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Is Guisados really that great?

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I don't know.

Does anyone actually eat the chili toreados taco? I found it to be a pointless exercise in heat for heat's sake. No flavor really, just lots of heat. Not, for example, like the sumptuous grilled habenero salsa at Chichen Itza, which deeply rewards you for your efforts.

I keep giving Guisados more opportunities, but nothing ever really wows me. The tortillas are ok, but a bit on the stiff side. The stews just don't distinguish themselves enough.

Does anyone else feel it's too gimmicky? Or overrated?

Seems to me like I prefer the tortillas, fillings, and overall experience much more elsewhere.

Maybe I'm just ordering the wrong stews? (Clearly the chills were just off-the-charts-wrong...but maybe someone really does like them?)

I ate at Colonia Taco Lounge, and things were at least a little better in terms of balancing of flavors in the tacos. Maybe more effort is going there these days...

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  1. Which location did you go to? I've heard there's been some variation of quality at the Sunset location.

    As for me, I really enjoy Guisados. But then, I only get two things there. The shrimp taco (full size) and a stolen chicken tinga taco from the hubby's sampler plate. Both are balanced, tasty and I'd make the drive just for them.

    1 Reply
    1. re: happybaker

      Have only ever been the Boyle Heights location.

      idk, maybe the textures are just not my preference, or maybe I just like meats as opposed to stews.

      Maybe I haven't tried enough of the vegetables.

      Guess I'm just not sure what others see in them exactly, at least that is good enough to be worth going out of the way for.

    2. I agree with you to a certain degree... I GREATLY prefer Colonia. However, I do still love to go to Guisados... I find their Chorizo taco one of the best bites in L.A. and I ADORE their veggie tacos... especially the mushroom.

      --Dommy!

      3 Replies
      1. re: Dommy

        I like the calabacitas one as well.

        1. re: Dommy

          Hmm.

          I guess I prefer my chorizo with eggs. I thought it was ok though.

          I probably liked the quesadilla the most out of everything last time.

          But the bacon and cheese taco at Colonia is like an amped up version of the quesadilla that kind of destroys it =P

          1. re: Dommy

            What do you grab at Colonia ???????

          2. No surprise that Colonia is better, since the culinary half of Guisados is running that now.

            But I still like Guisados a lot.

            16 Replies
            1. re: chrishei

              Hows the Gwrilkas ????,

              1. re: kevin

                What word did your phone autocorrect to "Gwrilkas"? No entiendo.

                1. re: chrishei

                  Shit. My bad. Stupid fone.

                  Guerilla Tacos.

                  1. re: kevin

                    It's really good IMO. Not cheap though.

                    1. re: chrishei

                      Is the protocol to also grab an espresso ?????

                      I may have to skip it today due to the LA Hurricane.

                      1. re: kevin

                        I haven't been to Handsome - I go for lunch on Wednesday when they're at Cog. Grabbed a coffee only once, but it was good. I just usually don't associate coffee + tacos.

                        1. re: chrishei

                          Thats right. Culver City is much closer to me but it's only one day of the week right ??????

                          1. re: chrishei

                            I work down the street from there. Maybe I've seen you...

                            1. re: Butter Fight

                              I'm the fat Asian kid w/ short hair + hipster glasses.

                              1. re: chrishei

                                Along those lines I'm the skinny short white boy with long hair

                                1. re: Butter Fight

                                  I'll be there next week around noon - come say hi.

                                  1. re: chrishei

                                    i have lunch at 1230. I might just see you

                                2. re: chrishei

                                  Uh oh. Please don't say hipster.

                                  We really don't want to initiate WW111

                                  1. re: kevin

                                    If you're eating at Guerrilla Tacos...you're a hipster by definition.

                                    1. re: BacoMan

                                      Guisados has more hipsters than Guerrillas I think.

                                      1. re: chrishei

                                        Guisados is at least accessible to to non-hipsters by the locations.

