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Gourmet Tamales In Los Angeles Area???

When I used to work in downtown I would go to the 7th Street Market Place on Thursdays because they had their farmer's market and they had flowers, nuts, crepes, vegetables, and things like that for sale. They also had a gourmet tamale place. They were very expensive. I think $2.50 a piece. That's a lot considering I pay about 1.50 a piece where I get them at La Mascoda in East LA. I know purist would say that gourmet tamales are not authentic tamales and stuff like that. I love my La Mascoda tamales, they are just about the best I've had. I did like the gourmet ones a lot too. I think after awhile that gourmet tamale vendor stopped selling at the 7th Street Market Place. I have had other gourmet tamales at other farmer's markets but they were not as good as the 7th Street Market Place. I can't remember the name of that tamale vendor.

Why were they so good you ask? The dough or masa, was very soft, very soft. The Lamasoda are pretty soft too but these were more so. They had the best green sauce that they would poor over the tamales. They were so good but too expensive. I go to the South Pasadena farmer's market sometimes but never had the tamales there, I'll give them a try and see how they are. I'm sure they are expensive.

So my question is this are there any stores/bakeries that sell so-called gourmet tamales? I go to traditional Mexican places for tamales so they are not the so-called gourmet type of tamales. I love the regular Mexican kind like at La Mascota but I want to have some gourmet ones without paying $2.50 a piece. Maybe there is a bakery that sells them for a more reasonable price. I know not all are created equal also but just want to find something like that. My only gripe with Lamascoda is they will not put sauce on top of the tamale or won't sell it separate, the gourmet kind do.

Thank You,

James

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Market Place Restaurant
1102 Lawrence St, Los Angeles, CA 90021

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  1. Well, I can tell you now, don't bother with Whole Foods'... theirs are crap.

    1. I am pretty sure that same vendor sells at the Hollywood FM. You can buy them hot or frozen right?

      If not, there is a vendor there that should satisfy. I enjoy the spinach and goat cheese tamales and the sweet corn ones.

      1 Reply
      1. re: A5 KOBE

        KOBE - I will try the ones at the South Pasadena farmer's market since I never tried those before. If they turn out very good then that's great otherwise I'll move on and try the Hollywood FM that you suggest. I go to the Racket Doctor, a tennis store in Los Angles, near Glendale, and on Sundays in the parking lot the next block over they had some good tamales too but they still were not quite as good as the ones at the 7th Street Market Place. Like I say I'll give the Hollywood FM a go too after I try the ones in the South Pas FM.

        Eric - I never even thought about Whole Foods for tamales but thanks for warning me on that. I think I'll stay away from that.

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        Market Place Restaurant
        1102 Lawrence St, Los Angeles, CA 90021

      2. Also try the Long Beach Farmers Market tamales, long lines but worth the wait. The masa is fluffy, light and soft. They also drizzle the salsa on top.

        1 Reply
        1. re: wendorte

          Thanks for the heads up. I'll give those a try. I bet those are good.

        2. Check out Tamara's Tamales on the west side.

          http://www.tamarastamales.com/

          But you might mean downtown by Los Angeles.

          If you want a sit-down place - Rivera's.

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          Tamara's Tamales
          13352 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

          1 Reply
          1. re: foodiemahoodie

            I might try Tamara's. Thanks for the web site. They are 4.00 each so that's kinda a lot but maybe they are super big, so I'll give them a try.

            Rivera's never heard of it. I'll look it up. Thanks.

          2. My recollection from the days I worked down there is that the vendor was/is Corn Maiden. The website suggests it still pops in to the 7th Street Marketplace: http://www.cornmaidenfoods.com

            6 Replies
            1. re: New Trial

              New Trial, thank you so much for remembering it was called Corn Maiden. Those tamales were awesome. Like I say I have tried other gourmet tamales such as at the farmer's market near the Racket Doctor tennis store in Los Angles near Glendale but technically LA and they were very good but the ones at 7th Street were even better.

              I'm so glad you recall the name and have the website. I'm going to their website now for more info!

              1. re: HoundDogz

                New Trial, you know I'm reading their website and they state that they are a no lard, low fat tamale. I had no idea they were a low fat tamale because from the taste of it it did not seem that they were aiming for that since they are so taste. Yes they are light in texture but full on in taste.

                Went back to their website and see they are at the So Pasadena farmer's market. All these years I've been going to that FM I have seen them but did not know it was the same one as at the 7th Street Market Place. Now when I go to the FM tomorrow I'll try them out again. I don't go often but when I go to the So. Pas FM I see them but never had one but since they are there I will go to try them out.

                Thanks much!

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                Market Place Restaurant
                1102 Lawrence St, Los Angeles, CA 90021

                1. re: HoundDogz

                  I went to the South Pas FM and saw the Corn Maiden stand. I was thinking of getting one just to try it out and see if it was like I remembered it as when I used to get them at the 7th Street Market Place. I ended up not getting any because they were 3.50 each. Sure I could afford that but for $3.50 I thought it's not worth it even for testing purposes. Reason is also I made some tamales yesterday. First time in my life and honestly they did taste like the Corn Maiden tamales I got at 7th Street, at least from recollection. I wanted to buy one to compare but at 3.50 and from remembering how they tasted I think mine came pretty darn close so I skipped on buying one at the FM.

                  I made a green chili chicken tamale like the ones I had at the 7th SMP. I never went for those ultra fancy tamales at Corn Maiden at the 7 SMP any how. They were so good back then but not worth $3.50 to me. I think they used to be $2.50 when I got them at the 7th SMP but now $3.50, too much $$$.

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                  Market Place Restaurant
                  1102 Lawrence St, Los Angeles, CA 90021

                  1. re: HoundDogz

                    Corn prices have skyrocketed, so naturally tamales now are more expensive. You can go to futures.tradingcharts.com and click on the monthly corn chart to view the bad news.

                    1. re: Dogbite Williams

                      Interesting. I watch the futures and the stock market as well but I never watch the grains. I did not know that the corn futures were up. I watch metals and the indexes. Thanks for pointing out the corn going up. I never thought of checking the futures but that is a good way to find out the general trend. I guess it comes down to inflation.

                      1. re: Dogbite Williams

                        > Corn prices have skyrocketed, so naturally tamales now are
                        > more expensive.

                        A 5 lb bag of high-quality organic corn kernels currently costs around $3.15, and makes enough masa for around 60 generously proportioned tamales.* That's a little over five cents of corn per tamale. Based on the CBOT data, corn prices have increased approximately 300% from their five-year lows in 2006. However, unless my math is WAY off, that doesn't account for a significant increase in tamale prices.

                        * Based on online recipes, 1 lb of corn makes 1.5 lbs of masa dough which makes 12 large tamales.