Okay, this place is all over Yelp (yuck p'tooey), but I've missed any mention of it here. HOW can such a thing BE? We'd never have gotten there if we hadn't been with a big group at the Future Gallery last night (the one with Chicken Boy on the roof) and everyone wanted to go to My Taco, but we had to call this other friend first. He said, "No. Let's go to Chico's." Well, okay, what the heck, though it was pointed out that Chico's closes at 9:00 and it was 8:40, but let's give it a try. So one of us went ahead, and when we got to this tiny little very yellow place it was 8:58 and there was a table for eight waiting for us, along with a cheerfully smiling waitress. Good sign.
This place is hell for cute, menu kind of the handpainted folk-art equivalent to the Waffle House ones (if you're familiar with those), and some serious food included thereon. This includes enough à la carte offerings to construct a complete meal out of at no major price penalty, something too many Mexican places don't do. I got to taste only my own chile relleno and Mrs. O's birria de chivo, but I'm here to tell you that it was all the best I'd ever had. My pepper was sweet, hot and flavorful, with a good crusty batter, flavorful cotija cheese inside, and a sauce that looked thin and watery but was flavorful and amazingly rich. The rice and the beans were not perfunctory afterthoughts but good dishes in their own right, and my one bite of the stewed goat told me I needed to get that next time. Our contribution to the non-split tab of $105 was calculated at $30, which included two dishes, two Negra Modelos and a good tip. This was good honest food, served quickly and cheerfully in surroundings that could have felt crowded and smelly but weren't. Parking is not easy if you don't want to walk - there's a small lot at the side that tends to fill up with non-customers - but if you don't mind parking across Figueroa it's simplicity itself.
This is going to be a new fave. Great food, great atmosphere, great value.
100 Avenue 50 (at Figueroa)
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