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Restaurants & Bars 5

Mama's Hot Tamales

martyR | Aug 26, 2004 04:42 PM

I believe it was ChefLisa who told me about this place in an email the same day that Jonathon Gold wrote about it in the L.A. Weekly, so I figured two references in the same day was a sign that I had to check this out. So I found myself with no plans for lunch and, with visions of banana leaves and corn husks in my mind, I decided to hop on the red line and head over to MaCarthur Park. Now it's almost criminal to come within 2 blocks of Langers and NOT go in, but I managed to make it past and found a very nice restaurant with good Mexican art on the walls. There were 12 types of tamal on the menu (The selection changes every week). I ordered the beef with red mole from Mexico City, the pork tamal with olives, potatos, carrots and bell peppers from Sinaloa and the Chicken with black mole from Oaxaca. They came with 3 small cups of red and green salasa and crema on the side. First up was the beef tamal. It was disappointing, almost all cornmeal and not much filling. But with the salsas added, I still enjoyed it. Second was the Sinaloa pork tamal. Better than the first, more meat filling, but not as spicy as advertised. Again, with the addition of the Salsas it was tasty. The last one was amazing though. This was the Oaxacan black mole tamal. It had lots of meat in a very flat husk and the mole was incredible. Very earthy and slightly chocolate but also spicy. This one needed no additions. At $1.75 per tamal its hard to go wrong here. The other non-tamal dishes I saw being served looked very good too. I need to come back a few times to get an idea of the rotation of the menu before I pass final judgment, but I think this place may be a keeper.

Mama's Hot Tamales
2124 W. 7th Street
Los Angeles, 90057
213-487-7474

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