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Tacqueria Los Anaya on West Adams?

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Might be too early to get excited, but I'd heard about a fairly new Mexican restaurant on West Adams. I was looking to grab a meal yesterday and decided to give it a chance. Tacqueria Los Anaya had a fairly standard tacqueria menu, but when I entered the chalkboard looked interesting. Dishes like trout with cucumber sauce, fish filet veracruz, grilled pork chops with apricot/rosemary sauce, penne pasta with chorizo. Prices weren't marked on the blackboard, but I doubted it would be too dear in this neighborhood (West Adams, one block west of Buckingham Road). Since I generally eat in the cheap....uh, inexpensive place but I appreciate good food I went with one of the specials I've eaten at other places. The old standby, chili colorado. The place isn't too big with smallish tables they can put together (if need be) for a bigger group. As I waited dishes they were bringing out looked pretty good. When my dish came out it looked nice. Grilled small chunks of beef with a reddish coating of chili, a fairly generic green salad, and refried beans with chips. They also brought out a packet of homemade corn tortillas. It was quite tasty and to my taste a lot better than any other version of the dish I've had over the years. It was spicier than I expected, but it did taste good. I'll have to go try a few other dishes, but the place (to my mind) is pretty good for not much money. Details at their facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Taqueri...
It sounds like their bread pudding is their dessert pride and joy, but they also had listed (on the board) pastry tres leches, and mango flan. I should add, the guys running the place were real welcoming and their command of english was excellent (if any of you worry about that).

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  1. Looks wonderful. Great find and thanks for posting. Yelp photos of the food can be seen here: http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/6Dd4kT...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Servorg

      I swear I'm not involved with the business. I was there last Saturday and had another meal. Nothing fancy, just a carne asada burrito (since my sister who is hesitant to go out that way). Never had a problem, but I might pick up a burrito since she's partial to those and "lure" her out that way.
      Nicely done and inexpensive. Also picked up a guava flan and their bread pudding to try. Very good and inexpensive ($2.50 for the flan). Had a watermelon agua fresca (flavors do change, so it'll depend what they have that day). Incidentally, I mentioned to one of the 3 brothers that I was impressed with the beef the 2 times I've had it there. He told me it was angus beef flap meat they prepare so it's (as he put it) "very clean" (I think he meant it had no gristle, etc.) "and tender." This isn't a fancy place, but I'm kind of impressed with the efforts of these folks to bring pretty good food to this neighborhood.

    2. Has anyone else tried this place? The yelp reviews are ALL 5 stars. Village pizza and mozza don't even have 5 stars, you know what I'm sayin?

      3 Replies
      1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

        Well you have to keep in mind the area and the number of reviews... I don't do yelp... but based off my experiences there, I think they are worthy 5 stars, especially for the neighborhood...

        http://www.flickr.com/photos/dommichu...

        --Dommy!

        1. re: Dommy

          I think Dommy's comment is spot on. I don't eat in many of the more upscale places, but I do appreciate a good meal. The place is a great "bang for the buck" kind of place. Don't get me wrong, I really like the food I've gotten there. The place is basically a family with 3 brothers who have a lot of food service experience. One of their winning traits is they like to interact with their customers. When I first went there they would ask if I enjoyed my meal and was there anything they could do to improve. The food is presented very nicely on simple dishes. The utensils are usually plastic except for the metal soup spoons when you order soup. Mostly family members staff the place and they are very flexible. I've seen pictures of dishes not on the menu and they've told me if they had the ingredients in stock to make the dish they would probably be able to make it for me. Everything is made fresh like the tortillas. I particularly like the specials on the chalkboard up front. So far every one has been $9.50 including the beans, chips, rice and salad. I'm not a big fan of that "other board" because too many reviews are one-shot affairs with star ratings given for seemingly odd reasons (i.e, I didn't eat the food but I didn't like the looks of the place, etc.). I hope a few other chowhounders try the place and I think they will be impressed and your wallet will be a bit fatter than normal. I think people have gone there have kind of bonded with the family and are really pulling for these guys to succeed big time.

        2. re: LuluTheMagnificent

          It's very small, but clean and the staff is friendly. It seemed like there were more staff than customers when we were there. Service is good.

          Melon agua fresca and horchata were both fresh and refreshing, and nice complements to the food. If you order the chips and salsa, they charge a little extra, but it comes with fresh quacamole. It's worth the few bucks.

