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Best Nachos?

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Dirtywextraolives Nov 6, 2013 04:22 PM

It's national nachos day....

Who makes the best nachos?

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  1. j
    jessejames RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 6, 2013 04:26 PM

    call me crazy dirty, but i like the basic nachos with electric yellow nacho cheese and pickled jalapenos only ie at dodger stadium and staples...extra cheese sauce please.

    for meatier and fancy nachos, im all ears hounds...nice post...i want to know!

    1 Reply
    1. re: jessejames
      d
      Dirtywextraolives RE: jessejames Nov 6, 2013 05:27 PM

      You so crazy....... ;0)

    2. Servorg RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 6, 2013 04:51 PM

      I like 'em at Don Antonio's on Pico and (when I was a lot younger and thought I was indestructible and would live forever) I liked 'em at Pancho's Tacos in Santa Monica.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Servorg
        Servorg RE: Servorg Nov 6, 2013 04:58 PM

        One other thought (if you would like a place that has what seems like a "healthier" version) Loteria Grill http://loteriagrill.com/

        1. re: Servorg
          d
          Dirtywextraolives RE: Servorg Nov 6, 2013 05:27 PM

          Good to know, those are close by, thanks.

          1. re: Servorg
            fgrade RE: Servorg Nov 17, 2013 04:10 PM

            damn. We were at Don Antonios a couple of weeks ago. Didn't have nachos, but maybe we should've. Our main courses were so salty

            1. re: fgrade
              Servorg RE: fgrade Nov 17, 2013 04:19 PM

              I've taken to getting an all meat burrito with their "stewed pork" that they normally pair with their salsa verde and I have avocado added. Sometimes I get it topped with sauce and cheese and sometimes I don't. I'm not very salt sensitive, so I don't find their food overly salty. That salt thing is really so incredibly variable.

              1. re: Servorg
                d
                Dirtywextraolives RE: Servorg Nov 17, 2013 05:27 PM

                I've not found their food to be overly salty either, and I am sensitive to overly salted food......

                1. re: Servorg
                  fgrade RE: Servorg Nov 17, 2013 09:03 PM

                  We didn't have that burrito. It was a chimichanga and a burrito, both carne asada, and both way too salty. We also over heard another table mention the high blood pressure coming on due to the salty food. Must've been having an off night. And i agree with you on the salt variable. I have friends who add salt to their food as if were going out of style.

            2. n
              ns1 RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 6, 2013 04:54 PM

              mexicali taco co. no contest (for me)

               
              44 Replies
              1. re: ns1
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                jessejames RE: ns1 Nov 6, 2013 04:59 PM

                those look awesome -- is that chorizo with the nacho cheese and jalapeno?

                1. re: jessejames
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                  ns1 RE: jessejames Nov 6, 2013 05:08 PM

                  it's whatever meat you want.

                  IIRC fresh chips, meat of choice, 2 kinds of cheese (melted nacho cheese + shredded cheddar IIRC), jalapenos, pico de gallo

                  you get pickled onions + salsa from their salsa bar to make it even more godly. When you get a good cook, they will stack the chips vertically (like my picture) so that the cheese runs through everything more evenly, and the chips don't get as soggy either.

                  1. re: ns1
                    j
                    jessejames RE: ns1 Nov 6, 2013 06:55 PM

                    Sounds great. I like a carnitas quesadillo this looks even better and I can do up carnitas and nacho sauce. Just cuz conversation w a hound is better than google where is Mexicali?

                    1. re: jessejames
                      d
                      Dirtywextraolives RE: jessejames Nov 6, 2013 07:26 PM

                      It's downtown. Not convenient for me, anyway.

                    2. re: ns1
                      j
                      jessejames RE: ns1 Nov 6, 2013 06:57 PM

                      I agree with your vertical theory. Works good w round nachos at games too.

                      1. re: jessejames
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                        linus RE: jessejames Nov 7, 2013 08:07 AM

                        man, i don't get the vertical thing at all. or the liquid cheese thing, either.
                        maybe i'm an old fart -- well, i am an old fart -- but i like the chips horizontal with cheese melted on them. i like the variations in texture of the cheese and the chips when they've been shoved under a salamander or broiler.

