Where do you get your holiday tamales?


Juanito’s may be closed. Just hopped onto Yelp to see the hours and location for an adventure and found notes indicating closure. I tried calling the number, and it rang only to lead to a full mailbox.


@ipsedixit Thanks for the recs. Your recs are closest to my house without needing to drive into the city. Tried Ramirez this weekend, and Sandra’s yesterday. I think the household preferred Sandra’s because the masa was lighter and less dense…the sauciness of the tamales was quite a pleasant surprise, too. Tried beef and pork…need to try the cheese and elote next time.


Tamales from a friend of a friend’s mom. This woman can cook!


The nice thing about Sandra’s is you can custom order tamales. Couple of years ago we had lamb barbacoa tamales with green sauce. My biggest complaint with Sandra’s is that their tamales are a bit too gloopy for me. But still good.


Lamb barbacoa tamales?!? How many did you have to order to get that? That sounds so delicious! I may do that for NYE.


Honestly don’t remember, my friend ordered a whole batch for a bunch of us. But, yeah, it was glorious.


Are these places still good go to spots? Any new ones?


I just called Sandra’s and apparently they don’t make those anymore. :disappointed:

Anyone know where else I can find lamb barbacoa tamales?


Well, Broken Spanish has lamb neck tamales.


Too late for this year, but just start asking around when you are out and about. My favorite place closed a few years ago, and I had a year with no tamales. I was going to buy some at a regular grocery, and the woman at the counter turned me on to her aunt. $12 for a dozen, although I always give her $20.

Best I’ve ever had.


We were at Sandra’s today. Picked up an order or red beef and red pork…tried the green pork…and that was straight up heaven. That’s going to be our go-to now.


Went today and got 1/2 dozen each of red beef ($9.25 1/2Doz), red pork ($8.75) and green pork ($8.75).

Can’t wait to dig in!!

Edit: ok dug in. Not sure which I liked best. (Sorry, bad photos)

First I’ll tell you these are pretty large tamales compared to all the ones friends have made for me. This for me is not a bad thing. Nicely filled.

The other wonderful thing for me is the noticbly lighter feel and taste to the masa. I’ve had plenty of tamales where the masa is really heavy, dense. The ones here at Sandra’s are really great.

The “spicy” green pork I didn’t find spicy at all. My wife who doesn’t have much tolerance for heat thinks the green pork were her favorite.

The red pork had the most sauce on them. I don’t know what else to say.

This was my favorite. Good ol red beef.

•••Discourse is f-ing with the photo uploads, I’ll try again later)






If this has been mentioned, I apologize. If you buy them now do you freeze til Christmas?


If one wants to try fusion Tamales, then swing by Sak Donuts in Garden Grove.

It’s donut shop cum tamale cart lady.

Why do I say that, you ask?

Consider this. These tamales are Halal (only chicken, no pork or lard), made by Cambodians (the owners of Sak Donuts), and are wrapped in banana leaves (not corn husks), and served via the back of the donut shop (again, the previously mentioned Sak Donuts).

The result? You get a tamale that is very moist, almost pudding like, bordering on thick congee. The green chicken tamales are spiced nicely to give a gentle kick going down, but not so powerful as to mask the subtle sylvan scent from the banana leaves.

Sak Donuts
13016 Harbor Blvd
Garden Grove
(714) 539-6995


One of OC’s best kept secrets!


Tamales Liliana’s


OC Weekly has a list. Outside of La Poblana (which I adore because of @A5KOBE 's suggestion), how to the rest hold up? There’s even a vegan tamal maker on the list, too.


Just came to post about this. Tried Sarinanas at the La Habra Tamale festival on Sunday and it was my 2nd favorite behind Me Gusta for their chile/cheese.

Looks like the secret of Sak is out…