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Rays of hope in Simi Valley: Red's BBQ, Don Cuco, Taqueria Jalisco

nja | Jan 5, 200406:15 PM

A few notes from my recent visit to Simi Valley during the holidays:

Red's BBQ
2892 Cochran (across from the Target shopping center)

Not very good; think a one-store knock off of Tony Roma's. The best part was probably the shredded onion loaf, very greasy but tasty. BBQ chicken on the bone was dry (hate to think what the boneless breast is like). Ribs were a little dry and tough but better than the chicken. Meatwise, the tri-tip was best: served closer to medium well than the requested medium rare, but still fairly tender, a little juicy, and decent flavor. Not great but it's what I'd order again if I were to return. None of the sides particulary impressed, in particular the baked beans suffered from heavy doses of corn syrup (as did the flasks of BBQ sauce on the table). They do serve Anchor Steam by the bottle, which is a plus. A sign said they're moving soon, but I can't recall to where.

Don Cuco
3991 Cochran (at Tapo Canyon)

A few tidbits to add to what I said earlier: Carnitas aren't very good; a little too dry for my tastes. But their corn tortillas are very good: hand made suckers all irregularly shaped and all. Still my favorite restaurant, although...

Taqueria Jalisco #2
4415 Alamo (at Tapo Street)

...this place has some serious potential. I had only a few bites of a chicken burrito (I chose to join my sister, visiting from Philly, for In and Out instead), but it showed great promise. Grilled rather than steamed tortilla; fresh, juicy, meaty chicken (which the non-red meat eater found too meaty), good beans and rice. Their menu was huge, in addition to regulars such as tacos, burritos, tortas, and enchiladas, they serve a number of soups (caldo de rez, birria, pozole, menudo, caldo de mariscos) and ceviche dishes. This is a no-frills place: order at the counter, plastic booths, paper plates, and so on. I'll be back to explore more. I'd say Don Cuco is still the best all around restaurant, but if that chicken burrito is a good indicator then Taqueria Jalisco may be the best food I've yet tried in Simi. Anyone else try it and have suggestions?

Lastly, a question:

Anyone tried Carillo's Mexican Deli? Someone told me this is THE place to get tamales for xmas, and that they do other stuff well too (e.g., a carnitas party pack with big portions of meat, beans, rice, salsa, and tortillas for about $12). Comments?



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