to my surprise LA is not really a burrito town despite the fact that there are tacquerias on nearly every corner. i guess it's really a taco town. that hasn't stopped me in my quest for a half-decent burrito. i could find these easily in the bay area, but now i'm struggling. i've had some pretty good ones, but they're always lacking something to push them over the top from good to great.
yesterday i decided to go for a post-work food adventure to check out Al & Bea's. it's highly regarded as one of the best in the city. it's east of downtown, and it was a bit hellish to get there, driving thru some parts of town i probably shouldn't have been in. finally got there. ordered the special with shredded beef, beans, guac, cheese, and rice, and a 2nd one with just bean, cheese & green chili. i quickly made my way back to my car, checking over my shoulder numerous times. i took both burritos home and dug in to the special. i opened it's yellow paper wrapper up (no foil?!) and it seemed like the tortilla hadn't been toasted on the grill at all so i decided to grill it for a few minutes in the cast iron pan. i haven't seen any place down here that does grilled burritos btw (anyone know of any?)... i ate it with a side of the "salsa" they provided, which i noticed they ladled out of a hot pot. it was more like a gravy than a salsa, not quite a red sauce, not quite a salsa. it kinda resembled my favorite habanero-carrot salsa from green chili kitchen (in SF), light orange/brown in color, but the flavor was rather mild, and unfortunately the resemblance ended there.
the burrito was good, don't get me wrong. i enjoyed it. but it definitely wasn't worth the trek. i didn't eat the green chili, bean & cheese burrito, which is supposed to be their specialty. it's in the fridge and will likely be consumed late night sometime this weekend...
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