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Tito's Tacos--what is going on?

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Between TV ads, a serious change in the food quality and the overall vibe the last 4-6 weeks I fear that a big change has happened... Anyone know?

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  1. TV ads have been going on for a while now, and the food has been pretty consistent for the past 50 years or so (for better or worse). can you be more specific?

    1. Went there today and as the Talking Heads once said "Same as it ever was". That is good or bad depending on your frame of reference. I don't understand the comment about the vibe changing. What vibe? Not much ambiance at Tito's.

      Tito's is fine for a nostalgic hard shell taco. But, for Culver City tacos, I'll take Taqueria Sanchez.

      1. nothing changes at Tito's. I think they still have the same pole position arcade game from the 80's.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Bandini

          Yes, you know you are at Tito's when you hear that beep... beep.... beeeeeeeep sound over and over. That's been there as long as I can remember!

          Could the OP be more specific as far as what she means by the "serious change" she refers to?

          1. re: Bandini

            Forget pole position, it's all about galaga! I haven't noticed anything different at Tito's either.

          2. UNFORTUNATELY TITOS HAS BEEN LIVING OFF ITS REPUTATION FOR A LONG TIME..THRU THE 1960S AND I BELIEVE INTO THE EARLY 80S IT WAS THE BEST..SINCE THEN SO SO TO UNEATABLE...PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN GOING THERE SINCE COMING TO LA DONT HAVE A CLUE ABOUT WHAT MADE TITOS GREAT...HOW DO I PUT THIS.. THINK VAN HALEN BEFORE AND AFTER DAVID LEE ROTH.............

            3 Replies
            1. re: jack1234

              SKIP THE TACOS...wait. That's better. Skip the tacos and go for the Beef Burritos. They are addicting!

              1. re: allyoucanet

                Better yet, just skip Tito's all together.

                1. re: mlgb

                  Skip Tito's altogether. Hell, go to Taco Bell first - at least you won't have to wait!.
                  Better yet, head for Centinela around Washington/Venice in that region for good Mexican food, but not Tito's.

            2. I used to go to Tito's Tacos regularly back in the 1980's. While it was never my favorite "Mexican" food, it was habit forming in its own way. I had been craving Tito's for a while and recently, I decided to stop by. After reading the mostly negative comments on this board, I wanted to see if Tito's had changed, if my tastes have changed, or perhaps neither. I ordered what I always used to order: one all beef burrito and two beef tacos with cheese, and an extra order of both red and green salsa. They still give you a mountain of decent tortilla chips. Their red salsa is still a watery pico de gallo with no detectable chiles or cilantro. Although this salsa is watery and somewhat bland, it does provide a cool and contrasting flavor/texture to the hot crisp tacos and chips. The green salsa appears to be nothing more than canned jalapenos and carrots in escabeche run through a blender. Again, nothing innovative or authentic, but somehow, it works well with their food and allows you to add a little heat if you wish. The burritos again are simple enough, with a nice sturdy warm tortilla and their take on chile colorado. I guess that is what you would call it, although as I was eating it, it occurred to me that it almost has a tex-mex chile con carne type seasoning as opposed to the typical chile colorados.

              After my visit, I came to the following conclusions. NOTHING has changed since I last ate there more than 10 years ago. I think the predominant flavor brings people back to Tito's is nostalgia. It is still not my favorite "Mexican" food but it still scratches an itch, especially if you enjoyed Tito's in your youth. I have read a lot of posts debating whether or not Tito's is good or authentic Mexican food. It is what it is, and that is not a bad thing. Go and enjoy, but don't expect any revelations.

              11 Replies
              1. re: Guero

                Thank goodness nothing's changed at Tito's. Beef burrito was always my go to.
                Sure there's better tacos and burritos to be had elsewhere, but something comforting about a Tito's beef burrito.

                1. re: monku

                  My last visit to Tito's was back in June. I've been going sporadically the past years; back in the 70's I used to go frequently. I haven't noticed any changes in their food at all except for the prices. The tacos still taste the same, the salsa is the same.. the way they handle their operations is the same. I think some people just love to bash Tito's because they feel the food isn't "authentic Mexican" and thus anything that isn't authentic can never taste that good.

