Southern California

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ALTADENA

    O.N.O Ohio New Orleans Barbecue [Barbecue, Take out only]

      2187 N. Lake
      Altadena, CA
      818-398-6680
      Friday 4pm until sold out, Saturday and Sunday 11am until sold out

      Well it is almost impossible to believe but two of the best BBQ joints in the LA area are both located in Altadena, CA. A mere 35 miles from my home town of Santa Monica. ONO (along with Shack Pappy¹s) are two late comer¹s to this list, but together create a powerful argument for moving back to the Eastside. ONO almost lacks the necessary requirements to be considered a true Q haven by the mere fact that it only serves the bomb on weekends, the rest of the time masquerading as a candy store! (Methinks they must need at least these four days to create such delicious meats). Everything about the ONO experience is real. The place is a three quarters empty dime candy store with a couple of video games in the corner. The owners are all extremely friendly who love to chat while they prepare your order. The meats come form the back where the smoker is kept well hidden, then grabbed with a tong and dunked into a crock pot of sauce sitting on the counter. While dunking the hot links on my visit the chef jumped back on release knowing full well there is no way to gracefully dunk a link, and sure enough sauce splattered up onto the wall. (Immediately wiped clean).     Allright, what is so great? I would have to say that the meats were unanimously perfect in texture, doneness and smoky flavours. The Links were the only disappointing item on the combo menu. They are short and stout and very spicy, which a great, but the stuffing lacked any real distinction and the casings were only marginally crackly. The chicken and ribs were both outstanding.     The sauce is in that really good, but could use a little more in the depth category. Not too sweet and of the more vinegary style that I do prefer while the thickness is just right to coat your foods stuff without any lumpy weird coagulations. It is medium in hot factor. The sides are actually avoidable, Both the beans and potato salad were much sweeter than the Q sauce lacking any grace. Do I sound a bit wishy-washy about ONO?, Let me just say that this is one satisfying experience. It is a happy place serving happy food.
      PS. Did I mention the free 6-pack of generic soda with orders of $14 or more? Also, check out the mini sweet potato pies, a nice finisher.
      From: Henry Cline, silsurf@gte.net
      Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998


    Shack Pappy¹s Smoke House Barbeque [Barbecue, Take-out only]

      2211 North Lincoln Ave.
      Altadena, CA 91001
      818-797-8750
      Open Monday-Saturday

      I don¹t really know if this place calls itself ³Shack Pappy¹s² but it does say so on the discolored sign hidden behind a tree. The more likely name is ³Smoke House Barbeque² and that is more to the point anyway. Far far away in a land called Altadena (kind of North of Pasadena) lies a BBQ joint that ain¹t kiddin. Nothing to look at, Shack Pappy¹s serves up some of the best ŒQ your money can buy. Ordered through a whole in the wall by two very friendly matrons this place is well above average. The pork ribs are smoked to perfect thorough doneness, falling from the bone and finished with a slightly too sweet, very thick sauce. The links are bursting with juice and have texture and a simple, yet wholesome finish. The Chicken is very well smoked as well, retaining a fflavourwhich can be difficult to imbue in that finicky bird. One of the best surprises at Pappy¹s are the sides. The potato salad is much better than average and they have greens, which many places in LA seem to avoid, but I find a welcome way to cut through some of the richness of BBQ sauce.
      From: silsurf@gte.net (Henry Cline)
      Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998

ARCADIA

    El Jardin Yucateco (formerly Merida in Pasadena)     (Authentic Yucatecan Cuisine)CLOSED
      48 E. Live Oak
      Arcadia, CA
      One block East of Santa Anita Blvd.
Encino

    Chili My Soul     (Gourmet Chili)
      4928 Balboa Blvd.
      Encino, CA
      On the NE corner of Balboa + Ventura Blvd.
      Phone - (818) 981-7685 Fax - (818) 981-2202
      Monday ~ Saturday: 11:00AM - 9:00PM, Sunday: 11:00AM - 8:00PM

      CHILI MY SOUL® Gourmet Chili is not only delicious, hearty, and healthy, but is lower in salt and fat due to an exclusive 4-stage de-fattening process. Our chili cooks for a minimum of 30 hours to achieve an unparalleled flavor and texture. We rotate our flavors daily and we're certain you'll appreciate the difference great care, quality, and attention to every detail make in creating... "The Finest Chili Anywhere!®"
      From: pepperfool@pepperfool.com (Rob L)
      Date: 01/10/02

LOS ANGELES

    Barragan's [Mexican]

      Sunset Blvd. near Echo Park
      Los Angeles, CA 90035
      310-822-6026
      M-Sa 11-11; Su 12-10; Fr and Sa til 3am!

