WWECD? (What Would El Chavo Do?)

A New Mexican Food Joint has just opened in my neighborhood this week, and I happened to be walking by the other day and thought I’d check it out. I studied the menu and wondered “What Would El Chavo Do?”
I had noticed the construction and renovations going on for some time here, and it seemed to me that this spot had been serving food before, but primarily in connection with an adjacent storefront church. Now I found myself at the Grand Opening of a spanking new Westside place by the name of TARASCOS.
In this neighborhood, the Mexican style food choices have been the following:
•    TACOS DELTA– Good, reasonably priced, but not always the healthiest choice.

•    ALEGRIA ON SUNSET– Good, but can be a bit pricey in these times of La Crisis.

•    EL CONQUISTADOR, LA PARRILLA, EL 7 MARES– OK, but again, too pricey and too “sit-downy” for my wallet and pace.
•    EL POLLO LOCO– Way too inconsistent in quality, even if the price & fast food style is right sometimes. It has also become something of a “Gallina Non Grata” around here due to Prop. 8 issues.
As a longtime fan and reader of EL CHAVO’S restaurant reviews and his quest for the Holy Grail of Huevos Rancheros I decided I’d put this new TARASCOS place to my own test. Aesthetically, it’s a very pleasant place. Nice, bright, clean, colorful exterior with comfortable, covered, spacious seating.

Cool regional photos & graphics adorn the interior.

The ordering/reception area is bright & clean with clear, simple hand-written menus featuring standard dish choices that make it easy to make up your mind quick. The order-taker guy was very pleasant and helpful. He informed me that they had only been open a couple of days and expected the neighborhood to start discovering them soon. In honor of El Chavo, I found myself ordering their HUEVOS RANCHEROS, and one Carne Asada Taco so I could judge the taste quality of their beef. I discovered that I was the only customer in the place at the time, and I kind of enjoyed it! I took photos freely and generally enjoyed the open space. I had a good view of the skate board shop across the street when my food arrived.

It was hot & steamy, wafting an unmistakable aroma of FRESH ingredients. So far, so good. El Chavo has detailed in his posts all of the elements of quality, taste & texture that go into the combination of factors that build great Huevos Rancheros, and I entirely concur with his critical process. In this case, I found the eggs to be at that preferred balance of crispiness and tenderness, yolky but not overcooked. The warm, moist tortilla underneath was neither greasy or heavy, just light and flavorful. I was delighted by the blend of fresh tastes bursting from the peppers, tomatoes onions & spices of the hot sauce cooked onto the eggs. The beans were “de la ólla” style, seasoned lightly and whole bodied, lightly saucy and not heavy or greasy. No lard here. The chips were fresh tasting, crispy (not chewy), warm & not too salty.
The rice was typical, not spectacular but fluffy and flavorful. Nothing tasted canned or mass produced.
I appreciate it when a restaurant serves food that tastes like someone actually put care into making each ingredient taste the best it can be, food that’s served with soul and not just some slop to be ladled out. The spicy factor was moderate to medium high, not bland like with the canned sauces, and without any that mouth after-burn (where you walk around with a mouthful of ice for an hour). The tortillas were also good quality, fresh corn tasting and remained soft and pliable. I found the Carne Asada to be superb. Slightly crispy edges, smokey and meaty tender chunks wonderfully seasoned (Obviously, El Chavo would not be ordering a Carne Asada Taco, but I would!). A chipotle cream sauce on the side added a nice touch. Overall, I’d compare it to Yuca’s in Los Feliz, but with fresher, more zestier tasting ingredients. The prices are in opinion, reasonable. My bill came to $7+change. I went back for a weekend brunch that featured different Huevos dishes and Chilaquiles, Pozole & Menudo & drinks all for $8. And they deliver. Good stuff!

Here are my own scores; 1 being lowest, 5 being best. Al Desmadre says…….
•    Taste & Quality ♥♥♥♥
•    Price ♥♥♥½
•    Atmosphere & Seating♥♥♥
•    One hour later, am I still thinking about how good that was? ♥♥♥
•    Will I go back? ♥♥♥♥

3319 W, Sunset Blvd.
Silver Lake, CA 90026 (323 669-3300

(click on menu image for full view)

This entry was posted in Food, Pendejadas, Personal, Reviews, Uncategorized by AlDesmadre. Bookmark the permalink.

