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Nov 13, 2004 10:50 AM

best burritos

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Any suggestions for delicious burritos in LA?

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  1. There must be hundreds!

    I like El AbajeƱo or Tacos D.F. in Mar Vista. La Estrella and El Gran Burrito on the Eastside.

    This week's food section in the L.A. Times has a complete rundown on where to find the best burritos in L.A.


    1. Benito's Burritos

      On Beverly Blvd @ Fairfax
      On Santa Monica Blvd @ Highland

      It's a chain. There's three or four of them, but I only know those locations. Their burritos are amazing! Good things to know... they also have a Carnitas (pork) burrito and a California Burrito (Carne Asada, Cheese, & Potatoes) not on the menu...

      Let me know what you think!

      1. Has anyone had a burrito comparable to San Francisco's Mission-style burritos? Since living down here, I just haven't found a decent burrito like those found in SF. Though, a few have come close:

        Chipotle - Ok, I know, a chain. But fresh, and the carnitas hits that spot for me.
        Senor Fish in Eagle Rock - Pretty darn tasty. Great rice they put in there.
        Taco Mexicano in Echo Park - Good carnitas, very tasty rice, but not the cleanest place in the world.

        10 Replies
        1. re: thund3rbox

          Stick to the "Burrito" chains, Chipotle, Q'Doba and their ilk... You can get the fillings close, but most Mexicans down here would rather wrap their burritos in newspaper than that gummy steamed mess of a flour tortilla that is the Mission Burrito...


            1. re: Dommy

              Well, the best mission taquerias put their tortillas on the grill first, eg. El Farolito. backatchya.

              1. re: thund3rbox

                Good to hear. Everytime my friends took me to even the most 'authentic' looking Mission Burrito Place in SF, it always was steamed and had that awful gummy stickey texture... It was like I was eating a Gum Burrito. :P That is why they wrap it in foil I think, if you actually touch the tortilla with your hands, you'd be grossed out... :P


                1. re: Dommy

                  Funny, I love the effect of steam on a tortilla, esp. when cheese is melted into it. Something about the steam heats everything simultaneously. I think the ideal is to steam first, then grill briefly, like they do at Taqueria Cancun in the Mission.

            2. re: thund3rbox

              While the Mission-style burrito, AKA the Silver Torpedo, has caught on in other regional areas like Seattle and New York, it doesn't seem to have much of a following in SoCal, which makes sense given the large Mexican/Latino population in the area and the preference for authentic Mexican cuisines.

              I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and have come to love the Mission-style burritos. Only upon moving to SoCal did I figure out that the Mission-style burrito was unique and different and not the normal style of burrito.

              I've not yet found a place that offers an accurate Mission-style burrito in SoCal. The Chipotle chain gets somewhat close, but the cheese never gets melted enough, probably due to the rice not being hot enough.

              While Chowhounders like Ernie and Dommy dislike the steamed, gummy tortilla, I actually prefer that, as the tortilla is soft and allows me to get to the inside ingredients of the burrito more easily. I shouldn't have to chew on the tortilla with much effort.

              Not all Mission-style burritos have lettuce. That is one ingredient I haven't really gotten used to in a burrito. The main characteristics are usually the steamed tortilla, the white rice (which should be hot enough to melt the cheese when sprinkled on), sourcream, guacamole, and whatever meats you want in it.

              The idea of wrapping it in foil is to help make it portable to eat as take-out food, yet you can peel it away as you eat it without having the burrito unravel in your hands as with a traditional paper wrapper.

              1. re: thund3rbox

                I grew up in Santa Barbara, where the burriti tend more towards SF-style than LA-style. For me, the platonic ideal were those dished up at the now-defunct Delicias Bakery, or at La Chirapita, or Tacos Acapulco (later Tio Alberto's -- there are still branches of this small chain in Pismo and San Luis Obispo). Tacqueria Rincon Altena is still there (downtown), and they get it right too.

                The only place I've found so far here that I like is the one across from Glendale High School on Verdugo Rd., between Colorado and Broadway. "Taqueria Azteca" is the name, I think. The jamaica is good too.

                El Gran Burrito gets close as well, but you have to unwrap the thing, stuff it with guac, salsa, onions etc from their salsa bar, and the try to rewrap it yourself. Argh. Tasty, though. I'd also recommend the red chilaquiles there, BTW, which teeter dangerously tikka-masala-ward.

                1. re: ladelfa

                  I guess that's one of the major disconnect then. El Gran Burrito means for you to enjoy your burrito as is (after all all their meats and stews are flavorful enough on their own to not have to be 'doctored' with cheese and sour cream) and have Salsa on the side. You go a mexican house and you see Salsa and other conidments on the table. What you do as to your taste, you spoon a bit on top of the burrito with each bite. You squeeze a little lime, with each bite. The same with Chiles, you bite into the chile and then burrito... It's like a dance of flavors...

                  My mother and grandmother would NEVER serve you anything and then SPLASH a whole bunch of Salsa and onions on it (although onions in a burrito! BLEH!!)! It's all a laid out on the table. YOU decide how much you want.


                  1. re: Dommy

                    Yeah, I get this. I see how it could work both ways.

                    What I actually meant to say was "If you want to make a EGB burrito into an SF-style one, it can be done, but it requires personal intervention."

                    SF-style burritos seem to be more take-it-to-go-friendly, where you won't have a plate and a lot of little condiments at the table. Everything is already packed up inside the foil. This is a burrito you can eat with dirty hands while sitting in the back of a pickup truck at sunrise.

                    1. re: Dommy

                      I know what you mean, Dommy. That is why I love Taco Village so much. They are the only place I know that hands your burrito plain and unwrapped, then you go to the salsa bar, put whatever you want, hand it back to the cook and he wraps it up for you. Pretty nifty!

                2. My favorite, will always be... The Chicken Hollenbeck from El Tepayac. Get the CHICKEN... not the regular... they can sometimes not stew the pork enough on the regular... but they never mess up on the Chicken... Hmmm...


                  1. el gran burrito! (santa monica/vermont)