HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

Discussion

best burritos

  • e
  • ellen Nov 13, 2004 10:50 AM
  • 43
  • Share

Any suggestions for delicious burritos in LA?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  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.

    YMMV.

    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...

          --Dommy!

          1. re: Dommy

            Word.

            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

                --Dommy!

                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.

                  --Dommy!

                  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...

                  --Dommy!

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

                    1. I mentiond this in another thread, but I love the clean, nongreasy flavors of the burritos at Taco Village in Montebelllo

                      And I agree with you Dommy about those nasty SF style burritos. Gummy, steamed tortillas, lettuce(!), and too many fillings make those SF style burritos a goopy, bland, unappealling mess.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Ernie

                        UGH! The lettuce... I've been trying for 4 years (The LAST time I got conned into one!) to block out the all those horrid experiences that I completely forgot about the lettuce... :PPPPP

                        --Dommy!

                      2. El Tepeyac...definitely worth the trip.

                        Cactus on Vine (s. of Santa Monica) makes a nice carnitas burrito for $3.50.

                        Las Glorias on Silver Lake is my new fave...

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: blacksab67

                          Interesting - where on Silver Lake is Las Glorias and which burrito there is your new fave?

                        2. my vote is for Tere's on Melrose and Cahuenga.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jazmin

                            Had yet another wonderful burrito last Saturday at Tere's, and it truly is one of the best. Meaning to try Cactus one of these days, and pointed it out to a friend from San Antonio who just pronounced Tere's one of the best burritos he has ever eaten. And the elusive search continues.
                            But no rice or lettuce in any burrito for me!

                          2. my fav burrito is the king taco all meat carne asada burrito. Meat, onions, hot sauce :) too good

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Bandini

                              this is my favorite as well!

                            2. The Mucho Macho Burrito at The Burrito Factory on Foothill in Sylmar is magnificant! Both the Asada and the Carnitas are great. Not only good but gimongous. Minimal Salsa bar, but at least they have one.

                              1. I sometimes eat the shrimp burrito at La Playita in Santa Monica.

                                I get it without rice. They are filled with grilled shrimp.

                                I'm not sure it's great ... but I like 'em. Maybe because they only cost about three dollars and one is enough for a meal. I put Tapatio on them, which is available in the industrial size jug at La Playita.

                                1. I agree with the SF clan...nothing in LA compares to El Farolito. I know the phenomenon of the steamed and gummy tortilla...but none of the great mission burritos do that. Anyone who has lived in S.F. knows that the battle is between Farolito and Cancun.
                                  I have lived here for a couple years and have yet to be impressed with any burrito. Usually it consists of some meat and cheese and maybe some guac. With a really sorry excuse for hot sauce on the side which comes in a thimble-sized take-out cup. Nothing like SF's all-you-can take home amazing salsas.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: cookgirl

                                    What places in LA have you been to?

                                  2. oh...and having lived in SF for 6 years, I have never once had lettuce in a burrito or a taco there...where on earth did you poor folks end up?

                                    1. um, hello folks? burritophile.com - reviews, addresses, digits, maps.

                                      tacos villa corona
                                      glendale blvd., atwater village

                                      yuca's
                                      hillhurst ave., los feliz

                                      la super rica
                                      santa barbara

                                      any chipotle

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: revets2

                                        My last trip to Chipotle (and it will be my last) they served beans in the burrito that were only half cooked, tough and unsalted. It deserves a rightful place along side other production-line chains like McDonalds and Sizzler.

                                        1. re: sassille

                                          chipotle is owned by mcdonalds!

                                          1. re: love2eat

                                            I generally like Chipotle but got some iffy service at the one at the Beverly Center. I ordered a steak fajita burrito. The counter person really scraped at the bottom of the steak bin before concluding that there wasn't enough for a whole burrito. She checked with the grill and they said it would be a couple of minutes, so she offered half chicken and half steak and said that they'd only charge me for the price of a chicken burrito. I was in a hurry and said okay. When I got to the register, the counter person explained what had happened to the manager who shook his head a couple of times and charged me the price of a steak burrito. It's only like a 20 cent difference between the two, but I was a little annoyed that i'd get charged full price for something I hadn't gotten. Not a big enough deal for me to walk out in protest, but enough to make me remember :)

                                            One of the best al pastor burritos I've ever had was at a little hut on Beverly/Normandie, next to a check cashing service... I can't recall the name of the stand, but it's on the northeast corner of the intersection. They include rice and beans (I like both but will sometimes avoid the beans for "health" reasons). There are also a slew of taco trucks on 3rd that serve up pretty tasty stuff. Look for the crowded ones and you can't go wrong. My personal favorite is a blue truck that parks on the south side of 3rd street (near Rossmore, I think). The outside says "Rica's," but there's also "La Buffadora" painted on the front passenger side, so i'm not sure what the name is. Friendly guys, great carne asada, and a nice salsa roja.