About AlDesmadre

Al Guerrero, Artist/Humorist. Los Angeles, CA. Born in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico and raised in East Los Angeles from the age of two, Al Guerrero grew up just steps from the famous Chicano strip, Whittier Boulevard. His youth experiences include witnessing and participating in the 1970 Chicano Power demonstrations, cruising cars on Whittier Boulevard, and graduating from Garfield High School. After dropping out of UCLA (with honors), he drew upon his lifelong passion for art and cartooning and pursued a career in graphic arts. During this period, he traveled overseas and found artistic inspiration from the masterworks he discovered within the European Art Museums. His career blossomed when he was eventually hired by the Walt Disney Company in 1995, where he worked as a creative artist for a number of years. Although the artistic work was rewarding, he eventually grew weary & disillusioned with the bureaucracy of the entertainment business, and left to work briefly in the educational field. His credits include producing a feature film with actor, Conrad Brooks of Ed Wood fame, founding and performing with the Punk Rock group “The Psychocats” at numerous L.A. & Hollywood venues during the 1990’s, and in 1999 he founded and created a hell-bent puppet cabaret show aptly named: “The Puppets from Hell”. As a long time active member of the Los Angeles Cacophony Society, Al “Quaeda”, as he was known, was involved in countless Cacophony Society pranks and events throughout the city. He also produced the “Incredibly Strange Cinema” cult film series as well as themed events such as the now infamous “Pornothon Movie Nights” and the satirical “Mexican Night: Noche De Tequila & Putas” shows at local nightclub venues. Throughout his art career, he has exhibited his canvas paintings at various local galleries, and has also written & illustrated numerous comic strips and Graphic Novel stories. Today, he lives in Silver Lake, California and works as a freelance artist and writer with numerous multi-media projects under his belt and in the works. His personal hobbies include collecting vintage toys and comic books, cinema history and Los Angeles City history. Contact: alguerrero@earthlink.net Al Guerrero P.O. Box 29697 Los Angeles, CA 90029-0697 www.alguerrero.com Myspace.com/thepuppetsfromhell

8 thoughts on “WWECD? (What Would El Chavo Do?)

  1. i went to tepeyac cafe on evergreen and tried the HR and they were good, they also have some killer burritos.

    I want to know where the perfect HR are, do they even exist? i think its just a myth.

  2. A “New Mexican” food joint, or a “new Mexican” food joint? This is where the all-too common lack of capitalization leads to confusion. The cuisine of New Mexico is nothing at all like that which is considered Mexican cuisine here. However, a quick scan of the included menu reveals that there is no New Mexican food served at Tarascos. Good thing as New Mexican food isn’t very good for the most part! 🙂 Navajo tacos, wet burritos, green chile stew, chile con queso, Frito pie, disaster burritos… ugh! 🙁

  3. bobo, OMG you are so right! no one knew what I meant! What I really wanted to say is that ” A NUDE Mexican food joint
    has just opened in my neighborhood.”

  4. ALL NUDE??? TOPLESS OR BOTTOMLESS??? ARE PASTIES OR G-STRINGS REQUIRED??? DO THEY HAVE A LIQUOR LICENSE??? ooops,,, sorry bout that,,, i had my caps lock on!!! uh it also appears that my punctuation button is stuck… uh also my backspace and delete buttons dont work…

  5. bobo, I capitalize what I think is important. I’m sorry about your keyboard trouble. I notice that you’re “Smartass” button works just fine.

  6. Tarascos is a great place and let me tell you that the menu is better than many of the current oldest restaurants in the area. Silver lake east Tarascos Mexican Restaurant LA 3319 w Sunset Blvd 90026 323-669-3300

  7. i really like Tarascos and i hear the liquor license is coming very soon and yeah they have the big parking lot again i love this place

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