                                        GT setsup on exclusively outside of two of the most hipsterified places in all of Los Angeles, and I doubt many non-hipsters would bother to seek them out.

                2. I quite like Guisados but agree the perfect exercise in heat is the habanero salsa at Chichen Itza. My word it is hot and fruity and fantastic.

                  1. Agreed. Went to the sunset location and got a sampler, GF got shrimp tacos. Unimpressed. Not bad, but not worth the drive.

                    1. Agree with most of the above (or below, depending on how your page formats); Guisados is OK but Colonia and Bizarra Capital are better. (and a lot comfier, too, but then I'm getting old...)

                      1. We always thoroughly enjoy the tacos & quesadillas at Guisado's. I'd be curious to compare it to it's new store on Sunset, but the other places listed are in areas I rarely find myself in anymore.

                        55 Replies
                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                          Like Guisados along with Guerilla & Colonia. It's our regular taco rotation. Each has strong and weak points.

                          Guisados
                          - yays: quesadilla, tinga, hongas, sampler platter, friendly folks, BYOB
                          - nays: anything with fish or seafood, parking both Sunset and Boyle Heights and probably DTLA too
                          - when comparing various locations, know that there is central kitchen which, for the most part, prepares the guisados and masa for quality control, so it should pretty much be the same across locations

                          Colonia
                          - yays: shrimp, cauliflor, estofado, barbacoa, beer list, cocktails, ambiance
                          - nays: lengua, two out three times apathetic service, worth going if you're in the vicinity

                          Guerilla
                          - yays: a whole other league, more of a gourmet taco, quality ingredients, worth the price, but it's pricey, pick up some equally pricey produce and have great coffee
                          - nays: you really want a beer, sells out fast

                          1. re: revets2

                            You ever go to Los Anaya?

                            1. re: BacoMan

                              I think Los Anaya is a different league. Further, I rarely order Tacos when I'm there. It's not that their tacos aren't good... they are quite delicious as is their home made tortilla... but they do SUCH a good job with their cooked dishes. I adore their Chilaquilles and Taquitos. When I want taco meats, I order their sopes. It's just such a well rounded restaurant.

                              --Dommy!

                              1. re: Dommy

                                True enough. I pretty much always get the plates there.

                                I hope you mean in another league up. I feel they don't get their due at all. I am almost ashamed I don't go more often. I don't necessarily know if I have eaten anything more flavorful than their huevos rancheros (I am very picky with this dish).

                                But way back on my first visit I had the mole tacos there, and they blew away the mole tacos at guisados for me.

                                Maybe I just like the tortillas there more. They are the most perfect tortillas in the world to me. But more than that, things have clarity, and intensity of flavor that I rarely find anywhere.

                                I don't know how they fly so under the radar really.

                                Maybe I'll go down there right now...

                                1. re: BacoMan

                                  Not necessarily up or down. But they are truly trying to pull a family restaurant with the standards that Abuelita would be proud of. They aren't trying to impress anyone with anything but the FLAVOR.

                                  In Mexico there are occassions where you just want literally 'throw' a taco. And these are not always down scale occassions. There are 'nicer' taco stands all throughout Mexico. And then there are places where you would trust the cook with your life. Taqueria Los Anaya is like that... I'm never not happy going there... but sometimes I strictly need just a taqueria fix.

                                  --Dommy!

                                  !

                                  1. re: Dommy

                                    I feel like they should either be more of a restaurant, or less. I don't know which. The prices right now are so incredible for the quality that they almost make no sense. But it seems like they might be getting more recognition if they had a slick space downtown, or on Washington in Culver City instead of being in a traditionally tile-floored place in West Adams.

                                    I really hope they are successful in the long run.

                                    The more I think about it, the more I would probably easily put them in the top 20 places in LA really. As you say, they just focus on flavor in such a pure way. It's incredible. The food also feels very clean.

