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tasty and inexpensive Mexican food

b
boyfood Oct 23, 2009 06:40 AM

I live in the Valley. I know. But I never see a review of a Mexican restaurant somewhere in the SFV. That's why I'm determined to change that. So look, next time you want simple but really good nortena (ranchera) style Mexican food go to a small place called San Marcos Mexican Restaurant in Van Nuys. They have everything from Tacos to Burritos + homemade Jamaica & Horchata + homemade tortillas (really good corn tortillas). Granted the seating isn't something to write home about, but that's not why you're there. Then, take a look at the daily special menu board on the wall - - try to get there on a Thursday so you can have the Costillas De Puerco. I'm telling you, if you wanna spend less than $20 for a killer dinner or lunch for 2 people go there.

  1. Servorg Oct 23, 2009 08:53 AM

    It sounds like the place on Hazeltine that drew this (slightly breathless and somewhat over the top) review back in August: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/643335 that opened in January of 2009 according to the poster.

    I definitely want to give it a try one of these days.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Servorg
      CynGriff Jul 5, 2010 08:15 PM

      La Fogata is really good and inexpensive...Family owned on Van Nuys near Magnolia...It's been around forever and is consistently good...

    2. Phurstluv Oct 23, 2009 04:51 PM

      Good to know. I found myself in that 'hood while having an electronic fixed at lunchtime, and saw lots of places, but didn't know any of them. When I go back to pick it up, I will search them out. I assume they're open for lunch? Love that kind of mexican.

      1. j
        Jelly71 Oct 23, 2009 05:02 PM

        There are tons of good mexican places in the Valley. Melody's on Reseda Blvd is my favorite. Their beans are always tasty and satisfying. Refried beans are my barometer of a good mexican place. Down the street, is Las Fuentes and it's owned by the same people as Melody's. I usually get the Chille Relleno Burrito.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Jelly71
          Phurstluv Oct 23, 2009 07:32 PM

          I'm sure there are, but when you're not sure and have never heard of a place, it's sometimes hard to just walk in blind. Don't want to spend the hard earned cash on crap, if you know what I mean. And good rec, I love anything to do with a chile relleno, and I happen to be on Reseda Blvd quite often. Thanks.

          1. re: Phurstluv
            WildSwede Jul 7, 2010 05:37 PM

            I have been going to Las Fuentes since it was only that front right portion - before they took over the pool supply store next door and when Melodies was just a Taco Bell - in the mid-80s. They have great food. It's funny, tho. I have only tried two things on their menu since I love them so much I can't bear to miss out on them - the Burrito de Bistek Encebollado, cooked med rare (Steak and Grilled Onions burrito). So good. Lots of the green avocado salsa on top and their nachos. No meat, just the chips, cheese and ranchera sauce. Delish!!
            Melodie's menu is not as extensive as Las Fuentes and they don't have the green avocado salsa that I dream about.

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            Las Fuentes
            18415 Vanowen St, Los Angeles, CA 91335

        2. j
          Jwsel Jul 3, 2010 10:07 PM

          I'll definitely add my rec of this restaurant. The tacos I've had have been uniformly good. My favorites have been the pastor and asada. The salsas have a definite bite, and there is a good variety.

          The restaurant is in the space that was formerly Tacos el Jerezano. The only confusing thing is that the wall still has Jerezano menu items and prices, but the full menu and prices are in the printed menus on the counter.

          1. mucho gordo Jul 4, 2010 01:44 PM

            Has anyone tried Carlo's on Victory just west of Van Nuys? I haven't been there since I owned the 7-11 across the street about 30 years ago but I remember the fabulous chile verde, carnitas, tripas, etc. Used to be just a stand but a few years ago they opened a restaurant in the store next to the stand.

            1. j
              jpie Jul 5, 2010 10:13 AM

              Is there anything outstanding further East say between the studios and the Costco in Burbank. We are in that area a lot and never can find someplace good to eat. Only thing I have tried there was Little John's Chili but would love some good Mexican.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jpie
                j
                Jwsel Jul 5, 2010 08:26 PM

                This isn't as far east as you want, but a little west of the studios on Magnolia is the El Taco Llama stand next to a car wash. (It's only open at lunch.) The tacos are great, especially the asada and birria, and they have fantastic salsa roja. There also is an El Taco Llama on Sherman Way in North Hollywood that has indoor seating and pico de gallo.

                In the evenings, the Taco La Fonda truck parks at the car wash at Vineland and Vanowen for excellent tacos and fried quesadillas. All the tortillas are hecho de mano.

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                El Taco Llama
                10501 Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601

                El Taco Llama
                11511 Sherman Way, North Hollywood, CA 91605

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