Tacqueria Los Anaya on West Adams?
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.