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Jan 9, 2010 08:11 AM

Best Handmade Tortillas in LA/OC?

OK ‘hounds, please help me decide who makes the best handmade tortillas in LA/OC. I’m torn between the hot, delicious, aromatic, slightly puffy ones at Babita and the flavorful, wonderfully warm, artisanal ones with the embedded flowers at Rivera.

Thanx in advance.

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  1. Thinking all the way back to early childhood in Los Angeles, I can't recall a tortilla to rival those earthly delights that Roberto Berrelleza himself serves you from a warm basket at Babita. In fact, gulp, it may be the best item on the menu -- including their fabulous tequila-cilantro-cured salmon sope -- and I always want more. (I took some home once, and they were serviceable reheated, but the artistry had leaked into the ether before I reached the freeway.)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Harry Nile

      You know, Harry, presentation goes a long way toward making a wonderful impression experience, etc. Virtually all of the tantalizing tortillas that I’ve relished at Babita have been hand-delivered by Sra. Berrelleza in that humble little basket, wrapped in a red ‘n white checkerboard towel. Combine that with Babita’s homey dining room ambience to project an almost hypnotic suggestion that “it’s ALL gonna be good here, my son”.

      … si, Senora.

    2. I'm partial to the ones at Los Cincos Puntos on Cesar Chavez and Lorena. It's not a restaurant, it's a market, but their tortillas - and their carnitas - are unbeatable in my book.

      4 Replies
      1. re: estone888

        Agree....might as well get a pound of carnitas to go with those tortillas.

        1. re: estone888

          ... yes indeed, LCP's are superb, aren't they. I love their size, weight and texture.

          1. re: degustateur

            size, weight and texture? Please talk more. what size, how thick? Oh man this sounds so good....

            1. re: JeetJet

              Yo, Jeet …

              In re-reading it, my response to estone888 sounds almost X-rated. Well, indeed they are, LCP’s tortillas that is. They’re a bit wider in diameter, a bit thicker, maybe ¼” overall, and have a dense yet pillowy consistency without being heavy.

              I’ll defer to a prior review by Bandini on the sadly now-defunct Great Taco Hunt blogspot for both an additional verbal and a visual depiction of my commentary:


              A great depiction of the pillowy thickness to which I refer can be seen here:


              … estoy listo!

        2. La Azteca
          4538 Cesar Chavez
          Los Angeles, CA

          Really good stuff corn & flour
          They close early so call first

          3 Replies
          1. re: Burger Boy

            Thanks, Burger …

            I’ve got to check this place out. There are some incredible reviews out there about La Azteca Tortillaria. It seems that they also have bomb burritos and terrific tamales with friendly service to boot.

            … almost on the way!

            1. re: degustateur

              The Burros are good but I like Lupe's #2 and Al & Bea's better but they are good and they make the tortilla for the burro right then.

            2. re: Burger Boy

              Yes, good recommendation and a personal favorite since childhood. If they have their great carnitas available, try them with their freshly made corn tortillas. Sublime!

            3. Nobody's mentioned El Toro Bravo in Costa Mesa?
              mmmmm, good.

              1. Paco's Tacos on Centinela for flour tortillas

                1 Reply
                1. re: bruinike

                  Second this. I did not realize it was possible for a flour tortilla to be this good.