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Mama's Hot Tamales - First Time


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Mama's Hot Tamales - First Time

lil mikey | Feb 28, 2009 08:12 PM

Being a first-timer to Mama’s, I never realized it’s a job training center. The food is prepared, cooked and served by apprentices. Which apparently means the service is better than a lot of professional places in town.

The servers were friendly, and perfectly attentive… No attitude whatsoever, which led to a wonderful experience.

And the food was equally impressive, starting with the house-made tortilla chips. They were perfectly cooked so that some of them were flaky and others were chewy. And the salsas were so good that I ended up buying a jar of the green one. This was getting off to a good start.

The Guatemalan chicken tamale had a rice masa, instead of corn, which had a consistency a little like mashed potatoes. And it was wrapped in a banana leaf instead of a corn husk. I wasn’t really too fond of this masa. The taste wasn’t bad…I just prefer a little firmer texture. But the filling was delicious, with large pieces of tender stringy chicken breast and a tasty, slightly spicy red sauce.

The Mexican pork tamale had the traditional corn masa, and this was a good version. It was more white than yellow, and had a hint of corny sweetness. And the filling was also flavorful like the chicken tamale. This one had good-sized pieces of stringy pork, and a zesty green sauce.

Both tamales, but especially the pork tamale became a little dry toward the end of the meal. I think the rice masa kept the chicken tamale more moist. This was not a deal-breaker, but next time I think I’ll just put a little salsa on top and that should do the trick.

Oh, by the way, they’re only open from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., but 7 days a week.

Mama’s Hot Tamales
2122 West 7th Street (half block west of Alvarado)
El Lay
(213) 487-7474

Mama's Hot Tamales Cafe
2122 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90057

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