                        however, those do look tasty, so what do i really know?

                        1. re: linus
                          j
                          jessejames RE: linus Nov 7, 2013 08:31 AM

                          I don't like it when a few chips on top serve as a roof and get all the cheese while rest get none. Vertical allows the golden goodness to reach more surface area....anyway I gotta hit up that Mexicali spot. Photo such a tease!

                          1. re: jessejames
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                            ns1 RE: jessejames Nov 7, 2013 08:57 AM

                            I love going into this thread just to see the picture up top.

                            1. re: ns1
                              j
                              jessejames RE: ns1 Nov 7, 2013 08:59 AM

                              i know, me too. no calories!

                              1. re: ns1
                                d
                                Dirtywextraolives RE: ns1 Nov 7, 2013 09:19 AM

                                Yes, you're killing me that I can't go there soon to try them....

                              2. re: jessejames
                                l
                                linus RE: jessejames Nov 7, 2013 09:24 AM

                                i don't understand how that works unless you're using the liquid cheese.

                                1. re: linus
                                  n
                                  ns1 RE: linus Nov 7, 2013 09:32 AM

                                  re: mexicali
                                  they use both hot melted nacho cheese and shredded cheese

                                  1. re: ns1
                                    j
                                    jessejames RE: ns1 Nov 7, 2013 09:39 AM

                                    sexi-time!

                                    1. re: ns1
                                      Dommy RE: ns1 Nov 7, 2013 10:12 AM

                                      I know... that is why I love it. The Nacho cheese is essential for the comfort factor...

                                      1. re: Dommy
                                        j
                                        jessejames RE: Dommy Nov 7, 2013 10:14 AM

                                        do you get the whiz on your boos' steaks dommy? i feel same way with that!

                                        1. re: jessejames
                                          JAB RE: jessejames Nov 7, 2013 10:23 AM

                                          Provolone! I had one on Tuesday.

                                          1. re: jessejames
                                            Dommy RE: jessejames Nov 7, 2013 10:26 AM

                                            Absolutely! No other way!!

                                            --Dommy!

                                            1. re: Dommy
                                              j
                                              jessejames RE: Dommy Nov 7, 2013 10:31 AM

                                              i like the whiz, but maybe mexicali style with whiz and provolone??

                                              1. re: jessejames
                                                JAB RE: jessejames Nov 7, 2013 10:33 AM

                                                Blasphemy! ;>)

                                                1. re: JAB
                                                  j
                                                  jessejames RE: JAB Nov 7, 2013 10:35 AM

                                                  ok, one of each? fletch style, i'll have a steak sandwich and...a steach sandwich

                                        2. re: ns1
                                          l
                                          linus RE: ns1 Nov 7, 2013 02:57 PM

                                          doesn't the shredded cheese just fall down onto the plate or into the carboard basket?
                                          how can you put shredded cheese on a vertical chip?

                                          1. re: linus
                                            Servorg RE: linus Nov 7, 2013 03:13 PM

                                            They use the hot melted cheese as a sort of glue that catches and holds onto the other ingredients, along with partially melting the shredded cheese onto the surface of the hot, melted cheese.

                                            1. re: Servorg
                                              l
                                              linus RE: Servorg Nov 7, 2013 03:14 PM

                                              thank you for the explanation. i think i can picture it.

                                              1. re: linus
                                                The Chowhound Team RE: linus Nov 8, 2013 07:37 AM

                                                We don't know why a thread about something as innocuous yet awesome as nachos got so testy so fast, but we've removed a bunch of replies here. We'd like to remind everyone that if you don't like the sound of someone's post, you aren't obligated to reply to it, but if you are going to reply to please be friendly. Thanks.

                                2. re: ns1
                                  j
                                  jessejames RE: ns1 Nov 6, 2013 06:58 PM

                                  Carne Asada nachos....something has been unlocked!