          The tacos are the small (street) kind, served on fresh tortillas:

          Al pastor taco - deeply flavored and succulent. Moist but not runny. My favorite.
          Mole taco - complex mole sauce bursting with flavor.
          Al pastor taco - Meat had a nice smoky flavor, and very tender.
          Adobada taco - Spicy and very interesting flavor.
          Carnitas taco - Could taste the citrus marinade. Nice texture, but a little dry.
          Pollo Gallina taco - Dry and gamey. My least favorite.

          This place is definitely worth a try. It's only about a quarter mile (5 blocks or so) east of La Brea. So next time you're looking for something as you're zooming up or down La Brea, take a little detour.

          Oh, and they have breakfast, which I plan to try.

        3. After reading about this, I decided to go last night. I live in the area and figured it was worth checking out.

          I highly recommend going here! I got the three taco combo of al pastor, carnitas, and carne asada -- all great! The beans and rice were good, too. I definitely plan on returning.

          Also, while I was waiting for my food, I got to chat with the owners, who were super nice. We need more "hole-in-the-wall" places like this!

          1. Oh yeah, and the owner told me LA Weekly voted them the #8 fish taco in LA! Not bad for a restaurant that's only six months old!

            http://blogs.laweekly.com/squidink/20...

            2 Replies
            1. re: thisisrichard

              Recently there was a small review of the place in the L.A. Weekly. http://blogs.laweekly.com/squidink/20...
              I'm a bit uncomfortable being head cheerleader for the place, but I do really like the owners and the food. I actually like the fish tacos the best of their taco selections, but the choices I often choose are the specials on the chalkboard when you enter. I think they're all good, but my favorites I would say are the pescado veracruzano, fajitas and mango chicken breast. So far all the specials have been $9.50. Pescado veracruzano is a tilapia fillet with a spicy stew of bell peppers, onions, tomatoes and sliced green olives. Fajitas you more or less know what that is. The mango chicken breast is a deboned chicken breast cooked with a sauce and mango slices.
              All the specials come with beans, chips, rice, salad, tortillas or bread included. It's a tiny place that they keep super clean and since it's basically all family members (including wives and the college age kids) you receive great service and feed back. I almost guarantee one of the brothers will check with you how you liked the food. The place is really flexible. The fish tacos have chunks of swordfish fried in batter, but they've told me if I wanted it lighter they'd grill the fish for me instead. They've told me if there is any way they could improve they would like to be told. I like the cosmopolitan crowd; locals and some who live in the fancier neighborhoods with their Priuses and Range Rovers who've heard about the place or are coming back as repeaters.
              One tip. If you get take out tell them to put the chips separate from the beans inside the styrofoam containers otherwise they steam and lose their crispness. Now to put away my pom poms.

              1. re: thisisrichard

                I stopped by after the LA Weekly review.

                Had the fish taco (tasty! not as good as Ricky's, but still pretty damn good) chicken mole taco and barbacoa taco. I also had a Carnitas sope. The Sope was OFF THE CHAIN. Really cod taste the fresh masa in the sope shell, and it was still hot. Mmmmm

              2. I've eaten take out from here three times now, but this afternoon was the first time I stepped inside. What a gem -- ridiculously friendly service (the owners adorable nieces are at the register, and the owner himself helped me determine what to order), super clean and colorful dining room (though small), and of course solid food. I had the vegetarian burrito stuffed with eggplant, onions, peppers, mushrooms, guacamole, salsa and beans... Entire thing gone in a matter of minutes. Though the innards were scrumptious, I think my favorite part was the tortilla, grilled to a perfect crisp and just the right chew.

                Different than say, the house burrito at Gloria's or the famous Al & Bea's, but terrific in its own way.

                They've been open nine months, and I'd say they're in a groove by now.

                Love it.

                1. My wife and I have made Anaya a regular stop. The food is tasty, well-priced, and the family running it are all really friendly. The place is also cheerier and cleaner than a lot of tacquerias. I've tried a bunch of things, but typically get the three taco plate ($6.95). They make their own tortillas so even though they aren't large tacos, the good amount of meat and the fresh tortillas make them filling. I think my favorites are the adobada and the mole, with the Carne asada and the al pastor next. I never tried the fish taco, but someone sitting next to me had it and said it was very good. Next on my try list is the chile colorado.

                  The owner told us that they were just about ready to open the expansion into the connecting space to the west and would also get their own parking. Thou we are always able to find a street space right out front.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: john gonzales

                    TREMENDOUS news... I also have to plug their breakfasts. Their Chilaquilles are among the best in the city!!! Super saucy, crisp edge, with their house made chorizo it is just stunning. Plus they are open super early! I was HEART broken when Carmen closes because they were open EARLY for breakfast... So I was thrilled when I found out TlA was open starting at 7a!

