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Any good Mexican food in Silver Lake?

there are a lot of mexican restaurants in the area, but are any of them CH worthy? And please dont' say Yucca's.

Looking for casual sit down place and also a place to get my taco fix (ie. stand, truck, hole in the wall, etc)

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  1. Best tacos near Silverlake are at Mexicali Taco & Co. on Figueroa just north of Sunset. Not really Silverlake, but not too far. Other than that I can't think of anywhere in Silverlake that I'd go for Mexican food rather than drive farther afield for far better Mexican food. It's a shame since I live in Silverlake. But, I've tried all the Mexican places in the neighborhood and while some are okay for margaritas and chips and salsa, there aren't any that I would consider to have good Mexican food.

    1 Reply
    1. re: estone888

      sadly, this has also been my experience. Lots of mexican places but most, if not all, have been disappointing.

    2. The Oaxacan quesadilla cart in Echo Park is worth a visit.

      1. Ricky's Fish Taco is great, but he's only got fish and shrimp tacos. Haven't been to the Taco Zone truck on Alvarado in a while but it's generally quite good. I actually like Alegria, even if not terribly authentic. Unfortunately the service isn't great and they are adamantly anti-BYOB.
        Malo is fun, although it's not the most consistent.
        Unfortunately it's downhill from there.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Chowpatty

          I find Taco Zone pretty reliable. A big fan of the cabesa and tripe tacos, although most gueros go for the suadero (beef brisket). They usually don't get going until 8pm or so.

          As for Alegria, I've brought beer in there before with zero problems but this was at least two years ago, maybe they've had some issues since then.

          1. re: Chowpatty

            When did Alegria become adamantly anti-byob? It's been byob since day 1.

            1. re: Grog

              I have always thought of Alegria as being one of the worst Mexican places in LA.

              Having said that, I lived in Silverlake for over 24 years until months ago. The only Mexican spot that was great disappeared over 20 years ago. There is no outstanding Mexican food in Silverlake although I do frequent Tacos Delta for 2 or 3 items.

              1. re: Grog

                Someone reported them to the city maybe 2 years ago, right around the time they started taking credit cards. No mas byob.

            2. Sadly, there isn't, as far as I've been able to find IN Silver Lake. Every sit down place has problems (although I haven't been to Alegria). Malo I was very disappointed with. I love Yuca's original, but not the Silver Lake location so much. La Parrilla makes some good molcajetes, but the atmosphere is depressingly skanky. Barragans is Barragans, El Compadre is El Compadre. El Conquistador is terrible. For tacos, Taco Zone is only open after my eating hours. Siete Mares is too big n' greasy.The Tacos Delta stand near Sunset Junction is a B-, Machos Tacos is a C-.

              So, slim pickings. I know others will insist on Malo for sit-down, but I prefer old school Cali-mex and would recommend El Chavo for a few things they do very well: chile verde (wickedly spicy and my fave in town), taquitos, tostadas, margaritas. I've also had acceptable if unremarkable meals at Casita del Campo. For (lunchtime) tacos... Delta, I guess, though I haven't tried La Esquinita.

              Another thread:

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/323205

              9 Replies
              1. re: jesstifer

                Any votes for Mixto for lunch/casual tacos? I haven't been there enough times to really judge, but it seemed pretty bland. Still, nice to be able to get grass-fed beef.
                La Parrilla is closed now. I think "acceptable" might be pushing it for Casita del Campo. But I think we mostly agree?

                1. re: Chowpatty

                  I love Mixto and eat there once a week (at least). It's not authentic Mex -- healthy'ish Mex. Terrific tacos and whole wheat burritos. A better version of Hugo's Tacos.

                  1. re: Chowpatty

                    To me, Mixto is a mini version of Alegria which I detest. Sadly, it's Mexican "health food" which means bland, boring and very inauthentic. The grass fed beef is nice but ...

                    I got a torta the second day it was open. It was a plain telera roll with beef. Period. Nothing else on it. Then I found out you have to pay 50 cents for each item. Cilantro, 50 cents, crema, 50 cents, cheese 50 cents, onion, 50 cents and on and on.. by them your already pricy torta is expensive.

                    Brown rice, whole wheat tortillas is the order of the day.