                                  1. re: jessejames
                                    n
                                    ns1 RE: jessejames Nov 6, 2013 07:09 PM

                                    Carne Asada nachos....something has been unlocked!
                                    ---------------

                                    Deliciousness. level 50. Mexicali is just north of DTLA, south east of Dodger stadium I think on Figueroa.

                                    1. re: ns1
                                      j
                                      jessejames RE: ns1 Nov 6, 2013 07:44 PM

                                      Dynamite

                              3. re: ns1
                                Dommy RE: ns1 Nov 6, 2013 05:21 PM

                                YESH!!!!!!!!!!!! I like them with the Al Pastor the best!

                                --Dommy!

                                1. re: Dommy
                                  n
                                  ns1 RE: Dommy Nov 6, 2013 05:25 PM

                                  I STILL have not had their al pastor. how is it compared to the heavy hitters?

                                  1. re: ns1
                                    Dommy RE: ns1 Nov 6, 2013 06:57 PM

                                    Honestly... only Tacos Leo is better... but I find myself more likely to go Mexicali because I love their tortillas and they can do me up one Ranchero Style...

                                    --Dommy!

                                    1. re: Dommy
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                                      nosh RE: Dommy Nov 8, 2013 03:27 AM

                                      Nachos at Carnitas Michaocan (No. Broadway at 19th above Chinatown) -- chips, tons of cheese, jalapenos, and choice of meat on top -- their al pastor comes sliced from a rotisserie spit, and if you manage to be there when freshly carved, heaven. But what sets these apart is the hot sauce -- best I've found in SoCal. Huge order, quite inexpensive. Better still -- same thing with fries instead of tortilla chips.

                                      1. re: nosh
                                        s
                                        Stravinsky RE: nosh Nov 9, 2013 02:11 PM

                                        Have heard those fries are legendary... really need to get there to try them when I feel like having a heart attack!

                                        They use a white cheese right?

                                        1. re: Stravinsky
                                          n
                                          nosh RE: Stravinsky Nov 9, 2013 07:29 PM

                                          On Carnitas Michaocan's fries, they use a yellow melted cheese sauce over the fries. If I ordered the dish again I would ask for the fries welldone to better standup to the cheese sauce. I might also try the carne asada in place of the al pastor, which is my regular choice there. The order is HUGE, easily shared. I'm a big eater and after lunch there, I took more than half home and still didn't finish all of the fries or cheese. Be sure to ask for as many of the thimbles of hot sauce as they will give you.

                                          1. re: nosh
                                            j
                                            jessejames RE: nosh Nov 9, 2013 07:33 PM

                                            Sounds great

                                            1. re: jessejames
                                              d
                                              Dirtywextraolives RE: jessejames Nov 9, 2013 07:47 PM

                                              Yes, it does.....

                                            2. re: nosh
                                              s
                                              Stravinsky RE: nosh Nov 10, 2013 09:36 AM

                                              Is this not them?

                                              http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=h...

                                              Maybe the lighting is just playing tricks on me; why does the cheese sauce look white to me?

                                  2. re: ns1
                                    Ciao Bob RE: ns1 Nov 7, 2013 09:01 AM

                                    Yum...that looks great!

                                    1. re: ns1
                                      SilverlakeGirl RE: ns1 Nov 7, 2013 05:57 PM

                                      Wow, I just may have to stop for that!

                                      OTOH, the other food review site has high marks for Tacos Villa Corona's "Papas Nachos" … Potato Nachos. since the place opened I have bought the Papas Breakfast Burrito w Bacon but just heard about a nacho version.

                                      I'll let you know.

                                      1. re: SilverlakeGirl
                                        d
                                        Dirtywextraolives RE: SilverlakeGirl Nov 7, 2013 07:44 PM

                                        Where's that place, silverlakeGirl?

                                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                          Servorg RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 7, 2013 08:14 PM

                                          https://www.google.com/#q=Tacos+Villa...

                                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                            SilverlakeGirl RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 7, 2013 08:37 PM

                                            Thank you, Servorg.