                                    I would not be surprised if, one day, those guys ended up running a place more like Taco Maria. Their ability to wring flavors from simple Mexican dishes is already at that level.

                                    1. re: BacoMan

                                      I'll hit it up.

                                      Cash only ?

                                      1. re: kevin

                                        Actually, unlike every other pretentious hipster joint in town, they take cards.

                                        1. re: BacoMan

                                          I don't understand why you are drawing comparisons to Los Anaya with "pretentious hipster joints". I haven't visited yet, but it doesn't strike me at all as being FUB™*.

                                          Mr Taster

                                          * http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9122...

                                          1. re: Mr Taster

                                            Huh?

                                            I don't care at all about where food is served, just that it tastes fucking amazing.

                                            What is your point? You think food is fundamentally incomparable depending upon where it is served, or what kind of people serve it?...

                                            1. re: BacoMan

                                              You said "...unlike every other pretentious hipster joint in town, they take cards."

                                              Which reads to me like:

                                              "Unlike other hipster joints to which this place is comparable, they take cards".

                                              You see, your comment reads as if you think Los Anaya is a hipster joint. That confused me.

                                              This place doesn't strike me as a hipster/FUB™, but I haven't been there yet so I don't know for certain. Their prices and location certainly aren't raising any red flags for me.

                                              To me, it looks like a mom & pop shop doing great work, without any of that cooler-than-thou aesthetic (and high prices) that draw in the hipsters like moths to a flame.

                                              Mr Taster

                                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                                No, I was just griping that every other tacos place seems to be cash-only. I meant hipster in a different sense I suppose, like, the mere act of only taking cash is itself a kind of "hipster" act in today's world.

                                                "Their prices and location certainly don't indicate to me any of that. It looks like a mom & pop doing great work, without any of that cooler-than-thou aesthetic (and high prices) that draw in the hipsters like moths to a flame."

                                                Eh, the prices aren't really that much lower than FUB places though, haha.

                                                It's too bad they aren't more "hip", I'd kind of like to see them get more money for their efforts, but on the other hand, I appreciate what they are very, very much.

                                                For reference though, I am a young person that you would say is a hipster 100% if you saw me on the street. And Anaya draws me like a moth to flame with its food. Maybe I am just obsessed with huevos rancheros though =P

                                                1. re: BacoMan

                                                  >> the mere act of only taking cash is itself a kind of "hipster" act in today's world.

                                                  Who knew that the laoban in the wife beater t-shirt and the spiky mainland China haircut at Qingdao Bread Food was a hipster?

                                                  Mr Taster

                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                    Sounds like the epitome of hipster to me.

                                                    1. re: BacoMan

                                                      You check out his style first hand, and let me know :)

                                                      Mr Taster

                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                        I currently am wearing something pretty similar right now actually.

                                      2. re: BacoMan

                                        I'm not too worried about them. I go roughly every other week and they are always crowded no matter what time I show up. I think they're going to be ok.
                                        Have you tried their lengua? It's wonderful.

                                        1. re: Butter Fight

                                          Good to know. I must just go at the wrong times, as it seems like I'm always the only one there.

                                          Haven't had the lengua yet. I am not that big a fan of lengua though. How do you have it there? Tacos?

                                          1. re: BacoMan

                                            Yeah just in a taco. I'm usually not that much of a fan of lengua either, but I think it's one of their best meats.

                                  2. re: Dommy

                                    Once again, Los Anaya totally amazes. Had their Chilaquilles with housemade chorizo once again... They also just added a burger to their menu which sounds fabulous. WILL BE BACK SOON to try that. :)

                                    https://twitter.com/Dommy_in_LA/statu...

                                    --Dommy!

                                    1. re: Dommy

                                      Wow, Dommy. That photo looks spectacular- thanks for posting. Aside from the sopes and the chilaquiles, what other dishes do you like?