      Killer combo plates. They serve Mexican food that tastes like the food my Grandmother used to make (whose enchiladas were to die for). I say Mexican food that tastes like Mexican food to steer you away from "California-ized," black bean-ized, funky new Mexican food.
      From: Joe Crawford
      Date: Fri, 07 Aug 1998


    Bones Bar-B-Q Shack [Barbecue, Eat-in]

      1447 S. La Cienaga Blvd
      Los Angeles, CA 90035
      310-822-6026
      M-Sa 11-11; Su 12-10; Fr and Sa til 3am!

      Formerly partners with the now forgotten "Dem Bones" in West LA, Bones Bar-B-Q Shack on La Cienaga has been around for a only short while. As a matter of fact the only reason I even noticed this place tucked away in a very non-descript pod mall south of Pico, was a huge banner declaring "Grand Opening.² Bones slightly bends the rules on BBQ joints by also being a "UBWF" fish house. But I honestly think they do this for sport, cause the Q rocks at Bones! (You do know what "UBWF" means, right?) Top notices almost across the board. Meats are smoky and lean, though not falling from the bone as I prefer, nonetheless tasty. The Chicken links are quite enticing. Stiff and chorizio-like, they contain flavors that defy description. The sauce, which is declared on the menu as "The Boss" is most excellent. Sweet, spicy, smoky and vinegary all at the same moment. Traces of garlic and fresh hot peppers make for thorough sense of hot sweet calmness. I dare say that this is very good sauce. And one of the best parts is that the sides put out! Spicy beans still holding onto a smidgen of firmness, the potato's in the potato salad still have skins on them and the corn bread is doused with a spoonful of molten butter. Even the drink hold a surprise. The soda is served on an "all you can drink basis" out of the largest styrofoam cup on earth. But here is the best part. Upon stepping outside to have a post BBQ smoke and guzzle more Barq's Root beer from my big gulp I noticed that along the side on the parking lot was a planter box filled with basil, peppers, tomatoes, etc. I walked back in asked "Do you guys use that stuff out there?" The reply was, "Oh, that stuff Joe planted? Sure we use it, what else are we gonna do with it?" Made my day.
      From: silsurf@gte.net (Henry Cline)
      Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998


    El Tepeyac [Mexican]

      812 North Evergreen Ave
      Los Angeles, CA
      (213) 268-1960.

      With a reputation that extends throughout Southern California, El Tepeyac is truly an institution. The customers that line up daily to quench their burrito thirst are so loyal that owner Manuel Rojas could probably start his own church. Manuel's Special, over five pounds worth of ingredients that fill two tortillas to near bursting, is the Mount Everest of burritos. It was created when Manny bet someone that they could not finish one of his burritos. He won. The machaca burrito at El Tepeyac might be the single best reason for visiting Southern California. It shows an unusual degree of character and depth for a burrito composed of only meat, eggs, cheese, and a tortilla. Meanwhile, Manny's relentless chatter keeps the atmosphere inside his restaurant festive. In addition, the sizzling excitement of the frantic and noisy kitchen usually manages to spill over into the smiles on customers' faces.
      From: Top Taquerias
      Date: This Place is Timeless


    Greece's [Barbecue, Eat-in]

      901 South La Brea #2
      Los Angeles, CA
      310-822-6026

      Well, Greece¹s is somewhat of a hidden surprise. First off, I had driven by it a dozen times even a thought nor a whiff of ŒQ. If you travel surface streets between the 10 FWY and Hollywood on La Brea, Greece¹s is tucked right into a pod mall on the west side of the street. Secondly, Greece¹s is quite pleasant inside. A few red vinyl booths make eat-in a must and the pit sits directly behind the order counter with the two iron-clad hatchways dripping with smoky creosote, Yum! It amazed me that the place was not filled with smoke--not that I would really mind if it were. And lastly, the Q is right up there! The sauce is not the most distinctive, but heralds a decent knock on the hotness meter. Vinegary and not too sweet. The meats were very lean and perfectly cooked, why I have rarely seen pork ribs this meaty. The accompanying beans still had some spring in them and though the links were very sausage-like, not the texture logs of say ³Leo¹s², but full flavored, dense and very well cooked. For location and overall experience I will make Greece¹s a regular stopover on my way to Hollyweird.
      From: silsurf@gte.net (Henry Cline)
      Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998


