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pacos tacos vs casa sanchez?

1newyorkguy Sep 24, 2010 07:05 PM

I'm trying to pick a good west side mexican spot..does casa sanchez also do homemade tortillas?

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  1. b
    Bruce Kerr RE: 1newyorkguy Sep 24, 2010 09:06 PM

    If you want upscale, wonderful Mexican food and service, go to Tlapazola on Venice, just N of Abbot Kinney. If you want a real, old, family owned, honest Mexican experience, go to El Abajeno on Inglewood, just E of Culver. Very fresh, "clean" delicious food. Order at the counter, food is immediately prepared if front of you, and take your tray to your table. Prices are very reasonable. If you like juevos rancheros, they are excellent here

    El Abajeno
    4513 Inglewood Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bruce Kerr
      1newyorkguy RE: Bruce Kerr Sep 24, 2010 09:13 PM

      thanks for the recc's! do either make their own tortillas?

    2. h
      HastaLaPasta RE: 1newyorkguy Sep 24, 2010 09:27 PM

      Haven't dined at Casa yet but Paco's is terrific, IMHO, you wouldn't go wrong there.

      1. lapizzamaven RE: 1newyorkguy Sep 26, 2010 09:21 AM

        Go to Tacomiendo at the intersection of Pico/Ocean Park/Gateway...great home made tortillas and excellent tacos...i luv the carnitas so i never order anything else...

        11462 Gateway Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

        1. t
          TracyO RE: 1newyorkguy Sep 26, 2010 12:35 PM

          La Cabana on Rose in Venice makes their own tortillas. Also, for Westside Mexican I love Gilberts El Indio in SM on Pico and Gallegos Brothers on Venice in Mar Vista (the last is heavy on burritos and you'd do better to take out). Finally, check out La Playita on Lincoln in SM just up from Rose - it is a take out stand and their shrimp tacos are great.

          La Playita
          3306 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

          El Indio
          22816 S Western Ave, Torrance, CA 90501

          1. b
            bulavinaka RE: 1newyorkguy Sep 26, 2010 02:19 PM

            You're starting to get recs that are all over the map relative to places like Paco's Tacos and Casa Sanchez. Both Paco's Tacos and Casa Sanchez are places that offer Mexican cuisine in a more established dining area and with full service along with drinks, as opposed to say a taqueria where the eating area is simple, and the service is from the counter.

            It's hard to compare Paco's with Casa Sanchez. They both are more in the vein of a full service restaurant, but fill different niches. Paco's restaurant is pretty basic in terms of atmosphere and interior design, but with the "tortilla lady" counter. The food is pretty AmeriMex IMHO, but they do a good job with it, the portions are more than fair, and the margaritas are pretty good (again, in the AmeriMex kinda way).

            Casa Sanchez is much more grand, the dining areas are more elaborately appointed, they offer a very nice patio area, and they offer live entertainment every night. The Mariachi band is quite good - really makes for a festive atmosphere. The food isn't spectacular nor is the menu studded with stellar examples of regional cuisines, but It's probably the best option for a full Mexican dining experience in the Westside.

            4 Replies
            1. re: bulavinaka
              Servorg RE: bulavinaka Sep 26, 2010 02:29 PM

              I give Paco's (for the most part your standard Mex-Am food outpost) some extra kudos for having Cochinita Pibil on their menu (along with the fresh tortilla ladies). One other place that has house made tortillas (I think this is still true) is Casablanca on Lincoln in the Venice / MDR area. My problem with the tortillas at Casablanca is the coating of what seems like flour or something that they leave on the cooked tortillas. The tortillas are fully cooked. They just have that coating of flour. Strange (and to me, unpleasant). But lots of people like them, so don't judge them by me if someone wants to give it a try.

              1. re: Servorg
                bulavinaka RE: Servorg Sep 26, 2010 03:01 PM

                I haven't eaten at Casablanca since maybe the early to mid 90s. And since those were pre-Chowhound days for this relative ChowPup I only recall liking "freshly made tortillas" of any sort - more discerning tastes like yours would have done me huge favors back then. :)

                I've never tried their Cochinita Pibil - is it worth a whirl? I hate the lines for this place, which has put it in the "only go if someone's visiting from out of town and wants fresh tortillas with their food"-experience category.

                1. re: bulavinaka
                  Servorg RE: bulavinaka Sep 26, 2010 04:04 PM

                  I've liked the cochinita pibil (despite the absence of the pickled onions) when I've had it at Paco's. Fairly juicy. At least it makes for a nice counter point to crispy beef tacos... ;-D>

              2. re: bulavinaka
                cant talk...eating RE: bulavinaka Sep 26, 2010 03:26 PM

                Agree w/ bulavinaka - recently went to CS for the first time and was underwhelmed. No homemade tortillas, reheated chips, bland salsa. It wasn't bad exactly, just totally indistinguishable from, say, any random SoCal Mexican in (pick a suburb). That said, the set-up is really nice, with the mariachi stage, strangely opulent decor - sort of an old-TJ vibe. But, a fairly empty room (I'd be surprised if it survives a year). Service was nice. I'm just remembering - I asked for a lime with my tacos and they gave me about a 2-day-old, dried up thing. That about sums it up.

                Pacos is, to me, a big, messy, loud, packed-with-families local's spot, like Margaritas in Pasadena, Enrique's in Long Beach - definitely a notch above the norm, but still quite gringo-fied, cheese-covered careful-hot-plate fare (super-bland, tomato-y salsa, and 1 kind). That said, it fills a niche.

                My pick for Westside Mex (and I've said it before) is still Lares on Pico, but between the three, nothing's going to leave you dying to come back.

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