                  2. re: jesstifer

                    > La Parrilla makes some good molcajetes,
                    > but the atmosphere is depressingly skanky

                    La Parilla was barely a step above an El Torito. This is moot as they are now closed: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/842847

                    1. re: Peripatetic

                      They do make reasonably good margaritas at Casita del Campo and if you drink enough of them the food won't make you gag, though it's a near thing. But if you drink enough of the margaritas you might be revisiting the food later and that's really not very pleasant.

                      1. re: estone888

                        i've mentioned this before and got ____ for it, but i had a really good taco salad once from casita del campo. it was a couple of years ago and it was really good. just sayin'!

                        1. re: Clyde

                          If you liked it, I'm happy for you. But I sure haven't ever had anything there I'd be willing to eat again.

                          1. re: estone888

                            that's funny. yeah, i don't go there anymore...

                    2. re: jesstifer

                      I must say that I have a long standing fondness for the shrimp burrito at Siete Mares. I've found it to be a good combination of flavor and textures, and an unparalleled carb fest to boot.

                    3. I personally think Alegria is by far the best option, though it isn't authentic Mexican or authentic Mexican American (re the latter I say thank God).

                      1. This thread makes me sad. So many mexican joints in SL yet none really worth eating.

                        So if one wanted some good mexican near Los Feliz/SL, where would you go that's within a 10-15 min drive?

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: TailbackU

                          Cacao Mexicatessen in Eagle Rock is excellent, unfortunately no alcohol but terrific duck carnitas tacos, seafood, moles, breakfasts, guacamole, homemade tortillas, etc.
                          La Cabinita in Montrose is surprisingly still pretty good after all these years.
                          Guelaguetza isn't far if you feel like Oaxacan.
                          As another poster said, Mexicali is practically in Echo Park so not far at all.
                          Yxta downtown is one of the few places with pretty good food and good drinks as well, ditto for Loteria Hollywood.

                          1. re: Chowpatty

                            Serenata di Garibaldi in Boyle Hts. and Rivera downtown are both very good, albeit at higher pricepoints.

                            1. re: will47

                              I live in Los Feliz and Guisado's is where I'd go when I want a really good taco. If I want to stay closer and am happy with just shrimp or fish, I'd go to Best Fishes Tacos in Ensenada. Their tacos are pretty good and the pineapple and mango salsas are great. Tacos are pretty hard to truly screw up though which is why it is also hard to make one that really stands out. If I just want an Asada Taco, I'd trust almost any place in Los Feliz or Silver Lake for that.

                          2. I was inspired to move to Los Feliz after eating RIcky's Fish Tacos. I'm not even kidding.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: toonoble

                              yes his tacos are that good. But very limited hours and only lunch service.

                            2. Mariella's Tacos on Sunset and Coranado is good. No beer. It is located in a strip mall, east of where sunset meets Silverlake. Love their Carne Asada. Great salsa

                              1. Have you tried any of the places on Virgil? I remember liking el charrito for their homemade tortillas, but this was a few years ago...

                                1. Alegria on Sunset, 3510 Sunset. Owner/chef. Friendly, very good service. Strip mall parking. Food is absolutely great. I love the carnitas tacos and burrito. Excellent menu.

                                  1. As a former Silverlaquera who now lives in San Diego, I'm reading these replies and thinking y'all are a bunch of spoiled kids! When it comes to SD, there is an inverse equation at play: the closer you are to the border, the shittier the Mexican food; french fries in burritos, 'rolled' tacos covered with grated cheddar...it's food for people who don't think about food, and yes there is a time and place for that....Re: Silverlake, of course Alegria is shit and so is El Conquistador - sorry but a strong margarita doesn't buy me off, while we are in the general vicinity, it of course goes without saying that Mexico City on Hillhurst is dog's dinner; El Compadre is also crappy but falls into the familiar/neighborhoody category that makes it safe from uber-ridicule.

                                    Still, though not at the level of Cacao or Guelaguetza or Mexicali, I can't tell you how often I long for midnight lengua tacos at TacoZone, the chilaquiles at Tacos Delta, or the pibil burrito at Yuca's.

                                    Signed,
                                    SD Jealous

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: TheeAce

                                      I have discovered Cacao in the last few months and agree it is stellar! I'm always impressed by their weekly specials. This week: Guero Chile Rellenos [Blonde/Yellow Chiles] filled with Mexican Shrimp & Tres Quesos. Topped with Aioli Japones. Often they serve venison or duck. This week's taco special: Wild Mexican Shrimp Wrapped in Apple Smoked Bacon on a a Bed of Tres Quesos. Their specials are often ambitious but so far, IMO, they pull it off very well.

