Since 1978, La Parrilla (a.k.a. the "grill") in East LA on tree-lined Cesar Chavez Blvd. has been serving authentic Mexican food from waitresses in Spanish dresses with pinatas and Mariachi too (for seis dollars a song). You might want to brush up on your Spanish before ordering, para ingles es no bueno. However, said atmosphere & food are spot on.
- citrusy, cilantroey, chunky Guacamole ($8.95)
- super cheesy, ranchera that's more chunky than saucey, Enchilada & Tamale Combo with Beans & Rice ($8.95)
- tender 'n tasty stewed Beef Taco Combo ($8.95)
I came here with my hand model for his birthday after a brewery tasting (blog to come on YourNextPint.com this Thursday), since Mexican food is his all time favorite. As always, we started with the Chips and Salsa. The Salsa is exceptionally chunky and addictive with a spicy zing. (I like to double dip with the spicier Red Sauce too.) The Chips are warm, thick 'n crisp.
The Guacamole is a lot more Limey/Citrusy than expected with chunks of Chopped Cilantro in each bite – you can definitely tell it's homemade.
And the Tortillas from the Masa Station are thick 'n mealy – we just wish they didn't come halfway thru our entrees so we could schlop up more Salsa with 'em.
For my main course, I ORDERED the Beef Enchilada Ranchera with Tamale Combo, but RECEIVED a Cheese Enchilada instead – precisely why you'd better brush up on your Spanish before coming here. I wouldn't have minded so much if it were not for the Layers Upon Layers of Cheese they toss on the entire plate. The Ranchera is more Pressed Chunky Tomato than Pureed, and with all the Cheese it kinda tastes like a Mexican Pizza. The Tamale is like a thick block of Sweet Corn with an incredibly delectable Green Sauce on the side – I ended up dipping everything in it to up the heat ante. The Beans are standard. But the Rice is so packed with Savory Tomato flavor. (I consider myself a Spanish Rice connoisseur in search for the perfect balance of Tomato & Salt, and La Parrilla's was so yum I wanted seconds.)
I stole a bite of my hand model's – not pictured 'cuz he took the day off as part of his present – Beef Hardshell Taco. Instantly I felt jealous my "Beef Enchilada" never came because the meat is Stewed to Perfection. It's so tender 'n juicy I wish THAT was sprinkled on my entire plate and not the cheese.
So next time you're feelin' an urge to escape to Mexico, save yourself the gas fare and border line with a meal at La Parrilla on the east side. (Don't forget to bring $6 per Mariachi song request.)
2126 Cesar Chavez Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90033. 323-262-3434.