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Best Tamales Downtown to West L.A.

nosh Nov 12, 2013 05:46 PM

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.)

  1. WildSwede Nov 12, 2013 06:05 PM

    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
      WildSwede Nov 13, 2013 03:23 PM

      They are $1.75/ea.

      1. re: WildSwede
        Feed_me Nov 14, 2013 04:19 PM

        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. http://www.laflordeyucatan.net/

        1. re: Feed_me
          WildSwede Nov 15, 2013 05:57 PM

          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.

    2. s
      sockbunny Nov 12, 2013 06:10 PM

      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
        nosh Nov 12, 2013 08:01 PM

        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
          TruJavaLvr Nov 13, 2013 09:38 PM

          Their chicken tamales w/ oaxacan mole rock

        2. A5 KOBE Nov 12, 2013 09:45 PM

          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
            JAB Nov 13, 2013 07:08 AM

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

            1. re: JAB
              A5 KOBE Nov 13, 2013 10:12 AM

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

              1. re: A5 KOBE
                JAB Nov 13, 2013 10:16 AM

                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. Servorg Nov 13, 2013 07:38 AM

            You should give The Gourmet Tamale Factory http://www.thegourmettamalefactory.co... 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
              TruJavaLvr Nov 13, 2013 09:42 PM

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

              1. re: TruJavaLvr
                Servorg Nov 14, 2013 01:08 PM

                "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. TruJavaLvr Nov 13, 2013 02:35 PM

              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
                Servorg Nov 13, 2013 02:44 PM

                "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
                  TruJavaLvr Nov 13, 2013 09:35 PM

                  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
                    Servorg Nov 14, 2013 01:15 PM

                    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
                      TruJavaLvr Nov 15, 2013 12:05 PM

                      Are you saying its like carne adovada but a tamale?

                      1. re: TruJavaLvr
                        Servorg Nov 15, 2013 12:10 PM

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

              2. i
                ilysla Nov 13, 2013 10:22 PM

                Not a tamale connoisseur, but I like Me Gusta Tamales. They have a stand at the Brentwood Farmer's Market, which is where I get them, but they're based in Pacoima.


                1. TruJavaLvr Nov 17, 2013 10:28 AM

                  Glad to report that Rosy's in Pacoima still open, $1.50 per tamale. Knowing I'm not a fan of green chile w/ cheese, she had me try her version - was tasty. Sells out of pork early.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: TruJavaLvr
                    Servorg Nov 17, 2013 10:36 AM

                    Thanks for correcting your earlier post on this. Good to know my brother-in-law still has the chops when it comes to tasty food...

                  2. c
                    cjla Dec 19, 2013 09:42 AM

                    I was inspired by this post, and brought tamales from Tacos Por Favor to my office potluck.

                    I got 6 chicken/6 pork ringing it at $30 (I picked up). I was very pleased, as were my co-workers. The tamales were very big, and I think I preferred the chicken.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: cjla
                      nosh Dec 19, 2013 05:32 PM

                      Ok, a dozen at $2.50 each not bad for westside, and I really like the hot sauce at Tacos por Favor's salsa table. 14th in Santa Monica or Bundy location?

                      I could definitely see a lunch with a taco al pastor or carne asada for chunks of meat coupled with a big tamale with masa for bulk and a lot of their hot sauce and pico de gallo. Big lunch for $5.

                      1. re: nosh
                        cjla Dec 20, 2013 09:38 AM

                        I went to the 14th/Olympic location. I picked up because delivering to my place of business can get a little confusing--they definitely deliver.

                        If/when I pick up more food for my co-workers I'll post.

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