The banners proclaiming that tamales are available every day and that they open at 4:30am caught my attention and pulled me in. Tried a couple empanadas - crema and calabasa - both okay but nothing special.
The tamales (pork only) are steamed at intervals throughout the day, so there are always some available that are freshly cooked and not sitting around under a heat lamp. The fluffy masa has a touch of lardy richness with a zippy sauce and small pieces of pork. Nice job and good to know it's here when you're hungry at 4:30am.
805 East Alisal St.
Open daily, 4:30am-6:30pm