Ellen's Restaurants

L.A. Is My Beat - The Restaurants of Los Angeles as I experience them

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tito's Tacos

Ahh...Memorial Day Weekend...the start of summer hours at my daily job. On the Friday before a holiday we usually get out at lunchtime. Then, every Friday between Memorial Day and Labor Day we get to leave at 3pm. Woo Hoo! Summer hours makes the daily grind all worthwhile.
surprisingly short lines on a Friday afternoon!
I felt so free last Friday as I zoomed out of the parking garage, that I headed for one of my teen haunts, Tito's Tacos on Washington Place in Culver City, just west of Sepulveda. Many people think that the food here is awful. Well, come on now! This is not a fine-dining experience. It's fast food, cheap and tasty. I love the sauce they pour over their cheese enchiladas. The crunch of the old fashioned taco shell is perfect with the beef, lettuce and mild salsa. Cheese on your taco is extra. The taco chips are thick and crunchy with just a hint of that clean Clorox odor, so you know the place is tidy!
retro signage on the side of the building
I've been going to Tito's since the mid-60's. It opened in 1959 right on the corner of Washington and Sepulveda. There is another taco stand at the old location now. Tito's built their new and improved, larger stand a half-block west and have been pleasing folks ever since! The menu is limited, but everything is assembled while you wait. The lines can be long at the outside windows. The service seems faster at the inside windows.
On Friday I had my usual: A taco with cheese and a cheese enchilada with a soft drink. Perfection.
Tito's Tacos
11222 Washington Pl, Culver City, CA

Monday, May 21, 2007


Mini-Mall @ Venice & Clarington, Palms
Eating in mini-malls. It's what we do in Los Angeles. Some of the best food in the City can be found in mini-malls. The architecture and ambiance of the basic mini-mall may be uninspiring, but remember, YOU CAN'T EAT ATMOSPHERE.

Miyako is one of our favorite Japanese restaurants on the Westside. It's in a mini-mall on Venice Blvd. and Clarington, just east of Motor in Palms. We usually order the Udon noodles, either with chicken or shrimp. I've had the tempura, teriyaki chicken and various sushi. The Udon is the best. The noodles are large, spongy and comforting. The broth is excellent. We each ordered the chicken Udon on Friday and the chicken tasted char-broiled...yum. We also ordered a shrimp California roll as an appetizer.

Chicken Udon

Shrimp Calfornia Roll

They've recently remodeled and updated the interior. Miyako is very pleasant, reasonable, tasty and has excellent service.

10020 Venice Blvd., Palms

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

La Playita

I read about La Playita on The Great Taco Hunt. Since this place is within easy driving distance of my office, I decided to give it a try. I've been back several times over the last six months. I love the food here!

Medium Shrimp Cocktail

True, there's no place to sit, except for this ledge-like stainless steel bench. There's also a shallow counter along the side of the building where you can stand and eat your meal. I've had the taco de carnitas....good; the chicken burrito....good and the shrimp cocktail...EXCELLENT. The seafood is so very fresh. They serve the shrimp cocktail in an insulated cup with chunks of avocado in a gazpacho-like sauce. On another plate there are 3 fried tortillas with wedges of lime. I usually order the medium size which costs $6 and is absolutely loaded with shrimp. A can of soda is 75 cents.
If you can't find street parking, you can park in the Big Lots parking lot, just south of La Playita. One-stop shopping at it's finest!
La Playita is open seven days a week from 9am to 11 pm.
3306 Lincoln Blvd. @ Ozone
at the southern Santa Monica border

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Capitol Burgers

I read about this place on Cafe LA LA. I drive by this hamburger stand all the time...it's about 8 minutes from our house. I've always wondered about the architecture and the name. Capitol Burgers, with picture of a capitol building on the sign....however, the building looks kind of tiki-style, Asian, with an upturned roofline. Maybe it was a tiki-shack in it's early days and then turned all constitutional on us?

Anyway, the dude at Cafe LA LA liked this place way more than I did. I thought the burger was OK, not as tasty as Rae's in Santa Monica or Phil's Deli at the Farmers Market. The chocolate shake was good. The fries were crispy and yummy.I know that hamburger shacks along my section of Pico can look kinda' scary. This one wins the prize. The wooden tables were riddled with splinters. The benches were sawed off and crooked. The one plastic table was really dirty. I can overlook all that stuff if the food is amazing. It really wasn't. I might go back for the shake and fries, but that's it.
Capitol Burgers
4301 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019
(323) 936-0366

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