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

The hunt continues…

While running some errands this evening, I decided I would pick up some Dinah’s fried chicken for dinner since the husband sounded like he needed some comfort food.  I’ve never had it despite driving past the restaurant many times.  Anyways, we’ll save that review for later, after I’ve eaten some.

In the same center is a Viva Fresh…yet another Mexican restaurant chain.  We’ve been to one before, the location off the corner of Manchester and Lincoln.  We were so underwhelmed by what we got that we made a conscious decision to never go back there.  But this was a different location so maybe this time would be better?

I walked in and looked at the menu.  It was a lot…shorter than I recalled.  Hrm.  I decided to get an order of rolled tacos (3) w/ shredded beef and a fish taco w/ guacamole (option of either white sauce or guacamole) which came out to a whopping $9.12 after tax.

The rolled tacos with shredded beef weren’t bad.  They were a little thicker than what I normally see.  The beef was a little dry but overall, it was tasty.  Good crunch.  Okay, I’d probably order these again and maybe ask for some cheese as well.

Normally, in San Diego, when you order a fish taco/burrito, the fish is breaded and fried.  Viva Fresh grills their fish which is healthier but does not do much on the “want comfort-y food”.  This taco consisted of 2 small white corn tortillas serving as the shell, a good helping of white fish, lettuce and a whole lot of guacamole.  I put on some of their hot salsa and took a bite.  The first flavor to really hit me was a sharp sour note…lime.  Either they marinade their fish in lime juice or someone was using a lime as a stress relief ball.  Anyways, as I continued to eat, I caught hints of a fishy flavor here and there…a sign that the fish isn’t fresh and was probably frozen.  Maybe that’s why they put so much lime…and guacamole.  It was a bit of a mess to eat.

Sadly, this Viva Fresh turned out to be a disappointment as well.  I’ll probably just hit up Chile Verde since it is closer.  A friend, another San Diegan, informed me of a place in Burbank that satisfied her cravings.  However, Burbank is quite a bit aways.  😦  Maybe one day, if we venture there…

2 1/2 NOMs for Viva Fresh.

Viva Fresh Mexican Grill
6515 S Sepulveda Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(310) 338-9153
www.vivafreshmexicangrill.com
Viva Fresh Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon

Edit: I noticed on Yelp that this place got pretty good reviews.  You Los Angeleans are deprived.  I’m sorry but really, you are.  On your next trip to San Diego, stop at a Roberto’s or a Santana’s or El Cotixan and taste what I’m talking about.