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Mexican on Westside

Looking for great Mexican - nothing fancy or too creative - just basic, tasty Mexican. Great cheese enchiladas, tacos etc. I didnt care for Tacos Por Favor or Monte Alban or Titos. I used to like the one on Olympic that was torn down for Trader Joes new space.

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  1. If you liked the place on Olympic then go to Gilberts. Or, Lares. Or La Cabana. And there's Don Antonios... I love The Talpa best, though.

    2 Replies
    1. re: yogachik

      i think talpa has become significantly different/worse than it used to be.

      don antonio's can't be beat.

      gilberts, lares, la cabana, and casa sanchez are solid alternatives. casa is the most $$ out of those, gilberts is the least.

      1. re: yogachik

        I think Lares is the best option. I grew up going to Gilberts and still go for nostalgia's sake but the food at Lares just tastes better to me. Although if $ is an issue, Gilbert's is cheaper.

      2. If you liked Tia Juana then you would probably like Paco's Tacos on Centinela just south of Washington on the W side of the street.


        1. When I lived that way I always liked Taco Miendo on pico and gateway.

          1. What didn't you like about Tacos Por Favor, Monte Alban or Titos?

            I don't see a HUGE difference between, say tacos por favor and most of the places listed above.....

            I understand Monte Alban is more Oaxacan, but all the rest are pretty standard Mexican fare you can find all over the city.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Phurstluv

              I think the OP is looking for gringo Mexican, and TPF is slightly less gringoized than Lares, Gilbert's, etc.

              1. re: a_and_w

                Yeah, that is what I thought... I never went to Tia Juanas, but it struck me as an Indy Baja Fresh type of place right? Anyway, if that is what you are looking for, Check out Baja Buds on National.


                1. re: Dommy

                  The big draw for TJ's was their house made tortillas and, for me, either their calamar steak with garlic butter sauce or their barbacoa tacos (sometimes their carnitas tacos). That is why Pacos is similar (the house made tortillas) and pretty good to very good refried beans.

                  Baja Fresh is nothing like them (to me) or Baja Buds either.

                  1. re: Servorg

                    Ah! Thanks for clearing that up! Sorry I missed them then...


                  2. re: Dommy

                    I think flowergirl may mean something more sit down with combo plates and refried beans?

                  3. re: a_and_w

                    but tito's = epitome of gringo mexican.

                2. For something higher-end, (probably not authentic; Mexican's not really my forte) I'd try Spanish Kitchen on La Cienega.

                  1. A bit south is El Amigo. Wonderful carnitas and other tacos. Take the Lawndale exit off the 405 southbound around the Manhattan Beach area, hang a right at the bottom of the exit and then a left on Manhattan Beach Blvd. It's on the right.
                    4600 Manhattan Beach Boulevard, Lawndale, CA 90260-2545

                    1. this may or may not be what you're looking for - but eduardo's on westwood just south of santa monica blvd. has GREAT chicken burritos (also chicken tortas / steak tortas) and other nicely grilled items. they have a great salsa bar. this place used to be on my weekly visit list, but i don't get to the area as much anymore. it's like a quality version of baja fresh. they have great nachos and an amazing spinach quesadilla.

                      poquito mas is down the street (south of olympic) - but i'm not a fan (though many are).

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: nachosaurus

                        Love their chicken tostadas, too. But it's Fresh mexican, not gringo style.

                      2. How come no one mentioned Lula's yet? It's on Main St. in Santa Monica. Love the food and the margaritas! Where would yawl rate it on the gringo to old country scale? I'd definitely put it as less gringo than say Baja Cantina or El Cholo.

                        1. Another vote for Paco's Tacos. They also have the best house-made flour tortillas I've ever had. Yum. Prices are not cheap, but not bad at all. Between $8-13 for most dishes, as I recall.

                          Paco's Tacos
                          4141 Centinela Ave, Culver City, CA 90230