                                      Tacos Delta has long been a breakfast destination for me for their very good Chilaquiles. The rest of the menu is more hit or miss for me although it shines again Silverlake's meager Mexican offerings.

                                      1. re: TheeAce

                                        Oddly, what I miss living in LA are the hold-in-your-hands style SD burritos...

                                        1. re: jdwdeville

                                          This is indeed very odd! Handholding burritos I associate with SF MIssion-style, now co-opted by Chipotle (I'm ok with that). French-fry containing burritos from __berto's Taco Shop I associate with SD :)

                                      2. If you're willing to travel to Santa Monica / Edgemont I've recently fallen in love with a tiny place called La Bonita. Chalkboard menu, hand made tortillas, and everything so far has been really tasty, except for the rice, which is never served hot enough and is quite dry (but the beans are great). I've tried the chicken breast in red sauce, albondigas (excellent), and chilaquiles. Cash only and no AC. I'll eat here over Alegria/Malo any day.

                                        Agree with Mexicali and Ricky's Fish Tacos recs. If you're willing to travel to Glassel Park, El Taco Feliz on Verdugo Rd & W Ave 31 have a wider variety of meats and fresh masa is used for the gorditas/sopes/huaraches. Really tasty suadero, cabeza, buche, and tripas.

                                        The tacos at the El Flamin' Taco truck at the Echo Park location are passable and IMO marginally better than taco zone, but if you're looking to indulge in a Cali burrito, the fries are fried to order every time and makes for a really awesome late night meal.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: maiweezy

                                          Cam the Man, who could suss out decent tacos even in Columbus Ohio, swore by Taco Zone, Tacos Villa Corona, or Mexicali before he left for points east, but none of 'em's really in SL;

                                          Tarasco's, which had some promise at outset, has been in a downward slide for a couple of years; each time I convince myself to go there (I live within a mile) I'm more disappointed.

                                          Mixto: bring me back Burrito King, please!

                                          We've now got a Tacos Gallito truck that hits the Echo Park/Silverlake borderline (just east of Benton on Sunset) regularly, but their stuff seems wildly inconsistent to me, the few times I've been there.
                                          \The bar places (Compadre, Casita, Conquistador, Chavo) are what they've always been, serving food that's basically a damper for booze.

                                          Malo, Mex City, Allegria? Meh, Meh and Meh.

                                          7 Mares outdoor stand is OK.

                                          How is any Barragans' still afloat?

                                          Wish there was a place to rave about.

                                            1. re: Servorg

                                              ...and, per Dommy's excursion to Antojitos Carmen earlier this month, I'd guesstimate 6.5 to there, and a bunch of other places in ELA, as well.

                                              I like Cacao and Mexicali (the WITH doesn't, so much) but SL's lack of a sit-down place even as good as La Cabanita (which has its supporters, but also its detractors and which is in freakin' MONTROSE, for God's sake) is a little dismaying...

                                            2. re: silverlakebodhisattva

                                              I agree with almost everything you said.

                                              Only exception being that the Tacos Gallito truck has been more than passable in the 3-4 times I've eaten there and gets the job done for a taco fix.

                                              Still looking for a spot to sit down, have a good margarita with good mexican food.

                                          1. Almost hate to say it- I had a good grilled fish taco at the new Senor Fish location in Echo Park recently. Not the cheapest taco at $2.95, but good.
                                            And, I'm surprised no one has mentioned the taco truck near the entrance to the 101N- I find them vastly better than Taco Zone.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: jdwdeville

                                              "And, I'm surprised no one has mentioned the taco truck near the entrance to the 101N-"

                                              Can you be a little more specific...

                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                  not even close to the 101N if that's it...don't understand the hype either. Al pastor off a spit into a warming bin = what's the point?

                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                    Not that one- there is a handmade sign that says "Bellevue Steakhouse"

                                              1. I lived in Echo Park for years. It's a Mexican neighborhood, mostly, and it's to the everlasting shame of that proud people that they haven't managed to get a quality Mexican place together in the area. Everything is really, really bad. I generally just get alcohol and nachos if forced to eat there.

                                                However, I used to run up to My Taco on York Street for delicious barbacoa, and Huaraches Azteca on the same street.