                                            I am actually now Atwater Village Girl after buying my new home over a year ago. The restaurant is around the corner from my home:

                                            3185 Glendale Blvd
                                            Los Angeles, CA 90039

                                            It was always popular but, after appearing on Bourdain's No Reservations, it is VERY popular, especially since only one person can go inside at one time. So, a lot of people hang out on the street.

                                            1. re: SilverlakeGirl
                                              d
                                              Dirtywextraolives RE: SilverlakeGirl Nov 7, 2013 09:07 PM

                                              Great, thanks for that, Atwater village girl..... What do you mean, only one person can go in at a time, is it extremely tiny? A stand? Or they have a bouncer at the door?

                                              1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                SilverlakeGirl RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 8, 2013 02:38 AM

                                                Just tiny inside.

                                                Here's a short snip of Bourdain's trip to Tacos Villa Corona

                                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KAtLw...

                                                And it comes in #1 on LA Weekly's Best Breakfast Burrito

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

                                                I still wanna check out Lucky Boy … never been.

                                                1. re: SilverlakeGirl
                                                  d
                                                  Dirtywextraolives RE: SilverlakeGirl Nov 8, 2013 09:38 AM

                                                  Ah, yes I see! Well, will have to keep them in mind when I'm passing through the area.....love breakfast burritos.....

                                      2. Wayno RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 6, 2013 05:07 PM

                                        National Nachos Day - good to know! Was gonna make tacos tonight, but will see if the SO is agreeable to transitioning to nachos instead. Thanks for the info.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Wayno
                                          d
                                          Dirtywextraolives RE: Wayno Nov 6, 2013 05:28 PM

                                          Um, good luck with that.... Hahaha!

                                        2. t
                                          TailbackU RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 6, 2013 05:19 PM

                                          Love the nachos at Mission Cantina in Hollywood. Order one with a $20 pitcher of margarita and it's a good night.

                                          http://s3-media4.ak.yelpcdn.com/bphot...

                                          1. ipsedixit RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 6, 2013 06:56 PM

                                            Tinga
                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/786340

                                            (And for what it's worth, LA Weekly agrees: http://blogs.laweekly.com/squidink/20...)

                                            7 Replies
                                            1. re: ipsedixit
                                              Dommy RE: ipsedixit Nov 6, 2013 07:01 PM

                                              Hands down... Tinga has the best restaurant chips in town... I love them...

                                              But their nachos seemed wildly off balance... not enough cheese, not enough meat, not enough guac... it just didn't come together... I was SOOOO upset....

                                              Instead I order their chips and plop big pieces of their BRC on top... It's super carby (which pretty much makes up most of my meals)... but when it's all mixed up together SO GOOD.

                                              --Dommy!

                                              1. re: Dommy
                                                d
                                                Dirtywextraolives RE: Dommy Nov 6, 2013 07:25 PM

                                                What's brc Dommy?

                                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                  ipsedixit RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 6, 2013 07:37 PM

                                                  Beans

                                                  Rice

                                                  Cheese

                                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                                    Dommy RE: ipsedixit Nov 6, 2013 07:47 PM

                                                    Or how I was able to afford a car and college on a comic book shop manager budget... I ate so many El Pollo Loco BRCs at the shop that the guys were SHOCKED when the idiot who worked for me (I only hired him because he knew Magic cards... & he resented my Comic book game) brought me a burger as a joke and I ate the whole damn thing... and his.

                                                    --Dommy!

                                                    1. re: ipsedixit
                                                      d
                                                      Dirtywextraolives RE: ipsedixit Nov 7, 2013 07:20 AM

                                                      Just figured it out, thanks....

                                                2. re: ipsedixit
                                                  d
                                                  Dirtywextraolives RE: ipsedixit Nov 6, 2013 07:24 PM

                                                  For reals?? Like the one right under my nose?? GTFO!!

                                                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                    ipsedixit RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 6, 2013 07:38 PM

                                                    Fo shizzle.

                                                3. ipsedixit RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 7, 2013 10:47 AM

                                                  I have soft spot for 7-Eleven.

                                                  Nothing like chili and cheese pumped, and pumped, and pumped.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                                    JAB RE: ipsedixit Nov 7, 2013 10:50 AM

                                                    First the fillet of fish...