                  1. re: monkuboy

                    NO WAY MONKUBOY..IVE EAT'N AT TITOS SINCE 1959 WHEN IT OPENED ON THE CORNER..IT WAS AMAZING....THEY FIRED THE OLD MANAGER MANY YEARS AGO AND BROUGHT IN A RELATIVE,,HOW DO I KNOW?ABOUT TWO YEARS AGO I WAS WORKING IN THE AREA AND BROUGHT UP TITOS TO THE OWNER AN OLDER MEXICAN GUY..HE SAID ONE OF MY RELATIVES WORKED THERE FOR MANYT YEARS..THEY HAD A MEXICAN COOK MANAGER.. THEY LET HIM GO AND THAT WAS THAT...;BELIEVE ME THAT WAS THAT...IVE CALLED AND COMPLAINED...TITOS BRINGS SUCH A STRONG RESPONSE BECAUSE OF WHAT IT ONCE WAS...,I WOULD GO BACK IN A SECOND IF THEY WOULD GO BACK TO THE ORIGINAL WAYS...AND EVERY FEW MONTHS ILL TRY IT...AND REGRET IT......

                    1. re: jack1234

                      After 35 years of sporadic Tito's "dining" I can say without fear of being wrong - they are the same as they have always been (whatever that is). (Hey, jack - maybe unlock your caps key?)

                      1. re: Servorg

                        Hows this Servorg..If you want to go to a restaurant that hasn't changed try going next door to Johnnies the owner now in his 90s still comes in once a week..You can probable find the owner of Titos at King Burrito...Keep listening to Van Halen..

                        1. re: jack1234

                          Johnnies, unfortunately doesn't have very good pastrami (just steamed into flabby tastelessness to my buds). But their pickles are excellent. Have you tried Metro Cafe just across Sepulveda (on the east side)? Great little place for some Serbian dishes and other "Continental" fare for dinner (plus breakfast and lunch too).

                          -----
                          Metro Cafe
                          11188 Washington Pl, Culver City, CA 90232

                          1. re: Servorg

                            I remember the days when I was fortunate (yes, fortunate) enough to eat at Tito's AND Johnnie's very, very often. I loved them both! I first started going to Tito's in 1972 when they were still on the corner. I'm sorry jack1234 but I have to agree with Servorg, Tito's hasn't changed. Last time I went to Johnnie's was over 10 years ago so I can't comment on that one.

                            Jack1234 - that old manager at Tito's - was it a heavy-set Mexican guy with gray hair? I remember him. Then they replaced him with a thin caucasian guy. Now I don't really pay attention to who is running the register but I do remember those two. Are they the two you are talking about?

                            1. re: monkuboy

                              I will tell you what..When I left the country in 1971 with a one way ticket and 35 bucks in my pocket and retuned 6 months later I hitch hiked straight to titos and then home..I thought titos had gone out of business then I went outside and saw that titos had moved just west by the freeway that was november of 1971...Its possible perhaps probable they had changed cooks by then....Sunday while coming home from redondo beach I almost stopped at titos but have kicked the habit however I did took look over...sunday about 1:00.... 2 people ...in each line ...your honor.....I rest my case...

                              1. re: jack1234

                                Servorg... As far as Johnnies ''tastelessness'' and your belief Titos is as good as ever..Give them both a try before ''happy hour'',,..Now I will try the metro cafe..And I believe I saw a review you did on bazaar which my daughter and her boyfriend loved. I'm taking my girlfriend there next week maybe we will find some common ground there...I suppose restaurants like movies can be subjective...I loved Inglorious Bastards, Seven Beauties,A New Leaf and I'm really looking forward to ''a Serious Man''.Im curious how'd you feel about Ishtar........

                                1. re: jack1234

                                  Since words do matter I should just point out that I never said that Tito's was "...as good as ever" but rather that "...they are the same as they have always been (whatever that is)."

                                  No review on Bazaar from me. At least two on Animal (which we loved). If you asked me "Ish tar bad for me" I would have to say yes, the American Cancer Society has pretty much put that one to bed...(and maybe see if something can be done about that virtual lisp!) ;-D>

                                  1. re: Servorg

                                    Gee virtual lisp..Maybe Im too close to the forrest..My girlfriend does say I have a feminine side...Im glad you clarified your Titos comment for me..''They are the same as they have always been''.. one caveat ... ''since you've started eating there'' which is precisely my point..You cant know what your missing if you never experienced it in the first place..Tell you what Im over the hill allot let me know when you'll be by Titos and ill buy you a taco..But you have to promise me you will eat it...