Well, some restaurants, like some movies, enjoy prominence because of a historical context. Birth of a Nation comes to mind and after today's lunch, El Tepeyac as well. Really good restaurants reflect their community whether AOC or Le Super Rica and El Tepeyak is no exception. In fact, it's sandwiched in to a residential area and we almost thought we had made the wrong turn. The favorite of Zagat for some time now, the place was just finishing a large lunch and you could tell people eat here all the time.
We ordered the famous Hollenbeck burritos knowing they were far too big for any one person and didn't really care for them unfortunately. They both came drenched in sauces that were more broth with stewed meats, with the steak picado indistinguishable from the pork. We love spice but everything was uniformly hot so there were no levels. The two house salsas, tomatillo and smoked poblano, were excellent as were the warm chips and the fresh guacamole. The horchata was both refreshing and mandatory. $20.37 for two.
I'm happy that Lares is my favorite neighborhood Mexican restaurant in Santa Monica as most must feel about El Tepeyac in Boyle Heights.