                                            1. re: Devourer

                                              the hut you went to is called El Jalepeno. Great al pastor that they cut from the vertical spit.
                                              http://tacohunt.blogspot.com/2006/02/...

                                              is that blue truck a cemitas truck? I think i've seen it

                                              1. re: Devourer

                                                Hmm... I tried to reply to your post, Bandini (love your blog, by the way) but I don't think it's set up to do it that way... (edit: smart forum software!)

                                                El Jalapeno... that's the one! Read your review and agree that the carne asada is decent, but not that special. They really shine with the al pastor, though.

                                                I scoped out the blue truck and it's around Alexandria, not Rossmore. I've got to admit that I don't know what a cemitas truck is... I see it on the side of the truck sometimes, but I don't really know what it means... I just know that if I see a truck parked on the side of the road, chances are good that it's serving up delicious tacos. Now that you mentioned it, though, the name might be something like "Ricas cemitas." It's not the best taco i've ever had, but it's one of the better ones on 3rd (my usual haunt when i'm looking for a late night taco). Their al pastor is a touch greasy, but what's a little taco grease amongst friends?

                                          2. re: revets2

                                            Hi-

                                            Santa Barbara chow is discussed on the California board, please take any further discussion about La Super Rica to the California board.

                                            Thanks.

                                          3. Nobody mentioned Chanos on Figueroa near USC! The asada, lengua, and al pastor are good. They serve breakfast burritos until 11:30 I believe.

                                            In Glendale, El Sauz has very good asada. They are on the corner of San Fernando and Chevy Chase.

                                            1. I second El Tepayac! But the Hollenbeck isn't big enough. Invite some friends over and order the El Special! IT's the ORIGINAL huge burrito!

                                              As for Taco Village - That's my daily eats. You can't beat the Asada ALL MEAT. ADD some onions and CHili.
                                              Bandini is MY MAN! - so when you hitting Whittier Blvd.?

                                              BUt here is one NO ONE knows about - LUPE'S down the street from the original King Taco location. ( ford Blvd. & 3rd street) They have some damn fine burritos! And if you're man enough they have chili sauce that will burn a hole in your tounge!

                                              1. Is Manny's El Loco still around? Last time I went was a long time ago around West Covina. The El Loco burrito is muy chingon too!

                                                1. I still like Rincon Taurino, and I go to the one at Nordhoff and Van Nuys Bl and I only order the asada burrito. It's muy picante but sometime oily. Be alert because when your order's up, like King Taco, they call your number in Spanish, so listen up.

                                                  1. There's an Manny's El Loco across the street from Lincoln Park in LA. I haven't been by the West Covina location in years.

                                                    1. For anyone in or near Downtown. Grand Central Market in Downtown! 3rd & Hill streets, has a place inside called Tacos Tomas. I kid U not, a 1.3/4 to 2lb burrito for 4 bucks. I've weight it. I go to the produce section inside GCM and weigh the darn log on a produce scale. At least 1/34 lbs on a bad day and 2lbs on a good one. OK weight/size aside it's actually a great tasting burrito.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Ollie

                                                        Yup! And go to it's sister stand Ana Maria's for an AMAZING Chile Relleno Burrito... a more lovelier thing had not been known to man before the Chile Relleno Burrito... :)

                                                        --Dommy!

                                                      2. In the South Bay where I was raised, RAMONA'S and DIANA'S stand out as two, uber-popular, old school institutions in the art of burrito. Headquartered in Gardena, the former is a pioneer in institutionalized ethnic food service and its three retail locations have the effect of factory outlets in far-from-glamorous locations. Still, there's no denying the food. Burrito offerings are limited to five basics:

                                                        -spicy beef and potato
                                                        -red chile beef
                                                        -green chile beef
                                                        -bean and cheese
                                                        -Special, which in effect is a huge taco burrito

                                                        The spicy beef and potato is a must. Both chile versions come with rice and beans but, my fave is the red chile and rice. All come encased in trademark wax paper sleeves adorned with the sombrero-wearing beauty logo. There are three RAMONA'S locations, two in Gardena, the flagship @ 13633 S. Western (flagship) and @ 16300 Crenshaw Blvd. @ Redondo Beach Blvd. across from El Camino College. The third branch is located at 6900 S. San Pedro in South Central LA. None will be difficult to find, just look for the long lines out the door. Go early though as they are only open 'til 7 PM

                                                        DIANA'S took RAMONA'S lead as a leader in Mexican food service distribution but, in this case, it was the retail that begat the wholesale. Formerly headquartered on the Wilmington-Carson border, DIANA'S flagship retail shop remains a Harbor Area landmark for Mexican foodies with locations throughout LA, specifically for its burritos, tamales, combo plates and its tortillas.

                                                        The burrito range is far more extensive than at RAMONA'S and probably slightly more authentic but, no more flavorful.

                                                        www.dianasnet.verizonsupersite.com