                                                  2. e
                                                    Ernie RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 7, 2013 11:22 AM

                                                    I think processed nacho cheese is absolutely vile, but I do like the nachos at Pepe's. They use a ton of shredded cheese which I prefer and add guacamole, refried beans and bit of their pork chile verde. A huge order is about $5

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: Ernie
                                                      d
                                                      Dirtywextraolives RE: Ernie Nov 7, 2013 01:55 PM

                                                      Do you mean Pepe's Galley at the Mar Vista bowl?

                                                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives
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                                                        Ernie RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 7, 2013 02:34 PM

                                                        No, the Pepe's drive-through in Alhambra (plus a few other locations)

                                                        Here's a pic of Pepe's nachos doused in their red hot sauce

                                                         
                                                        1. re: Ernie
                                                          d
                                                          Dirtywextraolives RE: Ernie Nov 7, 2013 07:42 PM

                                                          Thank you for clarifying....

                                                          1. re: Ernie
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                                                            granadafan RE: Ernie Nov 7, 2013 09:58 PM

                                                            I wok down the street from there. Do they actually melt the cheese?

                                                            1. re: granadafan
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                                                              Ernie RE: granadafan Nov 8, 2013 08:04 AM

                                                              It is a mix of melted and unmelted cheese. Normally that would not appeal to me, but it works in their nachos since they also add warm beans, a bit of warm chile verde and guacamole

                                                      2. d
                                                        Dirtywextraolives RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 7, 2013 01:58 PM

                                                        Totally forgot about this..... But just went to Pink Taco and had theirs....say what you want about the place, but their nachos are really good. Got the carnitas nachos and it really hit the spot. They use queso, which is very similar to the liquid nacho cheese sauce, plus shredded cheeses. Works for me.

                                                         
                                                        6 Replies
                                                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                          j
                                                          jessejames RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 7, 2013 02:09 PM

                                                          id eat that!

                                                          1. re: jessejames
                                                            JAB RE: jessejames Nov 7, 2013 04:12 PM

                                                            But, what wouldn't you eat? ;>)

                                                            (attempting to distract jj from the linus conversation)

                                                            1. re: JAB
                                                              j
                                                              jessejames RE: JAB Nov 7, 2013 04:13 PM

                                                              too late im afraid!

                                                              im pretty picky actually - no mayo, mustard, certain gloopy stuff....i liked the nice scoops of guac and sour cream in that pic.

                                                              1. re: jessejames
                                                                JAB RE: jessejames Nov 7, 2013 04:14 PM

                                                                Yea, you went there as I was typing.

                                                                1. re: JAB
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                                                                  jessejames RE: JAB Nov 7, 2013 04:15 PM

                                                                  now i edited it...kinda hard not to let that one go first time.

                                                              2. re: JAB
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                                                                linus RE: JAB Nov 7, 2013 04:16 PM

                                                                thank god someone's distracting it.

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                                                            Jelly71 RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 8, 2013 09:26 AM

                                                            Salsa and Beer in Van Nuys on White Oak makes great nachos. I always get them to go and that clamshell is heavy. It is under $5 and they don't skimp on the ingredients. I am a big fan of their grilled chicken dishes, and the chicken nachos are a flavor bomb.

                                                            7 Replies
                                                            1. re: Jelly71
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                                                              Dirtywextraolives RE: Jelly71 Nov 8, 2013 09:30 AM

                                                              Good to know, thanks.....

                                                              1. re: Jelly71
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                                                                ns1 RE: Jelly71 Nov 8, 2013 09:32 AM

                                                                They're decent enough, but srsly Mexicali blows them away.

                                                                1. re: ns1
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                                                                  nosh RE: ns1 Nov 8, 2013 08:55 PM

                                                                  As I've researched, there is a salsa & beer in n. hyd. there is another way west of van nuys on white oak, which is west of hayvenhurst.

