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Restaurants & Bars 6

El Jerezano and Taqueria Los Tapatios

Jess | Aug 24, 200404:42 PM

Thanks to recs on this board, I’ve been steadily making my way through taquerias near my new home in Sherman Oaks.

I’ve picked up tacos and quesadillas at El Jerezano in Van Nuys a few times. The pastor is excellent and the quesadillas are packed full of meat and cheese. The salsa rojo also is quite good. I do wish, however, there were containers for pico de gallo. On request, they will give you a plastic bag, but it doesn’t seal. Twice now, the salsa has spilled all over my takeout bag. My biggest gripe is with the service. Despite regular visits, I have not found the service friendly at all. The food causes me go back, but I would like to feel more comfortable.

On Saturday, I decided to try Taqueria Los Tapatios on Ventura Blvd. in Tarzana. What a find. Someone previously mentioned Carmen, who owns the restaurant with her hustband, and she was incredibly friendly.

Since someone had mentioned pupusas, I asked if she could make one. Immediately, she grabbed some masa and began pounding out the dough for one. She recommended the pork and cheese, and it was excellent. The inside just oozed flavor. Curtido came on the side and added a wonderful sour, crispness to the dish.

The tacos were uniformly good. I have been missing chorizo tacos since I moved from the Beverly Center area and away from Chulada Grill, so I asked if Los Tapatios could make one. Even though it’s not a regular menu item, Carmen said it would be no problem. The chorizo wasn't as tasty (or greasy)as Chulada's, but it filled the void nicely. I also ordered tacos de pastor, suadero and carne asada. All were very tasty. And the pico de gallo was just perfect. I did not love the salsa rojo as much as El Jerezano’s, but Los Tapatios' salsa verde has good flavor and there is another salsa, seemingly avocado-based, that I enjoyed. Carmen took great pride in telling me that everything is made by hand, and it definitely tasted that way.

An order of a Jamaica, five tacos and a pupusa and cost just over $10. Definitely a bargain – and definitely a new regular spot for me.

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