    Kenny's "Q" [Barbecue, Eat-in (if you dare)]

      3622 Jefferson Blvd
      West Addams, CA (just West of Crenshaw Blvd)
      213-766-7977

      Kenny¹s is pretty cool. Nestled in a nondescript part of the neighborhood that houses such luminaries as Leo¹s and Carl¹s, Kenny succeeds in holding his own. The approach may scare off some. You pass through a deserted teeny dining area in front, then down a long industrial hallway until you reach the ³Q² zone. A small room with a order hole in the wall from which waft the luscious odors of Kenny¹s hard work. The meats at Kenny¹s lack the smokier-than-thou doness of LA¹s finest, but there is much pleasure particularly in the chicken and chicken links. The sauce is extremely well balanced. Not too sweet, spicy, fairly hot and rich with vinegar. I only wish that it had more of everything. More spices, more heat. Possibly I only deal in excess, but great ³Q² seems to demand such regard for over-abundance. One of the mini-treats of Kenny¹s are the sides. Almost always a dissapointment, here the beans are rich and flavorful as if a special BBQ sauce was made just for them, and the potato salad is a perfect blandness to balance the intensity of Q¹ heaven. It is hard to recommend Kenny¹s over some of the near hits in this part of LA, but it is always fun to try a new and truly worthy BBQ stop.
      From: silsurf@gte.net (Henry Cline)
      Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998


    Leo's Bar-B-Cue "Take Out" [Barbecue, Take-out only]

      2619 South Crenshaw Bl.
      Los Angeles, CA (two blocks s. of 10)
      213-733-1186

      Leo's is take-out only, not for the casual weekend BBQ-er It's been there for an eternity A huge sign over looks Crenshaw Bl, so you cannot miss it. The only place to even consider eating is a flimsy formica counter along the side by the parking lot, underneath the billowing "smoke" stack. The Q' at Leo's is a model of consistency and this is why: the sauce, a swirling mix of coffee, chili, molasses, charcoal, chocolate, garlic and anise flavors, a description which I just realized might turn some stomachs. But don't let my inadequate attempt dissuade you, this is the ground zero of 'Q sauce. The meat is good, smoked deeply, and moist. The pork wins over the beef, but I think that all the time. The links don't inspire Woody's -level hysteria, but they are serious, house-made with a nice grain. The real surprise is the chicken, which costs less than your last hour of Internet time. The flavor is an intense wave of wood and smoke. I have mine without the sauce, just because it's fine on its own. The sides do their job and the pies are worth taking home. For my vote, you can't go wrong with Leo's. Get a slab, watch them sop on the sauce with the mop, then ask for more. Then pay with your ATM card, because they take it. Special commendation for freeway proximity and pie quality.
      From: silsurf@gte.net (Henry Cline)
      Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998


    Phillip's [Barbecue / Take-out only]

      #1 4307 Leimert
      Leimert Park, CA
      213-292-7613
      Monday-Saturday
      #2 1517 Centinela Ave.
      Inglewood, CA
      310-412-7135
      Tuesday-Saturday

      The consensus favorite among the congnoscenti. Great meat, smoked since the Truman administration, falling off the bone and deeply flavored. This meat is why people go crazy for 'Q. Pork, pork., pork. The pig reigns supreme here, and each bite screams out like some operatic justification of the carnivore life. The beef works too - sliced or in the rib version. The chicken is moist, from the skin down to the bone (no skinless boneless here). The chicken links are unique and bursting with goodness. The casings are crackly and chewy while the extra spicy filling that is redolent with veins rosemary. Which leads us to the sauce. I find the musty mole-esque sauce to almost everything I would ever want from BBQ. Rich, burnt, chocolate, coffee and hot hot hot. I was greeted by a very friendly woman at the Centinela location who steered me right onto those chicken links and when I asked for a to go menu, she painstakenly went through and corrected recent price changes (amounting to 25 cents)
      No tables, skinny ass front room in both locations it is the no frills encounter that one expects from a true BBQ shrine. You pass the money through a slot in the bullet-proof plastic. No credit cards or roller blades.
      From: silsurf@gte.net (Henry Cline)
      Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998


