (Hamburger Stand - Pastrami Sand, puts the Hat to shame

                                Sandra & Lolita's (Great Tamales)

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: mover44

                                  I've heard mention of the pastrami sandwiches at Arry's.