Restaurant Review: Carrillo’s Tortilleria
– Since 1974 –
One thing that struck me while driving through the streets of LA – there’s a plethora of Donut shops, cigarette stores and taco shops. Now I can go without the first two, but the taco shops are my weakness. You see, a good taco is hard to find in NYC, unless you venture to the outer boroughs – which I seldom do. But in LA, everyone has a car so getting places is a snap.
Carrillo’s was the first place the mother in law wanted to show me and she highly recommended it as a Mexican food institution that she once lived near.
We descended on Carrillo’s just before noon on Saturday and there was already a line of people out the door, waiting for their chance to order from the two ladies working behind the cash registers. Even with two registers ringing up customers the wait to order was about 15 minutes.
Orders are taken at the register and then you can be seated until they call out your order – there was some table service but it was intermittent and seemed only limited to chips & salsa service. But who’s complaining? No reason to at a place where the massive burritos only cost $4.65.
Carne Asada Burrito – Massive
Carne Asada Burrito – An Inside Look
I ordered up a Carne Asada Burrito ($4.65) and a Carnitas Taco ($2.25) – had I known that their claim to fame was the simple tamale I would have ordered one of those as well. The wife & mom-in-law both ordered Carnitas Burritos but ended up splitting one and saving the other for later. We also ordered up a pint of guacamole, 1/2 pint of salsa & a 1/2 pint of extra hot salsa for the poker game later on.
The burrito was good – not out of this world, but very good. I was busy fishing out the ton of tomatoes they dropped in there but that didn’t take away from the appeal of the burrito. I thought that the carne asada could have had a bit more flavor.
Now, that carnitas taco was excellent. So much so that I devoured the entire thing before the wife could ask for a bite. Not necessarily the most christmasy thing to do, but that’s what happens when you deprive a man of good Mexican food – no sharing. The one caveat that I will say about the taco – the ones that Cheffy & I came across in Texas were the best tacos I’ve ever had, hands down. While the Carrillo’s taco was great, it wasn’t the best ever. I thought the tortillas, while fresh, were a bit too thick – and it wasn’t double wrapped. If you’ve hit a few taco carts in your time, you’ll know that tacos are traditionally served with 2 corn tortillas – not one thick one.
Carrillo’s Table Salsa
The salsa served at the table was not the same as the salsa that we bought to take home, although I wish it was. As you can see, the salsa is blended slightly with chunks of green onions, cilantro and peppers. Very tasty. While not the caliber of Salsa De Rosa it was an great basic salsa (not any heat).
Next time (if there is one), I’m going to make sure to try out their tamales, but good news folks – on the website you can order tamales online and have them delivered to your door! If I can’t get back there while we’re out here, then you can be sure that I’ll be checking out that mail order tamale option.
19744 Sherman Way
Canoga Park, CA 91307