I love Tito’s Tacos…no I don’t

I’m still on what is turning into a never-ending quest to find a good Mexican place in LA near me.  My latest attempt landed me at Tito’s Tacos.  Some people, including LA natives, swear Tito’s is the place to go.  And they have this wonderful commercial:

When I got there, the building looked sufficiently “hole-in-the-wall”-ish and there was a line.  The set up was like a large taco stand.  You went up to a window, placed your order and sat at one of the few picnic style tables outside.  Promising…  I looked around for the menu which turned out to be a large board behind the counter with only a few listings.  Hrm…  I see “burrito” and the only options were beans, meat w/ beans and…that’s it?  What sort of meat?  Shredded beef?  No carne asada?!?!?!  Well, damn…there goes my hopes and dreams.

I ordered a meat burrito but without the beans; I’m a believer in the carne asada + guacamole + cheese + pico de gallo burrito.  None of that rice n’ beans filler stuff.  I want MEAT!   I also ordered 2 tacos for my husband, plain with just meat n’ cheese.  Since they only accept cash at Tito’s Tacos, I had to make use of the atm machine on the side of the building.   I waited for about 5 minutes before my order was called.  I paid ($9 + change) and got my food which was packaged in a box (think In-n-Out) with a cover.

Tito's Tacos

Tito's Tacos

Tito's Tacos - Inside of their meat burrito sans beans

Tito's Tacos - Inside of their meat burrito sans beans

When I got home and opened up the box, I saw a fairly plump burrito, two very sad looking tacos, chips and a cup of salsa.

I didn’t try the tacos but the husband said they weren’t very good and that he would be fine if he never ate them again.  Taco Bell is better.

As for the burrito, it was stuffed full of shredded beef and some cheese but it was bland.  I kept throwing more and more Tapatio just to get some flavor.  It really was unappetizing and I had to force myself to finish it (“Thou shalt not waste food…”).  The amount of meat in it was…heavy, almost bordering on too much.  It is a filling burrito and if there was something for my taste buds to latch on to, it would have been okay.

I guess the best part of the meal were the chips which were a little stale and the very mild salsa.  I should have dumped the salsa into the burrito…

I don’t understand how people think Tito’s Tacos is great.  What am I missing?  This was probably the worst Mexican food I’ve ever had and I doubt I will return. The fact that I dished out almost $10 for it just adds salt to the wound.

For the first time ever, the Catty Critic gives out a hairball rating.

Now to convince the husband that, no, we really should move back to San Diego, if only so I can get GOOD Mexican food…

Tito’s Tacos
11222 Washington Pl
Culver City, CA 90230
(310) 391-5780
http://www.titostacos.com

Tito's Tacos on Urbanspoon

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6 Responses

  1. I had to laugh when reading your review. I am a self proclaimed “foodie” and I grew up eating Tito’s Taco’s. Do I think it is great Mexican food….No, I don’t. I have to say that it is my roots of growing up in Culver City so when I visit (I live in Massachusetts now and I was in San Francisco) I have to sneak in a trench coat to go get some of the Tito’s memory inducing crap food.

  2. Haha…I know how that is. I grew up eating Spam and every once in a while I have a craving…

  3. All I can say is.. To each their own. I grew up in the neighborhood and have eaten at Tito’s since the early 60’s. Everytime I visit West L.A. I have to hit Tito’s for a beef burrito and a taco. I really do love it! I think the answer to your question lies in the fact that you and your husband think Taco Bell is actually Mexican food. Enough said! Even though you don’t know what mexican food is, you might enjoy the “berto’s” chain (Umberto’s, Alberto’s etc..) They have a bigger menu including a lot items you might recognize from the Taco Bell menu (sorry, no encharitos), but authentic So. Cal Mexican style. You might even prefer Lucy’s on the corner of Washington and Sepulveda (the original Tito’s restaurant location) which is very good. Or, just stick with Taco Bell!

    • I’m sorry if you take offense at my review; it is just my opinion.

      I never said Taco Bell was authentic; I just said it was better than what I ate at Tito’s. I try to avoid Taco Hell if possible. The places I enjoy down in San Diego are no means anything like Taco Bell. I do know Mexican food as I have a few Mexican friends and try to go to places based on their recommedations.

      I have been to Lucy’s and think it is better than Tito’s but is still just okay and not quite up to San Diego standards.

  4. I think for a food critic you did it all wrong. I don’t know of too many food critics who take out instead of eating at the restaurant. The experience is always better at the restaurant. Imagine Wolfgang Puck’s food lukewarm on your dining table with your kids screaming and the TV on.

    I think another fault of critique is you compared it to other Mexican food instead of for what it just is. I say this because since I moved from LA 12 years ago I haven’t had any Mexican food quite like it. Though I don’t care if it suppose be like other Mexican food. All I know is that it taste great.

    Finally, I think people who frequent Titos know the house salsa is part of the deal when eating the food. Everyone who I eat there with puts loads of it on .

    I think you should go back and give it a fair chance. Try the meat and bean burrito with cheese and the tacos. Bring your family there and when you realize you just bought them a yummy and filling dinner for all of them for under 20 bucks, you might start to see why people love it.

    • I wouldn’t consider Tito’s a restaurant…it’s really more of a stand. But I do agree you have a point about eating food freshly served vs. takeout. However, as a diner, I would expect food quality not to diminish too much between dining in and take-out.

      I did like their salsa as that was the only thing that really had any flavor to it, in my opinion. I don’t think a dish should have to rely on a condiment to make it good. A dish should be good on its own.

      I’m willing to go back and give it a 2nd chance but I’m not making any promises… 🙂

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