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Nov 12, 2013 05:46 PM

Best Tamales Downtown to West L.A.

Inspired by the thread on tamales east SGV to west IE:

I live in Westwood but don't mind driving towards downtown late morning or after golf. Where should I go to try great tamales. I'm a single guy, so I hope I can sample a few without buying a dozen.

I sometimes play golf at Hansen Dam, in Pacoima. On Glen Oaks going from the 118, I see a little Mama's Tamales in a strip mall probably less than a mile from the freeway. Any good? (I would try some for the board but I'm a tamale novice, so mine would be an inexperienced opinion.)

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  1. I always enjoy the Chuchios (Guatemalan tamales) from Guatemalteca. I just got some yesterday as a matter of fact! Also, don't miss the black beans with tomato sauce!

    3 Replies
      1. re: WildSwede

        I remember the esteemed Dommy mentioning this place and their Yucatan style tamales. Different from what most of us think of as tamales, but you might enjoy them and the place has a very good reputation.

        1. re: Feed_me

          Yes! I love La Flor de Yucatan. Dommy! is the one that introduced me to them years ago (and their ojaldra (I know I jacked up that spelling!)). They do things very well there.

    1. Tamara's Tamales on Washington Blvd, techinically in Culver City I think but I would call it Marina del Reyish.‎

      2 Replies
      1. re: sockbunny

        Your link doesn't work, but google tamaras tamales does.

        Well over $4 ea for almost all tamales. Seems steep. Bigger than usual or westside price hike?

        1. re: sockbunny

          Their chicken tamales w/ oaxacan mole rock

        2. My favorite is the pork chile verde at Tamales Lilianas. It is just past DTLA though, right down the street from La Azteca tortilleria (60fwy and 710)

          3 Replies
          1. re: A5 KOBE

            In the just past DTLA category, I like the tamales at Los Cinco Puntos.

            1. re: JAB

              I have only had the green chile cheese at LCP and it was pretty tasty. How are the others?

              1. re: A5 KOBE

                I usually get an equal amount of green chili cheese and pork with red chili and I really like them both. Many, many moons ago, I did a tamale off with all of the usual suspects and LCP came out on top and I've been pretty faithful since.

          2. You should give The Gourmet Tamale Factory a test and see what you think.

            ADD: While I haven't tried Rosie's my brother-in-law talked about them the other day on the phone (they live in the Valley) and said he thought they were good.

            Rosie's Tamales
            10981 Glenoaks Blvd
            Los Angeles, CA 91331
            (818) 834-6948

            2 Replies
            1. re: Servorg

              Are you talking about Rosy's in Pacoima? True, near Hansen Dam, but thought they went out of business.

              1. re: TruJavaLvr

                "Are you talking about Rosy's in Pacoima? True, near Hansen Dam, but thought they went out of business."

                I gave the street address in my post. They just answered their phone. They said the will be open tomorrow at 5PM. Guess you were thinking of some other place? Probably better for small businesses if we don't start up rumors about them being out of business if we don't know for sure.

            2. Hmm...I don't care for Mama's Tamales nor the Gourmet Tamale Factory. If you're out in that part of the Valley golfing on a Sunday, why don't you stop at Rocio's for their brunch. They added tamales to their brunch selections. Otherwise, it's Lilianas or Tamales Indiana in ELA for the real deal.

              5 Replies
              1. re: TruJavaLvr

                "I don't care for...Gourmet Tamale Factory"

                I had their "tamale bowl" with pork in red sauce and found it really tasty, filling and a good deal at $6.50. I also thought that their rellenos were really good.

                1. re: Servorg

                  Yup, don't like 'em, too much masa and not enough filling. What the heck is a tamale bowl? Shouldn't have to have cover with sauce if they are moist. Can't say anything about their rellenos, as I didn't see stems, so wasn't sure if fresh vs canned & didn't order.

                  1. re: TruJavaLvr

                    They use fresh poblano chiles in their relleno's. If you haven't tried a tamale bowl yet then try one and come back and give your opinion.

                    1. re: Servorg

                      Are you saying its like carne adovada but a tamale?

                      1. re: TruJavaLvr

                        I'd call it a tamale salad if I had to come up with a description.