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May 4, 2009 04:02 PM

Best Mexican Food heading down the 5 Fwy-LA or up to the Bay area…the Chile Relleno is to die for…

My wife and I stop at the Planeta Rojas Café in Buttonwillow each time we travel along highway 5 to L.A. and return…it is down the way from the Taste of India…in back of the Shell Gas Station.
While you have to push past that they prepare their food out in front in a portable “Taco Coach” and you order inside the red building…the food is excellent. I am a Mexican Food lover and connoisseur…I grew up in L.A….spend a lot of time in Mexico...and know the best places in the Bay Area. Nobody, not any restaurant from Mexico City to any place in the Bay area….touches their Chile Relleno…it is all made fresh…this is not fast food…but, they serve it quickly. Try the Chicken Tostada with the Green Salsa if you’re on a diet. The prices are cheap…and a complete lunch for 2 is $15 to $20…including a soda.
One other thing…you might think the owners are just arrived from Mexico…a married couple…they’re not, both hard working & very friendly and proud parents of a new U.S. Marine stationed in San Diego…just joined doing his boot camp. He joined for 6 years to become a Military Police.
You won’t be disappointed. Not many Americans appreciate Menudo Soup…they stopped making it on Sundays…again, it was the best. Please ask for it if you stop on Sunday…I am hoping they will bring it back.

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  1. Uh oh. Someone one on Google changed the status to Closed.
    The latest Yelp review was 4/20/2009.
    BTW welcome to Chowhound!

    - When was the last time that you visited?
    - Do they serve only combo plates? This is the latest infuriating trend along I-5 to soak travelers.

    Sorry that I missed this place, will try to drive by on my trip next month.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DiveFan

      ...we stopped just this past Sunday on way back from L.A. They serve individual items without the rice and beans...but, you're really missing something if you pass up the rice and beans...again it's inexpensive.

    2. Here is my report from about a year ago on Planeta Roja. Other than the salsa verde, I didn't think it was anything that special.....though granted, choices on that stretch of the raod are limited.

      Of course, now that I live in Merced I can take 99 to LA without feeling that I have to justify it on Chow grounds... :-)

      3 Replies
      1. re: susancinsf

        Yes, I read it and I thought they deserved better...much better. :-) This is authentic mexican home cooking with a personal touch...sorry, I know Mexican Food.

        1. re: maemley

          Perhaps DiveFan will also report back. I certainly would give them another chance, as options on the five are limited. Would be nice to see some reports from you on other restaurants as well, not just this one. Where would you go in LA for a good (or at least second best) chile relleno (in my experience, it is a tough dish to do well)? (But if you do answer, please do so on LA board, not this one, since reports from LA belong there...thanks.)

          1. re: susancinsf

            On the central coast, you go to La Simpatia in Guadalupe (near Santa Maria), thanks to a fellow chowhounder for the recommendation for the chile rellenos to die for, and come back and die again and again in welcome anticipation.

      2. More recent experiences of Mex places to avoid are here:

        For reference, here is an older multilinked topic on many I-5 possibilities:

        1. Yesterday I tried the Taco truck at the Chevron Station. Had the Asada & Pastor both tasty I'll be back. I'm gonna try the Caldo de Pollo