Chago Ahogadas

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Forget the hat tip, I fully take my sombrero off to thank regular LA Eastside commenter and sometimes post submitter Urbanista who has insisted that we try Chago’s Tortas Ahogadas. Yup, he was right, they make some crazy good tortas! Click ahead para ver!

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I tried coming here once before, but they were already closing up. I finally had a chance to try again today. When you first walk in you’ll notice the busy walls, full of all kinds of memorabilia, pictures, etc. I couldn’t find a wall menu and I wasn’t sure if they’d even have something for a vegetarian to eat, so I asked for a menu.

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They gave me this flyer. I love that they list their Jalisco locations along with the East Los one.

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On the flip side is the menu, which seems quite tiny. But what’s this?

Tacos Sencillos:  Eres Vegetariano? No te Preocupes, estos tacos sencillos te van a encantar. Ingredientes: Frijoles, Papas, Cebolla Morada y Repollo.

Translation: Are you vegetarian? Don’t worry, you’ll enjoy these simple tacos. Ingredients: Beans, Potatoes, Red Onion and Cabbage.

Wow! It used to be that if you mentioned being vegetarian at a Mexican eatery you would initially get laughed at, by everyone behind the counter or in the taco truck. I’ve experienced it many times, but I do it anyways just to make places aware that some of us don’t want to eat meat. There used to be a great troka for tortas near Brooklyn and Indiana that laughed every single time I ordered a torta sin carne, asking “what do you want? just the bread?” and I’d go thru the process of explaining that I want the beans, rice, aguacate, chile, todo solo no carne. And they would make it. Eventually, it stopped being so funny and they’d just make it. Ridicule then acceptance, I’m quite used to it.

But it’s even better when they put out a welcome mat! I asked if they can make a veggie torta, the waitress didn’t even blink.

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I was a bit surprised to see some frowning dead vato hovering over us as we waited for our food! At least his contemptuous eyes were focused on some other heathen.

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My friend got her two tacos sencillos first. I had to get a taste; they were crunchy, tasty, and totally satisfying. Hmm, I wish I had ordered one.

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My torta ahogada, in a deep dish. For the Spanish challenged, ahogada = drowned. It sure is, in some hot chile salsa. They ask how you want it, the waitress suggested the half chile, or on the side.  I said “con chile” aka all the way. It wasn’t some macho thing, I figured I’d just taste it the way it’s meant to be. At first it seemed like this pickly, lemony salsa was kinda mild, but after a few bites you really start to feel the heat! It creeps up on you. Cough, cough. Agua, agua. No wonder the smiley face icon is sweating. Ok, let’s try this again.

Yes, you eat this with your hands, which is messy, challenging, and kinda fun. The pan birote, which they make themselves, is flavorful, toasty and slightly burnt, and it holds up nicely to the salsa bath. Filled with beans and repollo, this meatless torta still has enough things in it to make it interesting. And the good fillings that spill out get recycled back into or on top of the torta via the spoon.  Accept the messy, and dig in! Eating with your hands means getting reacquainted with food. As far as I can tell, this is also a vegan friendly torta. But I’ll leave it to others to determine for certain. I assume the tortas with animal flesh might be tasty as well, if you’re into those barbaric eats. 🙂

The texture of hard bread and the softening powers of the hot sauce make this a great eating experience. The cebolla on top also adds another dimension of alive-ness to this torta.

With all those interesting textures and flavors, this is beyond good. Maybe a bit of evil for your tongue and digestive system, but worth it. So I say now.

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I didn’t know what the price of these items would be, but I assumed it’d be reasonable. Holy shit was it reasonable! The taco sensible is only 70¢ a piece, so two comes out at $1.40 while my Torta Vegie was only $2.50! Add a large horchata, and the total for this fine meal for two still comes out to just $5.53, now that is pretty amazing. I think the meat tortas are $5.50, so they give a good veggie price break.  If I lived close enough I think I’d make this place my regular spot. Not just for the price, but because it is so damn good. Uh, but I do like the price!

Scrounge up that loose change from the sofa, you need to hit this spot up!

Chago Ahogadas  323.838.5943
6426 Whittier Blvd
East Los, CA 90022
www.chagoahogadas.com.mx

26 thoughts on “Chago Ahogadas

  1. Damn, you can’t even get a cup of coffee for $1.40! Two vegetarian tacos for that price is unheard of! See Jesus does love vegetarians and not just the Seventh Day Adventists. Oh wait, that was Jesus in that pic, wasn’t it? Or maybe the guy from Lord of the Rings? Devendra Banhart? I’m so confused!

  2. Oh man…this does look the bomb. I too am used to the rolling-eyes and giggles when I order anything “sin carne.” And it’s great that the veggie style torta is cheaper; so often I pay full (meat) price for entrees when the veggie form such really be substantially less.

    You know where I will be on Easter Sunday!!!

  3. That looks so good. I can’t believe it’s so cheap. I love that they go out of the way to welcome vegetarians, we should thank them with lots of business.

