Disappointed with L.A.'s Burritos, think SD has better ones

There’s nothing like a hearty burrito to satisfy my hunger. I know a lot of you prefer tacos but to me, the burrito is one of my favorite comfort foods and thus far I’ve been disappointed with some of the “best” burritos in the metro LA area that have been recommended on food blogs, yelp etc so was wondering if anyone could suggest one that is destination worthy.

Thus far I’ve tried 3 in East LA that seems to get all accolades

La Azteca Tortilleria (Chille Relleno with carne asada), greasy, too cheesy, the homemade tortilla’s that everyone raves about didn’t stand out to me, and the asada was very gamy and grisly, had to spit out a few inedible all fat pieces. I get that the authentic mexican places cook in lard but this was a gut bomb to the 9th degree that left me wanting to go on a juice clease haha.

Al and Beas- had the bean and cheese and I understand the savory simplicity of this but I can’t get too excited about bean and cheese.

El Tepeyac Cafe-nothing noteworthy besides the gigantic size…

Maybe it’s because we have so many diverse mexican offerings that L.A. doesn’t really care about the burrito as much as a smaller city like SD seems to? But if anyone has tried some of these places in SD, (California Burritos, Lolita’s Taco Shop, El Zarpe, Luche Libre Taco Shop, La Perla, ) etc, and I could list even more but you get the point. Obviously, the SD california burrito style of putting in fries or the seafood burrito seems to be more common in SD but bottom line I just don’t crave any L.A. burrito thus far. Which is very perplexing to me since imo, we have some amazing breakfast burritos (Nicks Cafe- Ham breakfast burrito, Lucky Boy in pasadena, Cofax etc ) as well as my all time favorite, Nates Corner in Santa Ana (O.C. but still). I guess you can’t have it all but one of my favorite things about visiting S.D. are the 10+ quality droolworthy Burritos and I’m confused as to why L.A. doesn’t seem to have a burrito scene that’s just as competitive?


LA is a taco town.

Other than Al N Beas, I love the beef birra “con todo” burritos at Burritos La Palma.

As far as I know, Burritos La Palma serves real burritos.

They have a lonchera in Santa Ana btw

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It’s a certain style. To me, more is not better. A burrito shouldn’t be “hearty” just as a pizza shouldn’t be “hearty”. Personally, I think SD and SF humongous burritos are an abomination and don’t hold a candle to LA’s burritos. The fact that SF and SD keep stuffing all of them with rice and sour cream them tells me they have no sense of control. It’s a lawless California Pizza Kitchen approach to burritos which I cannot stand.


Agreed. But to each his/her own. I think proclaiming one style is better than another is too judgemental.

I think where a lot of differences in food based on ethnic cuisine can become more significant is the quality of ingredients. Food from Wes Avila comes to mind. Not only are his techniques and combinations amazing, his ingredients are of the utmost quality.


first of all, it’s my understanding that traditional mexican burritos are actually kinda small and thin and often have just one ingredient. so it’s not exactly haute cuisine. if we’re not referring to authentic mexican burritos, then it’s largely a matter of personal preference. having said that, most americans seem to think that the burritos to be had in SD are in some way superior to those to be found in LA.

maybe if las ruinas in pasadena was still open, they’d make a burrito that might satisfy you. someone once described las ruinas as making dishes the way a rich family with access to better quality ingredients might make them.

I don’t get burritos. What a waste of a good tortilla, and SF Mission-style are the worst offenders… I agree that LA is a taco town, and am very grateful for that. I do love SD fish tacos, especially because now you need a passport to go to Rosarita Beach, wtf?

I’m a SF to LA to SD transplant and think SD burritos are pretty similar to LA except with soggy fries. But if that’s what you want there are SD style taco shops in LA county, search for places with some variation of “berto” in the name. Senor fish in eagle rock used to have hearty good burritos but haven’t been in a long time (closest I got in LA to a mission style burrito) but honestly the tacos in LA are so good just embrace them.

I’m an SF transplant too but I disagree with your characterization of SD burritos. The inclusion of an extra carb (fries in SD, rice in SF), pico de gallo, and guacamole make for greater similarity between SD and SF burritos.

There are certainly some tasty burritos to be had in LA, but I think @JeetKuneBao is basically correct. This is, first and foremost, a taco town. That’s in contrast to SD and SF, which are, first and foremost, burrito towns.

Which type of burrito you like better, and whether you like burritos more than tacos, is obviously a matter of preference. But I think burritos will always be secondary to tacos here, just as the reverse is true in SD and SF.

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Where did the Las Ruinas people go ? Was it at the corner of Chester and Green street in a re-mod gas station.

Can’t say I agree with you but as others have mentioned, maybe its just a matter of style preference.

That being said, I agree with your opinions on the 3 establishments you’ve visited.

that was the one. sadly, i have no idea where they went.

I came from SD, and found that LA’s burrito scene was catered to people who like Mexican family restaurant-style burritos and wet burritos and the like. It’s like SF but worse.

My favorite style now is the kind you find all over Santa Ana. Smaller, with great rice, beans and meat inside. And a nicely hot red sauce and guacamole salsa on the side with heaps of pickled onions to cut the grease?? OP, since you apparently find yourself in Santa Ana, and you want a great burrito, go to the truck on Warner and S Birch and get the suadero burrito. This SDgan thinks it’s the best burrito out there. Make sure to get the red salsa and guac salsa and a lot of pickled onion.



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Well I haven’t been in SD for that long, but in my limited experience, while people like their California burrito, it is very much a taco town. Much more similar to LA than SF, but whatever.

To the OP, check Albert’s and Alberto’s for SD style burritos.

Calle Tacos makes SD Cali burritos that taste better than the ones I have had in SD.

Calle Taco
6508 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

i think the albertos in van nuys is better than the one in pasadena.

Any burrito you have to eat with a knife and fork is an abomination, and there are far too many of those in LA. But the kind of burritos I think people mean here are smaller and simpler. Just a good tortilla with some beans or a nice guisado. More Al and Bea’s than El Tepeyac.

Fair enough. I guess what I mean is SD, like SF, is famous for its burritos. When people visit SD, they get lots of burrito recommendations. And SD expats often ask where they can get a burrito “like in San Diego.” They’re part of the culture in a way they just aren’t here.

Second the suggestion of Calle Tacos for California burritos, though I’m not sure they’re better than the ones I’ve had in SD. Taco Love on Sunset is also worth a try.

Taco Love doesn’t use guacamole in their Cali burritos… kind of makes no sense to me. Calle is notably better imo.

But I just scarffed down a Cofax BB with chorizo + bacon + avocado…

Any city with a burrito of that magnitude cannot be said to have horrible burritos. My God.

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I prefer guacamole in my California burritos, too, but I believe sour cream comes standard on the ones at Lolitas, a place specifically mentioned by the OP.

It should be both as far as my SD encounters have shown me.

I typically order carne asada fries straight up in SD though. Lolitas is quite possibly my favorite place. It might only be topped by La Puerta (which cost almost $20 compared to like $10 for Lolita’s). The fries at Lolitas come with both sour cream and guacamole, so I would’ve figured their Cali burritos would to, but I haven’t ordered one there, so I don’t truly know haha.

Serious Eats ranked both in their top 3 of SD for carne asada fries, and I haven’t found any I like more than either place, they being kind of hi/low versions. El Paisa on the other hand made no sense to me…except that they were only like $6.