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Posts Tagged ‘restaurant’

Road Trip Hit: Taqueria Cuernavaca (Ventura, CA)

Posted by Caveman Cooking on November 1, 2015

Taqueria CuernavacaRoad Trip Hits. Taking a page from Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, this ongoing series features some of those little known paragons of road-trip rations.

While the beautiful city of Cuernavaca, Mexico is known as the “City of Eternal Spring”, the much more geographically friendly Taqueria Cuernavaca (1117 N. Ventura Avenue, Ventura, California 93001 (805) 653-8052) should be known as the “Restaurant of Eternal Yum”. Located on “The Avenue” in the old section of town, it is a nice departure from the tourist-rich Main Street district of revitalized downtown Ventura. While there are two other locations (Santa Barbara and Oxnard), this one screams of a quaint south-of-the-border hole-in-the-wall.

Taqueria CuernavacaThough, many patrons opt for take-out, there are still 11 tables available for full wait-service. One of the first things you’ll notice is the self-serve salsa bar, loaded with 4 varieties of the Latin sauce plus several types of hispanic condiments like marinated carrots, seared Serrano peppers, onions, cilantro, etc. Also eye-catching is the cold case filled with a wide array of domestic and Mexican beer and soft drinks … including my favorite Jarrtios Mandarin.

Of course, the menu is filled with the usual tacos, burritos, and the like. Taqueria Cuernavaca also offers a breakfast menu (served all day) featuring the customary Huevos Rancheros (fried eggs on fried totillas), Huevos con Chorizo (egss with Mexican sausage), and breakfast burritos. However, once you see the Chilaquiles (tortilla chips topped with eggs and green sauce), sopas (tostada meets a sandwich), tortas (Mexican sandwich), Alambres (grilled meats, bell pepper, onion, and melted cheese, served with corn tortillas), and Pozole (a staple Cuernavacan soup), you realize this is not your usual Mexican fare.

Alambres El Fortachon at Taqueria CuernavacaOn a recent visit to Taqueria Cuernavaca with the Caveboy and his Grandpa, I opted for the Alambre known as El Fortachon – usually served with Carne Asada (steak), Al Pastor (marinated pork), Chorizo, Jamon (ham), melted cheese, onion, bell peppers a generous portion of sliced fresh avocado on top, and a wad of fresh corn tortillas. Though, I asked for no ham (extra Pastor) and no bell peppers. Meanwhile, my Father-in-law went for the same platter with no changes, and the Caveboy chose his favorite as of late: bean and cheese burrito.

Bean & Cheese Burrito at Taqueria CuernavacaWhen the grub arrived, I quickly grabbed one of the warm tortillas and loaded it up with the grilled meat and cheese mixture, topped it with a slice of avo, and drizzled some of the spicy rojo salsa over it all. The first bite was bursting with flavor heaven, as was each mouthful that followed. My father-in-law eagerly agreed … it was “amazing”! My bean and cheese burrito expert readily exclaimed that it was the best one he’d ever had (and he’s had quite a few over the last year). On a previous visit the Cavewoman and Cavegirl had the potato tacos and cheese enchiladas, and both had similar reactions.

Needless to say, Taqueria Cuernavaca has become one of our favorite spots to munch when we are in the Ventura area. We’ve also tried the new location in Oxnard. However, while we found the food to be equally phenomenal, it just doesn’t have that “dive” ambiance of the original location and does not offer full wait-service. We plan on visiting the Santa Barbara location soon. If you find yourself near any of these locations, and you are in the mood for something deliciously different from our neighbors to the South, do yourself a favor and give Cuernavaca a go!

©2015 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

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Road Trip Hit: ToM’s TaCos (Torrance, CA)

Posted by Caveman Cooking on September 19, 2015

ToM's TaCosRoad Trip Hits. Taking a page from Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, this ongoing series features some of those little known paragons of road-trip rations.

Anyone who has lived on the West side of Los Angeles has likely heard of, or eaten at, Tito’s Tacos. A multi-decade mainstay of simplified Mexican fast food in Culver City, CA (originally they had an Anaheim location, too). Most days, you will find long lines of hungry patrons waiting at one of their several ordering windows to get their mitts on the munchable burritos, tamales, enchiladas and, of course, tacos. One of those dedicated locals was a man named Ted Niida, who loved their food almost as much as life itself. So, when Tito’s decided to sell their location behind the Orange Curtain, Ted immediately jumped on the opportunity. He changed the sign slightly so that it read “ToM’s TaCos” (named after his beloved late father) and proceeded to offer the same great menu.