                                                                  1. re: nosh
                                                                    d
                                                                    Dirtywextraolives RE: nosh Nov 9, 2013 10:01 AM

                                                                    I've been to the one that's in Reseda, I think....maybe that's the white oak one? I think that's about too far west to be van nuys, no?

                                                                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                                      gr8pimpin RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 9, 2013 01:03 PM

                                                                      The one on White Oak they call Van Nuys.

                                                                      I've been to both, though I go to the one in NoHo, seriously usually twice per week!!! It is about 4 times the capacity of the White Oak location and also has two full bars (White Oak just serves beer). Inexpensive and really great margaritas.

                                                                      Pretty great service there too!

                                                                      1. re: gr8pimpin
                                                                        d
                                                                        Dirtywextraolives RE: gr8pimpin Nov 9, 2013 05:55 PM

                                                                        Okay, cool, I thought that was considered Reseda.... I'm obviously not a valley girl....

                                                                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                                          gr8pimpin RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 18, 2013 12:13 PM

                                                                          I originally thought that was considered Reseda too :-)

                                                              2. Gypsy Jan RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 9, 2013 10:29 AM

                                                                It must be a fable that the Holy Grail of food for those who imbibe and/or ingest certain weed substances are destroying their brain cells.

                                                                Just look at all the detailed and passionate, descriptive responses - some so passionate that the mods got cranky.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Gypsy Jan
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                                                                  nosh RE: Gypsy Jan Nov 9, 2013 07:43 PM

                                                                  Heightens sensual emotions.

                                                                  But I've thought about it: On the high end you have ambitious chefs who can source the best, rarest ingredients and attempt to be creative and unique. So we 'hounds can describe a dish and opine about whether it worked. But on the low end we've all experienced a dish innumerable times. So we take a common dish -- burger, fried chicken, or here nachos -- and we assess minor differences in styles, toppings, preparation, quantity, value. And with so many similar choices, when one finds a favorite and loves it repeatedly, it cultivates a loyalty and a passion.

                                                                2. s
                                                                  Stravinsky RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 9, 2013 02:18 PM

                                                                  For me, the best nachos come from the original Freebird in Santa Barbara (the chain using the same name is total shit sadly).

                                                                  A glorious pile of nachos with cheese freshly melted on them, and then piled with an ungodly amount of essentially every ingredient you can imagine. Two kinds of beans, rice, mountains of sour cream and guacamole, veggies...freshly grilled steak, and chicken...crispy onions, cilantro...doused in equal parts salsa, and tangy BBQ sauce...

                                                                  Truly unbelievable. Cost about $16, weigh about 4lbs...

                                                                  Sometimes it's worth the drive in the middle of the night just go get them.

                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Stravinsky
                                                                    d
                                                                    Dirtywextraolives RE: Stravinsky Nov 9, 2013 05:57 PM

                                                                    Never been there.... Will have to search them out next time I'm up there, but LSR always seems to be calling me when I go..... But the rice has got to go..... I don't even want rice in my burritos.... Thanks for the 411.

                                                                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                                      s
                                                                      Stravinsky RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 10, 2013 09:48 AM

                                                                      You choose what goes onto the nachos, so if you don't want rice, no rice. Hell, I think you can actually get three different types of beans if you really want instead =P

                                                                      You have total control though...you watch them get built in front of you at your command. It is an exhilarating experience!

                                                                      1. re: Stravinsky
                                                                        j
                                                                        jessejames RE: Stravinsky Nov 10, 2013 10:46 AM

                                                                        I like the excitement, fried onions sound good too.

                                                                    2. re: Stravinsky
                                                                      Dommy RE: Stravinsky Nov 9, 2013 07:08 PM

                                                                      Why the original? Do the franchises not do as good as job. I had NO idea they had build you own nachos with things like crispy onions (OOooo!) but are the franchises not as well equipted as the original?

                                                                      --Dommy!

                                                                      1. re: Dommy
                                                                        s
                                                                        Stravinsky RE: Dommy Nov 10, 2013 09:46 AM

                                                                        The franchises are so different from the original that I would say that, other than the name, they are basically different restaurants.