    Woody's Bar-B-Que [Barbecue]

      #1 3446 W. Slauson Ave
      Los Angeles, CA
      213-294-9443
      #2 475 S. Market St
      Inglewood, CA
      310-672-4200

      Woody¹s gets very high ranking on many levels. First off it is take-out quality, with plenty of indoor and patio seating available. What I mean by take-out quality is this; the best BBQ tends to be from take-out joints for one simple reason, they don¹t have the money or the time to be wworryingabout tables and waiters and bathrooms and such, too busy perfecting their sauce and watching over the perfectly cooked meats. Woodys strikes a great balance bbetweenlooking and acting like a take out, but there ARE places to sit and thus keep all that sauce from ruining your cars interior.
      Woody's is for ribs and chicken. Their sauce is good, I¹d say strikes a near perfect balance between sweet and too much bottom end. The ssubtlefflavorsare there. But when it comes to links, Woody's has no competitors. A coarse, grainy mix of pork and spices, shot through with chili, stuffed loosely in a snappy casing then smoked until the thing becomes a vessel of 'Q perfection. Get a full order, some potato salad for a side, and see if you can make it home before busting into the bag. Special note for the West Slauson location. Check out the cash register, some robo thing that swallows the money down into a safe, then spits out your appropriate change and nothing else. There is no seating whatsoever at this location.
      From: silsurf@gte.net (Henry Cline)
      Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998

FULLERTON

    Anita's[Southwestern]

      600 North Harbor Blvd (between Chapman and Orangethorpe)
      Fullerton, CA
      (Also in Santa Ana)

      Anita's offers taste delights that you simply can't find outside of northern New Mexico (Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, etc.). If you require that your dinner leave your face red while chile-sweat drips from your scalp, try their Carne Adovada or Chile Verde dishes. If you like things a bit calmer, they can aaccommodatethat silly urge, too. Ever had really good Posole outside of New Mexico? They've got it at Anita's. Chile Relleno made with Hatch Chile peppers? Anita's. And when you order sopaipillas, you don't have to ask for honey - Anita's knows. (Hell, just try FINDING sopaipillas in Mexican restaurants around here!)
      These are not upscale eateries (whatever the opposite of "pretentious" is, Anita's is it.) They're clean, friendly restaurants with awesome food, efficient service, and very reasonable prices. The manager at the Santa Ana location worked at several of Santa Fe's finest and most famous restaurants (The Shed, Bishops Hotel, etc.); we're lucky to have her (I unfortunately can't remember her name right now) and Anita's here in southern California.
      From: Gregg Puckett, gpuckett@exo.com
      Sun, 21 Mar 1999


      "New Mexico Style" Mexican food. Outside looked like a re-tred taco bell or burger joint. Inside it was pleasant family style place with nice decor but nothing fancy.

      We started with the Posole soup which had nice flavor and the pork was tender but a little bland for my taste. Their specialty seemed to be Carne Adovada marinated pork in New Mexican red sauce. My brother had that with torillas, beans and rice. My wife had the Stuffy dinner, a large sopaipilla stuffed with pork, rice and beans. I had the New Mexican enchilada (blue corn torillas served flat) with the adovada and spicy red sauce. My mother had the same enchilada but with beef and the mild green sauce. The red sauce was fresh and very spicy while the green was mild and flavorful with a smoky sweet thing happening (so different from the tomatillo sauce that make up normal mex green sauces). All dinners were served with a large sopaipilla with honey.

      The portions were huge. Even my brother who can stuff it away had to give in. The adovada was excellent both alone and in the enchiladas. Everyone commented on the fresh spicy rice. We gorged and had a great time.

      All entres were $7-$8 beer and wine were available but no Tequila :( Quite a bargain for the group of us though.