                    1. re: Dommy

                      Do you know what days they open at 7 AM, Dommy? I would definitely make it for an early breakfast on the weekend.

                      1. re: Servorg

                        Mondy thru Saturday. Sunday at 8a I've gotten breakfast from them at ~7a on a weekday and it was spot on...

                        1. re: Dommy

                          Thanks, Dommy. I noticed that they now have a rather nice website: http://www.taquerialosanaya.com/

                          1. re: Servorg

                            Their website was a little wonky. It would only show the breakfast part of the menu, but they got their webmaster to fix it. They usually have some items available that aren't on the menu like machaca. I noticed the expansion room is getting closer to be completed. They had the entrance and the large opening in the wall now cut out (but covered). They do have additional parking down the street. You turn just before Hillcrest (think that's the name) into a lot. I'm pretty sure they have menudo on the weekends too. Their bread pudding and flan desserts are very good if you have the stomach room. I think the flan is a steal for the quality/price.

                            1. re: Feed_me

                              They said the new room would be opened later this week.
                              We were there a few days back and tried the shrimp fajitas, which were very good. I had the Barbados, which is not always listed but often available. It was excellent. I've really grown to appreciate the fresh tortillas. If you like a little heat, make sure and ask for some of their diablo sauce. It hurts a bit, but is really good.

                          2. re: Dommy

                            Hi Dommy. Thanks again for the recommendation of the chilaquiles with chorizo and eggs over easy. Had it this morning at their opening at 8 AM. Just me and two LAPD patrol officers. Really excellent. And thanks again to Feed Me for the OP. The new room next door is coming along great it looked like and they should have the expansion done soon.

                            If you ever get over to Ronnie's Diner and try their chorizo bowl I'll be interested to hear your take on it.

                            1. re: Servorg

                              YAY!! So glad you liked it! I TOTALLY put the Chorizo bowl on my list to try, I will report back when I do. :)

                              --Dommy!

                              1. re: Dommy

                                I'm glad you liked the chilaquiles, Servorg. I'll try to partake of the chorizo bowl at Ronnie's too, but I fear it's one of those you only get those breakfast items up to 11 am. Must be old age, but sometimes it's hard to get someplace by the breakfast "curfew." It's also a bit past my regular western boundary of Centinela. I noticed your kind comment, but I've been avoiding answering to keep from posting too much about TLA. I was there tonight and they've opened the side room and their capacity is much greater. The side room looks more like a good Mexican restaurant in overall style and it's probably twice the useable floorspace of the original eating area. It's got good-sized dark brown tables with heavy wood chairs. The tables look to handle 6 diners easily. They now serve you with nice stainless flatware and nicer dishes. They sent me into the newly opened room and I kind of miss the charm of the funkier original space. Food and super friendly service is still intact. I'd enter through the "old door" currently because the workmen didn't quite finish up the tile flooring to the door facing the street in the newly opened room. They have a rug in the gap but it's probably safer to come in through the old door at present.

                                1. re: Feed_me

                                  Update: I was there today and the tile has all been installed by the door leading into the side room.

                    2. I have been going to Los Anaya for several months now. We really enjoy the food, and the people couldn't be nicer. We just got home from having lunch and it was crowded, and people kept coming. The furniture for the other room was just arriving, so hopefully the other room will be open this weekend or the beginning of the week.
                      We love their tortilla soup with grilled chicken. Today we had the chilliaquilles with over easy eggs and carne asada. Hubby likes the diablo sauce, chipotle and mole sauces where I like the salsa verde. They will make what ever you want. I urge everyone to try it, it is located on the corner of West Blvd, and Adams, between Crenshaw and LaBrea. I know that some people don't want to go in the area, however, I have not had any problems and we have gone at all times of day and night. They also have a parking lot at the end of the block.
                      I had the shrimp enchiladas with the salsa verde, they make them like they do at La Casita Mexicana, not with all the cheese, but rolled in the homemade tortillas with the sauce on top and some queso fresco. Manny suggested that I have sauteed shrimp with the salsa verde and it was delicious. We also had the machaca which was very good. We truly haven't had a bad meal here.
                      The brothers, Manny, Ardo, and Juan couldn't be nicer and they have a lot of their family working here and they really try hard. I encourage everyone to try it. It is simple, reasonably priced and very clean.