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Restaurants & Bars 3

Culver City chow

LBQT | Jun 19, 2002 03:06 PM

My Chowmate and I found ourselves heading back to WLA from the airport area on Saturday night. We were narrowing down dinner choices, with three left on the short list. Inspired by the June 1 foray, Chowmate came up with a brilliant idea: “Why not try all of them? A mini-chow fest!” Being the troopers we are, we ventured forth.

First stop was at Taqueria Sanchez, a mom’n’pop home style joint on Centinela. We were pleased to find an “A” rating in the front window. The menu was posted above the order window inside. Soft tacos of every kind and description, from al pastor, to sesos (brains), along with other traditional Mexican plates. We opted to start small and shared tacos al pastor and carnitas. Delicious! Each was full enough to make two tacos from the two soft tortillas they came in. The plates also had an ample helping of fresh chips, to be garnished with salsas from the salsa bar. Rather than gorge here, we opted to continue the trek to the venerable Tito’s Tacos. Finding a parking spot is the trick here, but by making our way through the parking lot and onto Sepulveda, we found plenty of street parking. We walked back to Tito’s and shared an all meat burrito, also served with a big scoop of chips. The salsa was a rosy-pink, although Chowmate said it tasted good despite the off color. Soft chunks of beef fell out of the burrito at every bite, washed in an reddish-orange sauce which cried out to be (and were) sopped up with pieces of the tortilla. The meat tasted and looked like chunks of chuck roast, but whatever it was, was wonderful.

That left us with our final destination, just across the parking lot. Johnnie’s Pastrami. We ordered one French-dip pastrami sandwich and a couple of beers, and ate outside. This is definitely not Langers, but the pastrami has an irresistible appeal. Chowmate figured it out: The sandwich is infused with the flavor of pastrami. Sure, the meat isn’t the most tender, but it is sliced thin, piled high, and bursts with flavor from having been steamed and steeped in peppery, pastrami juices. With a squirt or two of mustard, the sandwich was pastrami perfection. (Although for the real deli deal, Langer’s is still the one and only).

Johnnies Pastrami Restaurant
4017 Sepulveda Blvd.
Culver City, CA
(310) 397-6654

Tito’s Tacos
11222 Washington Place
Culver City, CA
(310) 391-5780

Taqueria Sanchez
4541 Centinela Ave.
Culver City, CA
(310) 822-8880

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