      I don't think it was as great as some of the wonderful food we have had in NM. But when I crave those sauces, it certainly will due till we head back to the Southwest. Wish I was close enough to hit the lunch specials...
      From: Jeff Lander
      April, 2000

KOREA TOWN


    Guelaguetza [Barbecue, Eat-in]

      3337 1/2 W. Eighth St. (1 block west of Normandie Ave.)
      Koreatown, CA, 90005
      (213) 427-0601
      Also in Palms
      MAP

      Guelaguetza, which has superb Oaxacan moles, a decent selection of things to drink (especially at the Palms/Sepulveda location) and a brand-new rave from the NY Times. Plus, it's so cheap as to be almost free. Whether or not it is the single best Mexican restaurant in town is a matter up for debate, but you will almost surely be congratulated for your taste and refinement.
      From: quodlibet9@aol.com (Quodlibet9)
      Date: 8 Aug 1998

Pollo a la Brasa [Peruvian chicken]

    . 764 S. Western Ave
    Koreatown, CA, 90005
    (213) 382-4090
    Also at 16527 S. Vermont Ave., Gardena; (310) 715-2494.
    Open for lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon. (Western) and Tues.-Sun. (Vermont). Dinner for two, food only, $5-$10.
    MAP

    The first thing you notice about Pollo a la Brasa, a Peruvian chicken joint on a traffic island in the a heart of Koreatown, is the wood smoke, great billows that perfume downwind noodle shops and coffee bars. Inside, there's an assembly line in the back, guys impaling chickens on thick steel skewers, jamming threaded chickens into a vast flame-licked apparatus, hacking chickens into parts with the dexterity of machete-wielding orthopedists and tossing them onto piles of French fries. And the chicken is remarkable, well garlicked, slightly spicy, marked with pungent smoke, the happy marriage of a chicken and a bunch of logs. The flesh is juicy, the herbal flavor clear, the skin caramelized and crisp. With the chicken comes a standard salad, also little plastic cups of aji, the smooth mint-green chile puree that is almost hot enough to sear the skin off your lips.
    From: LA Weekly (Jonathan Gold)
    Date: November 6 - 12, 1998

NORTH HOLLYWOOD

    Paquito Mas [Mexican-Baja style]

      Olive Blvd, Burbank. One block West of Buena Vista.
      Other site is On Cahuenga, accross the street from Universal Studios.

      Their motto is "We don't serve fast food, we serve great food as fast as we can." By far the freshest South of the border "taco stand" in Los Angeles. There is a salsa bar with 6 or more different salsas. Tapitillo and Choulua Hot Sauces on the Tables.
      From: Robert L.
      Date: 1/27/98

PASADENA

    Kingston Cafe [Jamaican]

      333 S. Fair Oaks Avenue
      ,Pasadena, CA 91105-2541
      Telephone..........818-405-8080

      This family run restaurant is a converted office, has a few small rooms and is Brightly decorated with "Island Art". I've only had the jerk chicken here which is served with fresh scotch bonnets , black beans and rice. Excellent.
      From: Robert L.
      Date: 10/27/98

      Another Review

SANTA BARBARA

    La Super-Rica Taqueria [Mexican]

      622 North Milpas Street
      Santa Barbara
      Telephone...805-963-4940
      Lunch and dinner daily. Plates under $7.00

      The most famous taco stand in America. Handmade tortillas and charbroiled meats with an authentic Mexican taste. Part time resident Julia Child praised it lavishly and publicy and americas Food writers and broadcast media weren't far behind. Started 20 years ago, and still owned and operated by the original founder. Isidoro Gonzales was born in Yahualica, Jalisco, raised in Santa Barbara, and went to school in Mexico City.publiclycamole heaped on tortillas, picante roasted pasilla chile stuffed with cheese and pork. Cheese filled chile relleno (Monday special). Weekends: open faced vegie tamales with creamy onion salsa, Sunday: pozole estilo Jalisco-pork and hominy stew garnished with radish slices, cabbage shreds, avocado, and lime sauce that sets your throat on fire.
      From: ???
      Date: ???


    Taqueria El Bajio [Mexican]

      129 North Milpas Street
      Santa Barbara
      Telephone...805-884-1828
      Breakfast, lunch and dinner Tuesday to Sunday, Closed Mondays.