                                                                        I was so excited when they first opened the franchises, hoping against hope that they might actually deliver that incredible experience of Santa Barbara to the south... but of course, they do not.

                                                                        The nachos at the franchises are small batches of horrible industrially produced, colored chips with 7-11 quality nacho cheese gooped onto them. I think you can choose what you want on them, but you can't just get whatever you want. There's no fresh steak off the grill, but pre-made stuff that's been sitting there for a while. Nothing is even remotely approaching the quality of the original. The salsas aren't the same, there's no tangy BBQ sauce. And there sure as hell aren't any crispy onions.

                                                                        I haven no idea how they missed it. They could have based the chain entirely on reproducing those legendary nachos in more locations... instead, they scrapped them off the menu entirely.

                                                                        Freebird's franchises produce some of the worst nachos in the world...

                                                                        It's truly horrific.

                                                                        For a moment, I almost had a heart attack, as I thought maybe the franchises implied the closing of the original. I drove there the next day just to be sure it was still there, not trusting any reports (and to wash the disappointment out of my mouth with the real deal).

                                                                        1. re: Stravinsky
                                                                          Dommy RE: Stravinsky Nov 10, 2013 03:36 PM

                                                                          Thank you for your thoughtful reply! I'll still skip it and maybe hit the real Freebirds next time in SB. :D

                                                                          --Dommy!

                                                                          1. re: Dommy
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                                                                            mpizano RE: Dommy Nov 20, 2013 12:06 PM

                                                                            Freebirds in SB is owned by Paul Orfalea, the founder of Fedex Office/Kinkos). The original kinkos building (now something else) is just steps away from Freebirds.

                                                                            Paul Orfalea and his business partner expanded Freebirds into Texas in 90s but his business partner bought out all the locations except the original which is in Isla Vista (next to UCSB) and expanded the chain. They are the same name but not related anymore and the food quality is vastly different. My husband and I tried the Freebirds in San Jose and were greatly disappointed. It's similar to Chipotle but worse.

                                                                            The one in Isla Vista is packed with college students, I went to UCSB, but the food is great and it's a must visit place open 24 hours a day. The nachos are delicious and you can order a quesaritto (a burrito where they melt the cheese like a quesadilla). My husband and I had our first "date" there hahaha.

                                                                            If this kinda stuff is your thing, the carne asada California Burrito from Super Cucas in Santa Barbara is also really good or tacos from La Super-Rica Taqueria are great. If you opt for La Super-Rica be ready for a long line, food that's a bit pricey and they only accept cash. It's worth it though!

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                                                                              Stravinsky RE: mpizano Nov 20, 2013 12:19 PM

                                                                              I just drove up to Freebird's SB again a few days ago in the middle of the night for those nachos.

                                                                              They are still amazing. Truly unfortunate that they couldn't expand that experience out into the world.

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                                                                      yogachik RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 10, 2013 07:45 PM

                                                                      Haven't been in a while, but Duke's in Malibu always had excellent nachos. Lots of cheese, fresh guac, good beans, plenty of chicken and a wonderful pico de gallo.

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                                                                        Dirtywextraolives RE: yogachik Nov 10, 2013 09:12 PM

                                                                        We haven't been in a while, either, but thanks that's good to know.....

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                                                                          yogachik RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 11, 2013 05:36 PM

                                                                          I should mention that I think they're only available at the Barefoot Bar. super yummy

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                                                                        bringiton RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 11, 2013 10:25 AM

                                                                        My favorite is Eduardo's in Westwood. Real melted cheese which they melt in layers (or else the bottom layer of chips doesn't get any) plus fresh grilled steak or chicken, homemade guac, lots of fresh salsas, sour cream, beans, ummm.

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                                                                          Dirtywextraolives RE: bringiton Nov 11, 2013 10:30 AM

                                                                          Thanks for this, I forgot about them. I like their tostadas & salads......

