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Restaurants & Bars

A Taco Tale- Loteria and El Jerezano

Spoony Bard | Aug 9, 200303:10 AM     6

Actually, more of a Summary....

Has anyone else been recently to Loteria in the Farmer's Market and noticed the printout of Jeff Feuerzeig's year-old posting? (link below) He compares the place to Lucha Libre mexican wrestling, pronouncing Loteria the heavyweight champion of L.A. tacos. They added the masked wrestler photo, which dominates the placard. Since it's so old, I figure people have seen it. Just wondering what chowhound.com thinks about it.

As for the food, I was a little disappointed. Ordered the Mole', pipian, and raja con papa. The mole' was the best of them, but with only a hint of chocolate wasn't as intensely flavored as I had hoped, but was better than the pipian, which was very mild with only the slightest whiff of nut aroma. As for the rajas, more peppers were definitely needed, to keep it out of mashed-potato territory. My companion's cheese enchilada with salsa verde was the best by far, due to the excellently piquant sauce and gooey queso.

Still not truly satisfied, i found myself the next day in the neighborhood of El Jerezano in Van Nuys. I stopped in for a snack, and to hopefully find the al pastor I've been seeking. Alas, I need to keep looking. The cilantro was fabulously fresh, but the hot sauce on the table had to save the meat and al pastor sauce, which I found lacking in taste prominence (too much shredded cabbage?), and probably from a stew pot and not a spit. The place itself was dingy and dimly lit, yes, but I thought it added to the local-dive character. I have to admit that I did come at an off hour, which may have affected my results.

Though both places weren't the holy grail, I'm still willing to go to both when in the area. It also just occured to me that they might have given me the "gringo" version...

I'll continue looking for the equivalent to Oakland's El Ojo de Agua truck, my high-water mark for al-pastor tacos (or El Farolito in the Mission for burritos.... burritos from heaven), and I'll be sure to try the other board favorites in my pursuit.

Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

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