  4. Hey chimatli, a shout out to a long time Boyle Heights resident, White Memorial Hospital (a Seventh-Day Adventist hospital) and to East LA homeboy José Vicente Rojas. Pastor Rojas is a recipient of the Maryland Governor’s Citation for leadership in community action; a member of the Alliance for Youth, General Colin Powell, Chairman; and an active consultant to the White House for various domestic policy initiatives. He holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in Religion from Loma Linda University, and received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Southwestern Adventist University. An accomplished musician, composer, and author. Si se puede, even if born into poverty in East Los Angeles and an OG. See you at the Santa Clarita SDA Church.

  5. While I may not agree with the majority of SDA beliefs, I do agree with their dietary choices, so I’ll see you at ABC!

  6. I’ve been there, and it’s awesome! are you man enough to get it fully submerged in chile!

    It’s delicious!

  7. I went yesterday with my mom. You can get the vegetarian tacos or tacos sencillos as they are called with either beans or potatoes. I prefer the beans.

  8. Al- I tried the place about 1 yr ago, they didn’t have any lengua, so for me it’s a no go!! But I can appreciate some quality asada, if they don’t have killer guacamole it’s also a no for me!! Gotta give em credit for their prices!!

  9. dang you Chavo everytime I read one of you food posts I get super hungry.
    I’m going there like today.

    I want to roll with you one day on one of you food expeditions and watch you take the photos and stuff. That would make a post of a post, ofcourse no pics of your face, don’t want them knowing how gringo you are.

  10. damn… i’ve driven by this place a couple of times now I have to go!!!

    Anyone got intel on the tortas ahogadas place across the street from King Taco on 3rd? I pass it every morning on the way to work but haven’t managed to eat there yet.

  11. Que bien i live like 1/3 of a mile from this place on the montebello side. Ive seen it many times- the colorful signage outside.
    Now thanks to your review and visit and pictures..im gonna check it out dude…gracias
    Be even better if they had free wifi..i know just kidding its not coffee bean and tea leaf..the food and value is the attraction here. 🙂
    Also got a kick to see they got their .mx website
    Bien chingones- internacionales

  12. Chavo,

    I’m glad that you weren’t disappointed. Although, for carnivores like myselft, it ends up being 2 tortas, 2 tacos con carne and 2 sidrales. It isn’t to cheap, but then again McDonald’s isn’t that cheap anymore.

  13. Al- “Don Chente” in Bell Gardens, makes a killer Torta de Lengua, very generous with the meat, and the avocado!! Killer soft bread is also tasty!! Alot of people don’t like lengua, it’s ok more for me!!

  14. omg….ive being to this place and oh my the tortas are good. and spicy too.the tacos dorados are also good man this place is right of the corner in my parents house down in jalisco…

  15. I am sure ingredients and flavor is the same that Chago’s in Guadalajara, so enjoy that part of Méjico.

    By the way next weekend, after one year I moved to live in other city, I will travel to Guadalajara, where I used to live during 15 years, and will enjoy a delicious “buche” Bien ahogada and some dorados with meat, chiken will be o.k. for the tacos of course a “negra modelo”, or probably a “Leon” cold beer…

    nothig better to cure hangovers…

    Well.. probably mariscos, (sea food), in Mazatlán, or in Nayarit’s coast.

    Viva la comida mejicana…!!! vivan las tortas ahogadas…!!!! viva el chile y el tequila…!!!!!

    viva Méjico…!!!!

    I have tasted several tortas ahogadas in Guadalajara, and sincerly think, one of the betters are Chago’s… (the betters for me are doña Nena toratas, but she seals only sundays, on a non stablish place at San Onofre’s market, in Oblatos, so… dificult to try one of those ones, even if you live in Guadalajara).

    Any way, Chago’s are good, enjoy that part of Méjico in L.A.

  16. K chido k allan llegado las tortas desde polanco asta la
    aca en gringolandia…las mas ricas y famosas tortitas de guadalara..

  17. I Love This PLace I’m No Vegeterian But I Love The Bean Tacos They Are The Best With The Special Sauce They Have. If Your Not Vegeterian You Can Still Order Bean Tacos And Ask Them To Put Meat On Top Of Tacos And The You Add The Sauce. “That’s The Best”
    The Only Problem Is That The Place IS Real Small, So I Always Get It To Go. They Also CLose Early and WIsh They WOuld Expand Their Hours Especially On The Weekend.
    I Would Recommended To Everyone Whether Your Vegeterian Or Not. You’ll Love It.
    As A MAtter Of Fact This Is What I’m Eating Today =>

  18. just drove from canoga park love the bread the tacos are the best please chagos open up a place in the san fernando valley i would go at least 4 times a week

  19. Son Las mejores tortas en California yo vivo en San Diego y no me inprota manejar asta LA por un torta estan PERRONAS…

  20. Quiero ir a su Sucursal de Santa Ana Ca.Por favor agreguen en su informacion .Su nueva Sucursal………Mil Gracias.

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