Hi all-- I posted the thread blow re: an equivalent to La Super Rica in Los Angeles. I have been searching for an LA alternative to the boring El Torito chips-and-salsa/burrito type standard Mexican food, such as what La Super Rica in Santa Barbara serves.
Several suggestions (and flames) were thrown my way, including Loteria in the Farmer's Market, La Cabanita in Glendale and Guelaguetza (the latter two being more 'sit down' establishments). (in the sake of fairness, I must say that I still have to visit Alegria in Silverlake)
After trying all three suggestions from fellow chowhounds, I must say that one of these three was the hands down winner. Loteria was fantastic-- I've been there twice already this week.
Each place has its specialties. Whereas the tacos at LSR are good but unextraordinary (their strength lies in their 'especial' dishes), Loteria is all about the tacos. Although I felt the name makes it sound quite boring and dry, the shredded beef taco was fantastic. Whereas LSR grills their meat, Loteria appears to stew their beef to the point where it is so soft and tender that the strands just fall apart. (As a result, it should be noted that Loteria serves a very "wet" taco that drips the delicious marinade or stewing juice or whatever it is, all over the place!) And all that stewing imparts an amazing blast of flavor-- I was literally hooked from the first bite. It also comes served with a sweetish orange sauce on top and a dollop of guacamole. 2 tacos are about $3.80 (with a very generous meat portion)
In my 2 visits I've also tried the "chicken, chipotle and chorizo tacos" as well as the "zucchini and corn tacos" and the mushroom tacos. All were quite good (I preferred the mushroom tacos surprisingly!) but neither held a candle to the shredded beef. I'll definitely be going back to try out their other menu items.
I'm willing to put this on par with LSR for interesting, flavorful and unique Mexican food. And my favorite part is that their tacos do not contain starchy rice/chips bulk 'filler' (unless you want to pay extra for it)... just enough fresh delicious tortilla to get the meat and veggies flavor to your mouth.
If you like La Super Rica, you must vist.