A block from the new Krikorian theatre complex is the old Downtown Vista. Avoid the chains around the theatre, the real eating is a block away.
Rancho Grande has a selection of caldos or Mexican soups that compare favorably with La Especial Norte ... and you can get them at the drive through window if you like.
I had the pozole which was very good with identifiable pieces of pig in there. I pulled out a piece of pig's foot. It is loaded with hominy. My only complaint is the condiments. They only gave you a stingy amount of cabbage with some mediocre tortilla chips. No problem with the soup though (4.95). They also had the usual caldos ... res (beef), shrimp, meatball, 7 mares. They have menudo as well. I've seen places with drive thru menudo, but this is the first drive thru caldo place.
Don't know about the rest of their food. The aqua frescas are just the fountain version.
For Italian there is Pianacone (see link to previous post below).
Across the street is the Tortillaria Del Reys. A line of Mexican ladies pat out the house made corn tortillas. They fill your car with roasted corn fragrance.
I have yet to get the elusive blue tortilla. They are only made early Saturday morning and by 9 am, they are sold out. They also have flour tortillas of various sizes. The flour tortillas come in whole wheat and spinach as well.
In the back is a little Mexican deli where you can get carnitas on the weekend. A bag of warm tortillas, a little cheese and some meat ... you can put together your own little lunch.
Farther down the street there is a vegetarian place and bakery. I haven't tried yet. In addition there are a few more Mexican restaurants.
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