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Truly excellent Mexican-American/Cal-Mex restaurants in the LA area?

freshfigs | Apr 5, 201309:31 AM

Apologies in advance if this topic has been discussed in the past:

Are there any Mexican-American (as opposed to highly authentic, regional Mexican) restaurants in the LA area serving destination-worthy food? I'm referring to places offering the Americanized style of cooking of yesteryear that was ubiquitous in LA/SoCal prior to the 1980s: places like El Cholo, for instance, that offer enchiladas, burritos, taquitos, nachos, guacamole and chips, and maybe even Tex-Mex dishes like fajitas or Arizona-style dishes like chimichangas - only much better than the stereotypical gringo-friendly spots in and around LA.

I am not looking for "modern", fusion, or upscale restaurants serving re-imagined Mexican cuisine for a trendy clientele.

I've heard great things about Las Fuentes in Reseda. For anyone who's been there, does this place match what I'm seeking in terms of style and quality?

BTW, I don't really care about decor, atmosphere, prices, clientele, or even whether the place is decades old or a newer spot. Margaritas and such would be a nice touch but are not necessary. And it doesn't matter if the place has waiter service as long as there's seating.

Location is not really important either, but anyplace close to the Hollywood-Koreatown-Downtown area would be a bonus. To be honest, I'm willing to travel to the Eastside, the Valley, the suburbs, or wherever if there's a really good spot.

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