                                      Mr Taster

                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                        Los Anayas is my to to mexican food comfort place, a complete saving grace since Antojitos Carmen closed *SOB!!!!!*

                                        In addition to the sops and Chilaquilles (which are my favorite things there). I also love the taquitos and P loves the tortas. It's so close to both the La Brea and Crenshaw freeway exits so it's a a great place to stop going to and from the 10. They got their kitchen on fire at all times of the day.

                                        1. re: Dommy

                                          Thanks! I'm checking this one out very soon. Great to have a nearby place evocative of Antojitos Carmen.

                                          Mr Taster

                                          1. re: Dommy

                                            Oh how I miss my Alambre and Salsa de Semillas fix at Carmen's.

                                            1. re: JAB

                                              Any news on her at all? Is she still selling food in the LA area? I uncovered a small amount of that salsa in the back of my cabinet and was missing her

                                              1. re: Butter Fight

                                                I had heard that the family had moved to Colorado but, was contemplating coming back.

                                                1. re: Butter Fight

                                                  207 Main St., Columbus Junction, IA 52738

                                                  1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                                                    Lucky ass Iowans! http://m.yelp.com/biz/antojitos-carme...

                                                    1. re: JAB

                                                      gosh i would love to know the story as to why she moved to Iowa!

                                                      1. re: set0312

                                                        I think her daughter runs a successful catering business there, or something along those lines.

                                                        1. re: set0312

                                                          Opportunity my dear friend! Better Schools. Better Housing. Less Crime. Iowa's Hispanic Population has also bloomed quite a bit in the last 20 years. It's no L.A. or Miami, but I have met many first and second generation Latino Iowans who don't regret their move one bit. The Latino migration (and all the yumminess that comes with it) is happening throughout the U.S., North, East and South. So although I was very sad to see them close, I'm very happy for them and glad they continue to cook! :D

                                                          --Dommy!

                                                          1. re: Dommy

                                                            Better Weather > Better Schools, Housing & Crime (g)

                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                              If you spend 15+ years raising children in some our inner city communities... you might beg to differ...

                                                              --Dommy!

                                                              1. re: Dommy

                                                                And that's why not having kids makes many decisions so much easier :P

                                              2. re: Mr Taster

                                                Count me as a big fan.
                                                Can't go wrong with the Pescsdo Vercuzana. Had it last week.

                                                1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                  Assuming you meant to type "pescado veracruz"? :)

                                                  (sauted tilapia fish topped w grilled vegetables and
                                                  garlic red sauce) served w/ mexican salad, rice, beans and homemade sauce)

                                                  http://www.taquerialosanaya.com/menu.php

                                                  Mr Taster

                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                    That's the one. Yummy. They usually have a daily special fish as well.

                                                2. re: Mr Taster

                                                  I usually just get the three taco combo and go for chicken mole, adobada, and carnitas. I'll occasionally rotate out the carnitas for al pastor or carne asada.
                                                  The barbacoa plate is delicious there. My only nit is that it's the most expensive thing and more than double the cost of the three taco plate. The salmon negro and occasionally with a tropical prep are good, as are the shrimp dishes.
                                                  Anyone ever had a relleno there?

                                                  1. re: john gonzales

                                                    I'm going to have to try that fish.

                                                    1. re: john gonzales

                                                      Already out today at 1:30pm :(. But a line out the door which goes pretty fast.

                                                      Good as ever.

                                                      Sampler (hongos, calabacitas, chicharrones, quesadilla, tinga, chuleta which was a tad over reduced and hence over seasoned) with an extra quesadilla and horchata. Awesome. I love the tortillas.

                                                  2. re: Dommy

                                                    I love Anaya. Everything I've had there is incredible...except for the burger. I could be wrong, but the shape, flavor and texture of the meat struck me as being a premade prefrozen patty. The bun was so soggy that it completely fell apart on the first bite and so much sauce leaked out I looked like a Carl's JR commercial. The fries, however, are slightly battered and perfectly crispy.

