+
1 Place Mentioned Expand Map
Restaurants & Bars 1

Albondigas soup at Los Pinos Mexican Restaurant; Lebec/Frazier Park

susancinsf | Apr 11, 201503:58 PM

Heading home from Anaheim I wanted to break up the trip and avoid driving at night. Ended up staying at the Holiday Inn Express at the Frazier Park exit at top of the Grapevine (which is much nicer for the price than I would expect for any hotel in that location, by the way). Without getting back in the car, my dinner choices were fast food, beef jerky from Arco, or Los Pinos, located about a block from the hotel. A no brainer, although I confess that I chose the Holiday Inn partly because I had heard rumors that Los Pinos sometimes had good albondigas as a special...and it was a cold night...

Score: a sign at the entrance advertised the albondigas special. I was seated promptly, and service was friendly. It is a low key, Mom and Pop type of place and "Mom", presumably the owner, did an excellent job of overseeing the dining room, (which filled up by the time I left at about 7:30 on a Monday night.) The menu is extensive, but I was there for the soup. Fresh, thin house made tortilla chips and an excellent house made salsa were brought promptly. The albondigas followed: served with fresh tortillas and rice on the side. The rice was atypical: white with onions, bits of carrot, peas and cilantro, but no tomato base. I actually prefer it that way. As for the albondigas: better than good. Actually it was one of the better versions I've had in a long time: the broth was rich and tomato and beef based with a generous amount of cilantro, the meatballs were tender and well spiced with mint and a minimum of filler. Vegetables in the soup included carrot, onion, chayote, potato and zucchini. It was a generous meal-sized portion.

I left happy. Dinner for one with a Negro Modelo, tax and tip, for under $15. I can't speak for the rest of the menu, though the dishes I saw coming out of the kitchen looked good, and I heard lots of chopping sounds coming from the kitchen (so I assume dishes are made with fresh ingredients). Sure, I've had better albondigas in LA (though not often), but it is hard to imagine a better option anywhere in the area. A good option If you want a break while on the Grapevine on a cold day, or end up staying in the area for whatever reason, or just want to eat before braving the SoCal traffic.

Los Pinos Mexican Restaurant
Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

Recommended from Chowhound