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Westside Basic Mexican

f
flowergirl Jun 1, 2010 07:44 PM

Looking for basic Mexican - tacos, enchiladas etc. Please dont send me to the two restaurants next to one another on Pico in West L A!

  1. b
    BIM Jun 4, 2010 11:03 AM

    And btw our go-to taco place is La Playita - the little stand on Lincoln just north of Whole Foods - best tacos on westside imho. #2 is Pili's on Santa Monica - reminds me of when we lived in Echo Park.

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    La Playita
    3306 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

    3 Replies
    1. re: BIM
      Phurstluv Jun 4, 2010 11:51 AM

      Really, is it good? I've often wondered about that place.

      Another one I remembered is Lula's Cocina on Main St in SM. Not stellar, but solid, pretty fresh stuff.

      1. re: Phurstluv
        1newyorkguy Jun 4, 2010 10:06 PM

        Their shrimp cocktail is pretty awesome...add plenty of tapatillo and before you know it, you'll be chugging it.

        1. re: 1newyorkguy
          b
          BIM Jun 7, 2010 11:50 AM

          And the ceviche too - pretty happening.

    2. b
      BIM Jun 4, 2010 10:57 AM

      Casa Escobar on Wilshire probably deserves a mention in this thread - a classic rice and beans platter place. I really like their Chili Verde.

      1. l
        lapizzamaven Jun 3, 2010 07:37 PM

        I definitely endorse La Cabana in Venice...they have great thick, almost sweet corn tortillas...way better than nearby Casablanca...are they same ownership? had excellent carnitas many nites...

        8 Replies
        1. re: lapizzamaven
          Phurstluv Jun 3, 2010 08:37 PM

          Really, I've only heard negative things about that place, unless it's you're last stop at 3 a.m.

          1. re: Phurstluv
            Emme Jun 3, 2010 09:12 PM

            La Cabana should be frequented for margaritas and nachos, but nothing else that I know of...

            1. re: Phurstluv
              l
              lapizzamaven Jun 3, 2010 09:50 PM

              have you had there corn tortillas?

              1. re: lapizzamaven
                1newyorkguy Jun 3, 2010 10:26 PM

                I've had their crab quesadilla...the two strongest flavors were metallic can and old fish. The guacamole could've come out of a pre-packaged container. I will never return and I encourage others to do the same.

                1. re: 1newyorkguy
                  f
                  FoodKitCat Jun 3, 2010 11:09 PM

                  Hey, NY Guy, you should really learn to be more honest... I mean, if you can't just speak your mind............................... LOL Love it.

                  1. re: 1newyorkguy
                    Phurstluv Jun 4, 2010 07:54 AM

                    Wow, pretty risky order to begin with.....always start with something real basic is my rule of thumb with a place like that!!

              2. re: lapizzamaven
                n
                Norm Man Jun 5, 2010 01:09 PM

                La Cabana's thick corn tortillas are great -- comparable to the corn toriallas at Los Cinco Puntos in East LA. But I found the rest of the menu at La Cabana dissappointing.

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

                1. re: Norm Man
                  hnsbmg Jun 5, 2010 03:59 PM

                  Comparable to the tortillas at Los Cinco Puntos? I'll file that away under interesting information, but I couldn't imagine not having them filled with the fab carnitas at Los Cinco Puntos -- very different from but in the same heavenly porcine ballpark as the cochinita pibil at Yuca's. (Both places are on the westside of something, maybe Eden.)

              3. w
                will47 Jun 3, 2010 04:36 PM

                There's also Tacomiendo - a couple of Westside locations. Don't see mention of it so far in this thread.

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                Tacomiendo
                11462 Gateway Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                1. d
                  degustateur Jun 2, 2010 08:56 PM

                  I’ll offer up Tacos Por Favor. What!!! No lard??? (*_*)

                  Tacos Por Favor
                  1406 Olympic Blvd
                  Santa Monica, CA 90404
                  (310) 392-5768

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                  Tacos Por Favor
                  1406 Olympic Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: degustateur
                    Phurstluv Jun 3, 2010 08:03 AM

                    I can't go without ordering the al pastor, and their red sauce is Awesome.

                  2. o
                    OCSteve Jun 2, 2010 09:29 AM

                    I've always had good solid Mexican food at Paco's Tacos on Centinela. They make their tortillas fresh in-house.

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

                    1. Servorg Jun 1, 2010 08:10 PM

                      Gilbert's El Indio on Pico is a good choice.