Over the years, Tito’s has raised their prices, reduced their portions, and turned to lower quality ingredients. Meanwhile, ToM’s kept the same dedication to quality, and customer satisfaction that made them both such gastronomic successes … and, even expanded their menu slightly to include tostadas, taquitos, nachos, quesadillas, and french fries. Plus, ToM’s Tacos also offers a chicken version of their taquitos, as well as their namesake dish.

So, about a year ago, it was with considerable glee that I directed a Disneyland-bound friend to nearby Ball Road for some great grub. Though, I was deeply saddened to receive a text from that friend, saying that ToM’s had closed it’s doors. Yes, Anaheim is long way from the Cave. But, there was so much comfort knowing that ToM’s was there waiting for my return to Orange County. Fast forward to this Summer, when I was recounting my disappointment to another friend, who excitedly stopped me mid sentence to tell me that ToM’s TaCos had actually relocated to Torrance, CA (4669 Torrance Blvd. Torrance, CA 90503ToM's TaCos Tacos & Taquitos 310-371-0625), not far from his factory. Needless to say, I was ecstatic that my beloved ToM’s was not only still in business, but less than half the distance from me as before. “Get the $*&# out!” I shouted, and we immediately packed up the families and headed over for some beef and cheese tacos, all beef and cheese burritos, bean and cheese burritos, and beef taquitos.

Having grown up about a mile from Tito’s, I remember the quality, size, and flavor they used to offer. As mentioned, it has since waned as their prices have skyrocketed … presumably to cover the cost of the TV advertising they now employ. But, one bite of ToM’s fare immediately brought me back to those delectable carefree days. ToM's TaCos BurritosMy beef and cheese burrito was hefty, zesty, and tasty. The pourable quac was thick and full of flavor, and the famous chips and salsa were as mouthwatering as I remember. The Caveboy and Cavewoman exclaimed they had the best bean and cheese burritos they’d ever tasted, the Cavegirl was too busy munching her taquitos to even mutter a word, and the Cave friends all agreed the food was just like what Tito’s used to be … perhaps even better!

The rave reviews should be no surprise considering that ToM’s TaCos uses no trans fats, no lard, and no MSG. They do, however, use the freshest, high quality ingredients they can find while taking no short cuts in their cooking process. Which leads to the most tender, flavorful cubed beef in the Chili Colorado for the burritos; savory shredded beef in the tacos and taquitos; and hearty, mouthwatering refried beans.

ToM's TaCos MenuSo, the next time you are cruising around the South Bay, and your stomach starts to rumble, head over to ToM’s Tacos for some simple but scrumptious Mexican food. You will walk away sated and full, as will your wallet. Plus, if you are a devotee of Tito’s, you will readily become a ToM’s convert! Yes, it’s that good!! Do keep in mind that ToM’s TaCos only accepts cash, and is closed on Mondays.

©2015 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

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Manna BBQ

Posted by Caveman Cooking on February 11, 2010

Manna BBQIf you head to Koreatown (affectionately known to LA locals as “K-town”) you can find any number of tasty, authentic Korean barbeque restaurants. But, if you are on the Westside of town craving kimchi, fish cakes, marinated meats, and a table with a big round grill carved into the center of it for you to cook the meats yourself, then you were out of luck. With the remodel of Culver City’s old Fox Hills Mall into the new Westfield Fox Hills has come a slew of new food establishments, including Manna BBQ. From the numerous grill tables, to the call buttons to summon your waitperson, to the traditional menu selections, Manna is as authentic as they come. Yeah, that’s right … real sit-down, full serivce Korean BBQ in a mall!

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Nate ‘n Al Delicatessen

Posted by Caveman Cooking on January 1, 2010

Nate 'n Al Delicatessen The “Deli Wars” of Los Angeles have been legendary over the years. Junior’s, Jerry’s, Art’s, Factor’s, Brent’s, Roll ‘n Rye, The Stage, Fromin’s, Izzy’s, and numerous others that have come and gone over the years, have all vied for New York Jewish-style delicatessen glory in So Cal. While many of them are fine establishments which I frequent, the clear winer in this “Borscht Battle” is Nate ‘n Al’s located in Beverly Hills (and now with a location in Thousand Oaks). READ MORE >>

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