Hugo's Atwater-Formidable Tortas
We get office lunch once in a while from Hugo's in Atwater because they're efficient and have a good selection for our mix of vegetarians and meat-eaters. The tacos are pretty good and you can get a cheap little side of decent guacamole. There was uniform enthusiasm about the tortas though and so I tried one today, with grilled fish. I wouldn't claim to be a world authority on tortas although I have driven 15 miles or so (when gas was cheaper) to consume one based on recommendations at this board. The torta from Hugo's was jaw droppingly good. The bread was ultra fresh and soft, but not too soft. There was a thin coat of guacamole and a dainty layer of white beans and grilled onions. The fish had a nice flavor and was complimented, rather than drowned out, by the accompaniments. I hadn't been keen on ordering this because the menu claims it's dipped in honey chipotle, griddle cooked, and spicy. I was concerned it might be on the hot side and more importantly, messy. It was neither. The chipotle sauce was applied very sparingly and left the bread with a lovely glaze. Good to find something local and delicious now that the price of fuel makes me think twice about food sorties.
I had my first torta _ever_ about a month ago, and it was at Hugo's (Atwater Village). And it was everything I had hoped a torta would be, as you've described above. I believe I had the carnitas rendition, and I pretty much inhaled it. I find everything easy at this Hugos (have had their tacos previously), with easy parking and never more than a 5 minute wait for the chow...
Sounds a little too polite for my tastes, which is how I'd characterize much of Hugo's output on the 2-3 occasions I've been there.
I'd note, BTW, that the current incarnation of Cemitas Pal Cabron is less than 15 miles away from you, I think...