                                                                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                                            Servorg RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 11, 2013 10:39 AM

                                                                            Did you actually hit anyplace up for nachos based on this thread? I have to admit that this is one of those dishes that, while it seems like a good idea to order at the time, after I eat it I regret my decision. It is just so "anti-healthy" in an "in your face (or gastrointestinal system) sort of way. I feel like I gained 25 pounds after eating nachos...(and yeah - I know I didn't have to finish the whole damn plate - but there are starving children in some "Stan" country and I have to finish or they will be giving me the evil eye).

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                                                                              Ciao Bob RE: Servorg Nov 11, 2013 10:48 AM

                                                                              If you think Choucroute Garnie is going to keep you fit as fiddle, while nachos will bump you off, it must be that 'kraut! Choucroute garni - chock full of veggies.

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                                                                                Servorg RE: Ciao Bob Nov 11, 2013 11:00 AM

                                                                                It's just that Charucroute Garnie is not easily available, and that will protect me from myself. ;-D>

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                                                                                  jessejames RE: Servorg Nov 11, 2013 11:03 AM

                                                                                  And I doubt it compliments tequila

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                                                                                Dirtywextraolives RE: Servorg Nov 11, 2013 01:50 PM

                                                                                I went to Pink Taco with my husband for lunch last Thursday, as it is very convenient to his office. Have not been able to checkout the rest of the places recommended so far, but will use the list as a guide in the future when I'm craving nachos again.

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                                                                                  ns1 RE: Servorg Nov 11, 2013 02:12 PM

                                                                                  I don't feel heavy after Mexicali nachos - quite the contrary, I feel victorious.

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                                                                                    Servorg RE: ns1 Nov 11, 2013 02:14 PM

                                                                                    I feel like Roberto Durán - "No mas!"

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                                                                              LuluTheMagnificent RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 12, 2013 07:29 AM

                                                                              I always get the chicken nachos from Teres Mexican Grill.

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                                                                                Frexitarian RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 20, 2013 12:27 AM

                                                                                By far...the esstside makes the best hands down. Santana's closest one is Azusa though :( Whenever I make my way over there I make sure I grab a fresh fruit donut from The donut man as well....mmmmmmmm yummmmmmm

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                                                                                  Dirtywextraolives RE: Frexitarian Nov 20, 2013 08:27 AM

                                                                                  Whaaaat? Esstside? Santana's? What are you trying to say?

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                                                                                    Frexitarian RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 20, 2013 10:49 AM

                                                                                    Whoops...East side. Like the last barrio in the region of East LA. That's pretty far east. Azusa. I live right around the corner from Mexicali (which many seem to like on this thread) and they are decent, no doubt. Liquified nacho cheese like Michoacan (also mentioned here) and the like. Seriously, Santana's is pretty nuts. Crazy salsa bar with tons more than just their 6-8 salsas which are ALL frickin' great and have such distinct flavors. They even have sweet ones! Besides that, the rest of the options, like another 5-6 FREE condiments.

                                                                                    Just try them. Trust me.

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                                                                                      Dirtywextraolives RE: Frexitarian Nov 20, 2013 12:55 PM

                                                                                      Thanks!

                                                                                2. WildSwede RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 20, 2013 10:29 AM

                                                                                  I personally love the nachos from Las Fuentes in Reseda. On the rare occasions when I get a wild hair to stray from my usual (Burrito de Bistek Encebollado) I order the nachos. As I do not like a lot of gunk on my nachos, I get them with only cheese and the sauce (like a ranchera but milder). Perfection!

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                                                                                    ilovethissite RE: Dirtywextraolives Nov 21, 2013 05:19 PM

                                                                                    Casa Garcia in Pico Rivera. Many options are available but my favorite is Super Nachos with either Chili Verde (standard) or Carnitas. Jack is standard on all nachos. The "super" adds beans, sour cream and guacamole. I ask for the sour cream and guac on the side if the order is carry-out. Be sure to get a couple red sauce cups.

                                                                                    http://www.yelp.com/biz/casa-garcia-p...

                                                                                    Prepare for the shame of eating the entire order yourself.

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                                                                                      Dirtywextraolives RE: ilovethissite Nov 21, 2013 05:48 PM

                                                                                      Sounds great. Looks like I need to plan a trip back to the SGV to see old friends.... Thanks!

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