                                                    Maybe I just got a bad burger, but with how good everything else is, I won't get it again. I look forward to hearing your experience though.

                                                    1. re: Butter Fight

                                                      Thank so much for the heads up Butter Fight!! I know FULL well that it does take skill to pull off a great burger. From the patty to the bun, it needs to be thought out and well composed. I was hoping that Los Anaya's would be able to do it. I probably will still give it a shot, but will proceed with caution...

                                                      --Dommy!

                                                      1. re: Dommy

                                                        what's your favorite burger right now ???????

                                                        1. re: Dommy

                                                          It's funny that you say "well composed" because while I ate it, my only thoughts were how little thought had been put into it. It just felt like a bunch of stuff was thrown together with no real idea besides "and what if we add..."

                                                          When I ordered it I was hoping that I had found a hidden gem, but the guys at Golden State won't be losing any sleep over this one.

                                                          I hope that when you order it you are able to tell me that I was completely wrong and that my experience was a fluke, because I really like this place.

                                                          1. re: Butter Fight

                                                            Do you like the burger at Golden State ?

                                                            1. re: kevin

                                                              I think it's one of the best in the city. Especially what you get for that price.

                                                      2. re: Dommy

                                                        Wow, great photo Dommy! !

                                                        1. re: Dommy

                                                          Post a pic of the burger when you try it.

                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                            What's the magic word?

                                                            --Dommy!

                                                            1. re: Dommy

                                                              fucking post a fucking pic of the burger when you fucking try it ??????

                                                              1. re: ns1

                                                                You took the words right out of my mouth.

                                                                1. re: kevin

                                                                  OMG, TOO FUCKING FUNNY!!

                                                                2. re: ns1

                                                                  I actually took a picture of this thing and then deleted it when it wasn't very good... regretting that now

                                                                3. re: Dommy

                                                                  Please ???????

                                                        2. re: revets2

                                                          ITA with your post. Awesome.

                                                          --Dommy!

                                                      3. i like the tortillas and horchata and respect the quality, but I too was not blown away. I'd love to give it another go, but everytime I try they're packed to the gills.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: ns1

                                                          Honestly, I'm not interested in this place and you reminded me why: they seem to be really popular and they get so much acclaim from J-Gold ect. that it seems like this place is the one Boyle Heights spot that is "safe" for white people.

                                                          I don't want to wait in a huge line of "foodies" for just decent food.

                                                          1. re: Butter Fight

                                                            Never been to Boyle, can only comment on Sunset.

                                                        2. It really isn't.

                                                          1. i think the chili toreados is pretty delicious. yes, it's hot, but the mix of sauteed peppers, all cooked to a great consistency, works well. it's definitely my go to taco there.

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: namstermonster

                                                              Weird.

                                                              I usually love spicy things, but that taco had no flavor to me. It was just pain. I didn't taste anything beyond a vague "peppery" note behind all of the biting heat.

                                                              What flavors are you getting exactly?

                                                              idk, maybe I'm just not that into peppers on their own. I don't just take a bite of peppers the way I do with, say, apples. Maybe I am the odd man out.

                                                              1. re: BacoMan

                                                                "Maybe I am the odd man out."

                                                                For some reason, I thought you were a woman.

                                                                1. re: Tripeler

                                                                  Yes, my name one of those odd ones. Were you thinking of asking me out?

                                                                2. re: BacoMan

                                                                  different peppers taste different. like i love the taste of habaneros more than serranos. then again, i am just into peppers so maybe i'm the odd girl in.

                                                                3. re: namstermonster

                                                                  The first (and only) time I ordered the chile torreados, I didn't realize what I was ordering. It was a struggle to finish that taco -- I'm just glad that I had ordered horchata as well.

                                                                  Nevertheless, I'm very fond of Guisados and always get the sampler plate and the horchata.

                                                                  ETA: I usually go to the Boyle Heights location.