      Santos and Gloria Guzman and their four daughters turn out otherworlodly carnitas and other recipes flavored with the tastes of Guanajuato, Mexico. Blue and white tile roof and folk art on the walls. Tacos de carnitas, handmade tortillas, Carne Asada, Fish Tacos (grilled Local Red Snapper), caldo de camaron (a sefood stew).
      From: ???
      Date: ???

WEST L.A / SANTA MONICA

    Border Grill

      Santa Monica - The restaurant behind the TV show "Too Hot Tamales" and "Good Food" on the radio.
      The place has a very relaxed atmosphere which is not lost on the waiters / waitresses. Every table has 3 kinds of dips chipotle, tomatillo and red chile. All 3 are great but make sure to ask for "the really hot stuff". You will be brought a habanero-tomatillo sauce that is just incredible. I was just there with 10 people, with each ordering something different. Everyone was very happy including my father who HATES spicy food.
      Their prices are not too bad and the portions are quite generous.

    4J¹s [Barbecue, Eat-in]

      444 Lincoln Blvd.
      Venice, CA
      310-396-7675

      They just don¹t make the grade. The corner shop location in the heart of hellville, Lincoln blvd is a nice enough throw back to a real southern BBQ joint. Small, hot with a b&w TV going in the back tuned to some unknown station. And the people are very friendly but as you can tell I am trying my best not to deliver the bad news. The meats just do not taste smokey at all and everything from the beans to the corn bread lacks pizzaz. The sauce is of the thin-vinegary Memphis style which I do say is much preferred over the thick-sweet gooey stuff, but even the sauce has no real distinct flavor. If you are in the Venice area and MUST have BBQ, you will get a more authentic feeling from 4J¹s, but I hate to say that you will get better food at Benny¹s.
      From: silsurf@gte.net (Henry Cline)
      Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998


    Benny's BBQ [Barbecue, Eat-in]

      4077 Lincoln Bl
      Marina Del Rey, CA
      310-821-6939

      Benny¹s is considered by many to be top Westside BBQ, but I must say I felt it was kind of ³out of favour². There is a bit of a tired feeling over at Benny¹s, not a tired Souterhn, but a tired like nobody goes there. Some of the zing is gone. The chow is pretty good, the meat is that kind of ³cooked until way done² category of BBQ. Dry and stringy, yet somehow still moist and chewy at the core. THis may be the most distinct aspect of Benny¹s. The sauce is what I would refer to as ³crowd pleasing BBQ, little sweet, little hot, little vinegary and not a lot of bottom end. Sides are very bland--but that is not all that unusual. The links are quite interesting. So dark and mealy that I swear there have wood shavings in them. A grindyfearsomee black death of a sausage, your either gonna love it or hate it. I was not surprised to find Benny¹s as one of the four BBQ joints listed in LA¹s Zagat guide. It is pretty safe fair.
      From: silsurf@gte.net (Henry Cline)
      Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998



    Guelaguetza [Mexican]

      11127 Palms Blvd. (east of Sepulveda Blvd.)
      Palms, CA, 90034-6502
      (310) 837-8600
      Map
      (Also in Korea Town)

      Guelaguetza, which has superb Oaxacan moles, a decent selection of things to drink (especially at the Palms/Sepulveda location) and a brand-new rave from the NY Times. Plus, it's so cheap as to be almost free. Whether or not it is the single best Mexican restaurant in town is a matter up for debate, but you will almost surely be congratulated for your taste and refinement.
      From: quodlibet9@aol.com (Quodlibet9)
      Date: 8 Aug 1998


    Outdoor Grill [Barbecue, Eat-in]

      12630 1/2 Washington Pl. (at the Handy J Car Wash)
      Mar Vista, CA
      310-636-GRIL

      OG serves up fairly tame grub, but ya gotta love a few things about it. First off, I think it may be the best cheap date in LA. Take your cool car down to the Handy ³J² for an A+ washing, and meanwhile get your Q¹ and head up to the balcony seats for a breeze and the perfect observation point of your car progress. patio seating, open pit is in the entranceway-pretty darn good.
      From: silsurf@gte.net (Henry Cline)
      Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998


    Texate [Mexican]

      316 Pico Blvd
      Santa Monica, CA
      (310) 399-1115
      Open daily 8 a.m.–11:30 p.m.
      Dinner for two, food only, $11–$15. Full bar. Lot parking in rear.