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                      Gilbert's El Indio
                      2526 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: Servorg
                        Emme Jun 2, 2010 09:03 PM

                        +1 on Gilbert's and Lares.

                        1. re: Emme
                          mollyomormon Jun 3, 2010 07:04 PM

                          +2, with my vote going to Gilbert's for sentimental reasons.

                        2. re: Servorg
                          r
                          rudy buci Jun 4, 2010 10:41 AM

                          +3 for Gilbert's for entirely unsentimental reasons--machaca, tostadas, zanahorias, and that salsa diablo that you have to ask for

                          1. re: rudy buci
                            Servorg Jun 4, 2010 10:48 AM

                            The day I discovered the diablo salsa made me a happier man...and I also like their (Fernando's) relleno burrito (I ask them to leave out the lettuce and add extra avocado) a lot.

                          2. re: Servorg
                            e
                            ElissaInPlaya Jun 4, 2010 10:51 AM

                            I don't get Gilbert's -- I went last month based on board recommendations and was completely under-whelmed. Food was bland, greasy and tasted processed (i.e. canned/etc.) Other than sentimentality...what are the specific menu items you love?

                            1. re: ElissaInPlaya
                              mollyomormon Jun 4, 2010 10:56 AM

                              I almost always get the chile relleno burrito Servorg mentioned or the Valencia chicken and I love both. And definitely ask for the diablo sauce mentioned above and use it liberally. That said, I drag my boyfriend there all the time and each time he groans that he just doesn't get my love for the place so you wouldn't be alone in feeling underwhelmed :).

                              1. re: ElissaInPlaya
                                Servorg Jun 4, 2010 10:57 AM

                                As mentioned above I like their relleno burrito (hold the lettuce) and their carnitas have always been very good and ask them for the diablo salsa as well as the regular one. A pitcher of margaritas and chips and salsa and carnitas tacos and I'm normally very happy

                                1. re: Servorg
                                  e
                                  ElissaInPlaya Jun 4, 2010 04:20 PM

                                  Ah..so you both like the Relleno burrito. Interesting. I might go again in 5 months for both the relleno burrito and the pitcher of margaritas. (I'm in the jealous-of-the-drinkers stage of my pregnancy. )

                                  1. re: ElissaInPlaya
                                    Phurstluv Jun 4, 2010 05:17 PM

                                    BUMMER!!! I hated that part!!!

                                    Just as an aside, I had the chile relleno burrito at El Tepeyac a couple of weekends ago, and for the first time EVER, I finished it!! I should've won a t-shirt!!

                            2. b
                              bulavinaka Jun 1, 2010 07:47 PM

                              Don Antonio's and Talpa.

                              -----
                              Don Antonio's
                              11755 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                              The Talpa
                              11751 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                              18 Replies
                              1. re: bulavinaka
                                Servorg Jun 1, 2010 08:09 PM

                                I take it you were alerting her to the names of the two places she didn't want to go... ;-D>

                                1. re: Servorg
                                  b
                                  bulavinaka Jun 1, 2010 08:18 PM

                                  While "sped_reading," I hit a pothole... d'oh! :)

                                  1. re: bulavinaka
                                    n
                                    nachosaurus Jun 1, 2010 08:50 PM

                                    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. yummy don antonio's!

                                2. re: bulavinaka
                                  b
                                  bulavinaka Jun 1, 2010 08:29 PM

                                  Never mind... How about Lares on Pico in Santa Monica?

                                  1. re: bulavinaka
                                    f
                                    FoodKitCat Jun 1, 2010 10:38 PM

                                    Love Lares. So old fashioned with the leather chairs and brass studs. The chips are soooooo good. The seafood dishes are muy rico!

                                    Have to say that i really DISLIKE El Cholo. Was so excited when it arrived on the Westside from it's original Western Ave location... I keep showing up hoping it'll be special and it's just like El Torito over and over again.

                                    Oddly enough, I love Howdy's Mexican in Malibu. Developed by the guy who created La Salsa and went out on his own. Organic beans. Amazing salmon tacos with pineapple salsa.

                                    On Lincoln, somewhere between Rose and Washington, there are two dives I love...but of course, I don't know the names. On of them MIGHT be called Paco's or Pancho's. little parking lot for 3 cars and yellow colored small building. The other is closer to Washington and is a marisco joint, this one painted in blue hues with the wonderful little food paintings.

                                    Casablance on LIncoln at Rose is amazing. Homemade tortillas and a tequilaria. The fish soup is wonderufl. Decor is a crack up with old movie memorabilia from the movie Casablanca.... wait, is this place Moraccan? French? Mexican? LOL... It's Mexican alright and muy rico.

