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carnitas please...

i had a dinner the other night of some really crappy carnitas and i've been obsessed with getting the real thing ever since...

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  1. La Cabinita - Glendale/Montrose.

    1. Los Cinco Puntos a Mexican market makes some great carnitas for about $6/pound. Get some of their handmade tortillas to go with the carnitas.

      Los Cinco Puntos
      3300 E Cesar E Chavez Ave
      Los Angeles, CA 90063-2804

      Also try El Giro Gallo (many locations)
      http://www.gallogiro.com/

      1. Wish there was a carnitas specialist around to send you to.

        Cinco Puntos uses a copper cauldron and offers multiple parts. They fall short on muscle tissues, but are good with cueritos, etc. Get them surtido(mixed) for a more moist texture. Flavor is good.

        Zamora Bros. offers many parts but again the moist meats are not the muscle tissue cuts.Those turned off by skin, snout,etc. will be stuck with decent, yet a tad dry carnitas.

        Metro Balderas looks very promising, DF style carnitas.I went by recently and they know what they're doing. Don't know how they cook them.

        The Michoacan style, cooked in lard(Mexican confit), or the Jalisco style of low n slow are going to yield the best results.

        The East Los boiled then fried will be soft, but lacking real carnitas flavor.

        I don't care for the Carnitas Michoacan chain, but others might recommend them, so depends on what you want.

        If someone knows a little shack with a copper pot, and nothing but carnitas on the menu, I'd love to know about it.

        7 Replies
        1. re: streetgourmetla

          Metro Balderas is weekends only for the more unique cuts like the skin, snout, ribs and ect. Tacos are pretty big you can form two tacos from a single order.

          It' my main spot when I need a fix of carnitas.

          1. re: burntwater

            The weekends are the time to go.They even have tacos de nana!(pig's uterus)

            1. re: streetgourmetla

              Yes Nana, worth trying if you never had it and are adventurous. Keep in mind it is a very salty / briney cut.

            2. re: burntwater

              A big Third for Metro Balderas. Best carnitas I've had. Many cuts to choose from too. I thought about ordering it by the pound, but they give you so much meat with a taco order, it's insane! Literally more than 4 tacos worth of most taco places.

                1. re: martyR

                  Highland Park

                  5305 N Figueroa St
                  Los Angeles, CA 90042-4003
                  (323) 478-8383‎

                  There's parking behind the restaurant if nothing is available on the street.

                  1. re: martyR

                    The original is in Northridge, and there are branches in North Hollywood, Panorama City, the newest is in Highland Park recently mentioned by J Gold in a piece on carnitas.

                    These are DF style, so the taco is the way to go. They have maciza(face),cuerito(skin),buche(upper intestine), nana(uterus), costilla(rib), corazon(heart), trompa(snout), lengua(tongue),higado(liver),rinon(kidney), oreja(ear), and surtida(mixed). They also have muscle tissue meats!

                    DF street carnitas.

            3. I like El Parian's carnitas a lot. Salty, tender, and yummy. Carne Asada is also great, and of course, the goat is the main event.

              1. LA Imperial Tortilleria
                (323) 261-4151
                3717 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90063

                1. We think the carnitas at Vallarta Supermarkets are excellent. Buy some warm tortillas from the tortilleria to go with them. Yum!

                  1. Las Fuentes in Reseda... crispy and tasty
                    El Parian.... greasy, meaty and decadent
                    Carnitas Michoacan... good stuff and the Al Pastor is better.

                    1. I like the carnitas at Alegria on Sunset

                      3510 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, 90026
                      (323) 913-1422
                      http://www.alegriaonsunset.com/

                      1. It's not as good as Los Cinco Puntos but Tacos a Tomas in the Grand Central Market has some tasty carnitas (i enjoy the carnitas torta, mmmmmmm) - they're not the moist soft kind, they're a bit crunchy.