      The most famous dishes of Oaxacan cooking are the moles, thick, rich sauces composed of as many as three dozen different roasted chiles, nuts and seeds, ground into a paste with a mortar and pestle and thinned out with a little broth, as perfect a sauce for poultry as any beurre blanc or bigarade. When you ask for mole at Texate, the waitress patiently waits until you specify which kind of mole you’d like: the mole negro, tar-black, sweet-bitter, with a specific gravity that lies somewhere near that of plutonium; the oddly herbed verde de pollo; the mole called amarillo, especially mild, with a clear chile flavor, a strong top note of cumin and the sort of slightly oily texture of gravy in a chicken-dinner restaurant; or the mole coloradito that’s the best food in the house, brick-red, sharply spicy, a little smoky, with the roundness of toasted grain, more pungent than the negro, everything you’re looking for when you order mole.
      From: LA Weekly (Jonathan Gold)
      Date: November 26 - December 3, 1998


    Western Smoke House [Barbecue, Eat-in]

      10640 Woodbine Street @ Overland
      Los Angeles, CA 90034
      310-837-3544
      M-Th 11:30-3:30, 4:30-9p
      F 11:30-10p
      Sa 2p-10p
      Su closed

      I always have high expectations when entering a new BBQ joint and Western was no exception. Based solely on an errant internet message reading finally true Texas BBQ comes to theWestsidee² I ventured forth. The first attempt was befuddled by awkward business hours, but looking through the window made me even more enticed. Stuck in an extremely vapid pod mall, Western has some flair. Mini-country farmhouse setting, fake wood and farm utensils on the wall. A popcorn machine in the corner. When I finally got in my enjoyment was heightened more upon viewing the beautifulcasserolee sized fresh baked cobbler¹s sitting in the display case. Our lunch arrived on cowboy plates (those blue tin-enamel ones) with sides in mini frying pans and as you may have guessed by now it was all a vaneer. Not terrible by any means, just transparent, which is a word that should stray far from a BBQ lexicon.
      I do not think that many folks will be traveling West for this smokehouse.
      From: silsurf@gte.net (Henry Cline)
      Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998

SANTA ANNA

TORRANCE

    El Nuevo Mexico [Southwestern]

      3138 182nd. St.
      Torrance, Ca
      (310) 538-1323

      There is a new mexican place here by me on 182nd just west of crenshaw. It's a ~tiny~ place with just a few tables although they do takeout, delivery and catering. the food we've had there has been excellent.
      From: Ringo, odysseusi@worldnet.att.net
      Date: April 08, 2000


    La Capilla [Mexican]

      1332 Sartori ave. Torrance (old towne) (310) 533-1048
      807 Adams ave. Huntington Beach Ca. 92648 (714) 374-0342
      4997 La Palma Ave. La Palma, ca, (714) 821-6191
      5638 E. La Palma , Anaheim Hills, Ca. (714) 779-1200

      La Capilla is by far one of the best "authentic" Mexicanrestaurantss in the L.A. area. I eat at the Torrance location at least once a month, and usually get the chicken fajitas which I think are the best in town. Other dishes Irecommendd are theChickene Mole and the tamales. The prices are very reasonable and the service is very good. The atmosphere is dark and comfortable with mostly booth tables. There isusuallyy a 15-20minutee wait during the peak dinner hours (6-8).The food is not real hot so real Ch'rs might want to brown bag some sauce it. If you ask, they will bring you a bowl of freshJalapenoss.
      From: Robert L.
      Date: 12/02/98 - 10/10/00

VAN NUYS

    Dr Hogly-Wogly Tyler Texas BBQ [Barbecue, Eat-in]

      8136 N Sepulveda Bl
      Van Nuys, CA
      818-780-6701

      Dr Wogly¹s isundoubtedlyy one of the best BBQ¹s in the LA area, and I say LA area lightly, cause this place is way out there! The atmosphere is a full sit down restaurant withnaugahydee booths and an arid, hot, cement world outside your window. The BBQ is large and tasty. Big ol¹ pieces of meat come on plastic plates with plenty of sauce pouring off. Thinvinegaryy ³texas² Q¹ sauce, but pretty distinct here--it has some heart. One of the best parts of DHWTT is the trip out there and the scene in there.
      From: silsurf@gte.net (Henry Cline)
      Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998







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