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May 3, 2009 11:45 AM

Metro Balderas ~ Highland Park ~ with photos

After reading Jonathan Gold's review on LA Weekly last week about Metro Balderas in Highland Park, we had to go and try it.

I was particularly looking to try the carnitas. I found exactly what I have been looking for many, many years, the REAL thing. Their carnitas tacos reminded me of the Carnitas Tacos we used to eat at Mercado Hidalgo in Tijuana, and at Carnitas Uruapan.

Not dry, tasteless, or FAT free carnitas here, but pure goodness. Their carnitas tacos are quite big. You can actually make two good size tacos out of one if you want.

We ordered carnitas surtido tacos, they were delicious. The also serve huaraches, which we also tried and they are the best I have eaten in Los Angeles area.
We also ate cheese quesadillas, huge handmade tortilla with plenty of cheese, very good too. I love soups, and when I saw that they had Consome de Pollo (1.99), I ordered that too, it had a deep chicken flavor, with some vegetables, cilantro, and shredded chicken which I was not expecting since consome is usually just the broth and no chicken meat, but anyway it was very good.

They have a salsa bar, and the restaurant was very, very clean. They have en extensive menu, we want to go back and try other things.

Carnitas are only available Saturday and Sunday.

Service was excellent too.

Prices are very reasonable. For 4 tacos de carnitas, 1 huarache, 2 quesadillas, 1 consommé, a Mexican Coca Cola, and 2 medium drinks, we paid less than 30.00.
Authentic México DF food!! Recommended!

Metro Balderas

5305 N. Figueroa St.

Highland Park CA 90042

(323) 478-8383

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    1. Thanks for the report! I kept meaning to stop in there and then J. Gold beat me to it, although his description of pig uterus carnitas and all the snout and such was a bit too nose to tail for me. But I will certainly try it.

      1 Reply
      1. Finally had a chance to make it to Metro Balderas, and boy am I happy! I was excited to hear they also did Pambazos, as I've been wanting to try one ever since I saw it listed at Nina's (Breed St), but everytime I tried to order it there, they didn't have it (unless you need a secret code word).

        I ordered a Pambazo, and a taco de Costilla and agua de fresa. The Pambazo was pretty good, but it lacked a chorizo identity. I mean, it had chorizo, but I was expecting it to be bursting with rich, slightly greasy chorizo flavor, but the chorizo blended with the potatoes and didn't really stand out much. I also thought that the sandwich was dipped in some type of red sauce after it was made, but apparently the bun is just dipped (or covered?) in some red sauce (when it was made, I think). It was still good, but I think I probably overhyped it after having wanted to try it for so long and being rejected each time at Nina's.

        The taco de costilla was just some porky goodness! The taco was very big too. I was getting close to full, but I wanted to try another type of carnitas, so I went back and ordered a taco de maciza. This taco was even bigger than the first - it nearly took up the entire paper plate, and the meat was overflowing! I started eating the carnitas with my hands out of the taco, and it was juicy, slightly salty, and just delicious! I ate about half the meat, and still had enough for a big taco. These were the best carnitas I've had. Next time, I think I will just order it by the pound and dig into the meat!

        The agua fresa was solid; it was made fresh, but I compare all agua frescas to La Taquiza (I love their agua frescas), and this didn't measure up.

        All in all, this is a great place, namely for the carnitas. I wanted more from their salsas though. I didn't think any of their salsas had much heat to them, and they didn't have any jalapenos.