                                    1. re: FoodKitCat
                                      c
                                      carter Jun 2, 2010 08:13 AM

                                      Howdy's is the successor to Pacifico's in Culver City which is now Kay & Dave's. As to the OP, don't you like the two side by side, or have you just tried them too many times?
                                      I know many who prefer one or the other, and travel distances to eat at either Talpa or Don Antonio's. I like the Talpa, yet have never even stepped foot in Don Antonio's. Lares disappointed me the last time I tried it, which was probably over a year ago, yet after the fire and subsequent remodel.
                                      Monte Alban serves all the foods you mentioned, yet from a Oaxacan perspective.
                                      Tlapazola Grill on Gateway or on Venice Blvd at Abbot Kinney would also serve your needs.

                                      -----
                                      Monte Alban
                                      11927 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                                      The Talpa
                                      11751 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                      Tlapazola Grill
                                      636 Venice Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

                                      1. re: carter
                                        Phurstluv Jun 2, 2010 08:05 PM

                                        Can i just say, Kay & Dave's is NOT Mexican, it is gringo-fied, no flavor at all CRAP. Thanks, I feel better now.

                                        Monte Alban is delicious Oaxacan.

                                        I'm still waiting for someone to tell me if Casa Linda on AK in Venice is any good??

                                        And, has anyone yet been to the Habana place in Malibu Lumber Yard yet?? Not Mexican, but Cuban.

                                        -----
                                        Monte Alban
                                        11927 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                                        Casa Linda
                                        1357 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

                                        1. re: Phurstluv
                                          n
                                          nachosaurus Jun 2, 2010 09:37 PM

                                          thank you re kay & dave's. that has to be the worst place in town. i had a party when the pico location closed. i just hope another small restaurant opens.

                                          1. re: nachosaurus
                                            f
                                            FoodKitCat Jun 2, 2010 09:53 PM

                                            Ditto on Kay and Dave's; it's NOT Mexican and it's not anything. Horrible.

                                          2. re: Phurstluv
                                            f
                                            FoodKitCat Jun 2, 2010 09:55 PM

                                            The Cuban plan in the Lumberyard has yet to open, I believe. But someone the other day just told me a bit about it's origins. Apparently, Habana is a teeny tiny place in the West Village in NYC that is a little dive legend - so now I"m looking forward to when it does open.

                                            -----
                                            Habana
                                            2930 Bristol St Ste A110, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

                                            1. re: FoodKitCat
                                              Phurstluv Jun 3, 2010 08:02 AM

                                              I think they opened this week re: Habana.

                                              Thanks, new trial, re: info on Casa Linda, agree there's a lot of good food in that area that would win me over as well.

                                              -----
                                              Casa Linda
                                              1357 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

                                            2. re: Phurstluv
                                              n
                                              New Trial Jun 3, 2010 12:24 AM

                                              Casa Linda is probably the best brick & mortar Mexican restaurant...on Abbott Kinney [Tlapazola is actually on Venice just "near" AK]. The food is actually decent albeit not particularly memorable. Not a destination but if you happen to be in the neighborhood and have a craving it will suffice. However, several of the non-Mexican choices along there tend to win out over Casa Linda when I head that way for a meal.

                                              -----
                                              Casa Linda
                                              1357 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

                                              1. re: New Trial
                                                p
                                                PaliBruin Jul 4, 2010 05:39 PM

                                                Our favorite: Casa Escobar on Wilshire and 25th in Santa Monica.

                                          3. re: FoodKitCat
                                            c
                                            chris1621 Jun 3, 2010 04:56 PM

                                            La Cabana?

                                            1. re: chris1621
                                              Phurstluv Jun 3, 2010 08:36 PM

                                              UM, No. Food is pretty wretched, from what I've read here.

                                              1. re: chris1621
                                                1newyorkguy Jun 3, 2010 10:24 PM

                                                Definitely not. That place is pure wrong. Not cheap, either.

                                                1. re: 1newyorkguy
                                                  c
                                                  chris1621 Jun 4, 2010 03:21 PM

                                                  Yeah I haven't been in years, was just trying to name the place that maybe the poster was thinking of on Lincoln.

                                          4. re: bulavinaka
                                            j
                                            Jwsel Jun 2, 2010 09:21 AM

                                            And I do love The Talpa. I can't really think of better basic Mexican. The chile rellenos and enchiladas are fab, and I love the carne asada soft taco.

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                                            The Talpa
                                            11751 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

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