Isaac’s Cafe- Red Burrito ($6.50)
This is one of the best chile colorado burritos I’ve ever had. There’s not much to it; no rice, no beans, just some kick ass chile colorado. There’s a good amount of spice to it too, but if you wan’t more don’t sleep on Isaac’s excellent salsa verde. 
There’s something simple yet majestic about this one. 

632 N Fries Ave Wilmington, CA 90744

Isaac’s Cafe- Red Burrito ($6.50)

This is one of the best chile colorado burritos I’ve ever had. There’s not much to it; no rice, no beans, just some kick ass chile colorado. There’s a good amount of spice to it too, but if you wan’t more don’t sleep on Isaac’s excellent salsa verde. 

There’s something simple yet majestic about this one. 

632 N Fries Ave Wilmington, CA 90744

Pancho’s Tacos - Chile Verde Burrito ($4.50)
This was a terrible burrito. Maybe the worst burrito I’ve had so far. It’s a close tie between this one and Campos Famous. Coincidently, both of them contained pork with a jelly like texture and chile verde that was devoid of flavor and spice.  This one also included a really sad tortilla that was so thin that the ingredients of the burrito just burst through the bottom. Oh, what a dreadful burrito this one was!!!

Pancho’s Tacos 2920 Lincoln Blvd Santa Monica

Pancho’s Tacos - Chile Verde Burrito ($4.50)

This was a terrible burrito. Maybe the worst burrito I’ve had so far. It’s a close tie between this one and Campos Famous. Coincidently, both of them contained pork with a jelly like texture and chile verde that was devoid of flavor and spice.  This one also included a really sad tortilla that was so thin that the ingredients of the burrito just burst through the bottom. Oh, what a dreadful burrito this one was!!!

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Pancho’s Tacos 2920 Lincoln Blvd Santa Monica

Isaac’s Cafe - Carne Asada Burrito ($6.50)
Oh hell yes. Now, this was a burrito worth traveling for. I think all of Isaac’s burritos will end up living up to that statement.
This burrito is what I would call, San Diego style. There’s no filler, just expertly seasoned carne asada of very good quality, avocado, and chopped onion and tomato. The meat is the star here and it has so much flavor. It reminds me of some of the carne asada I’ve had at cookouts.The salsa verde that comes on the side is instantly addictive. 
I’ll be dreaming about this one for awhile. Carne asada burritos like this are rare in LA.

Isaac’s Cafe- 632 N Fries Ave Wilmington, CA 90744

Isaac’s Cafe - Carne Asada Burrito ($6.50)

Oh hell yes. Now, this was a burrito worth traveling for. I think all of Isaac’s burritos will end up living up to that statement.

This burrito is what I would call, San Diego style. There’s no filler, just expertly seasoned carne asada of very good quality, avocado, and chopped onion and tomato. The meat is the star here and it has so much flavor. It reminds me of some of the carne asada I’ve had at cookouts.The salsa verde that comes on the side is instantly addictive.

I’ll be dreaming about this one for awhile. Carne asada burritos like this are rare in LA.

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Isaac’s Cafe- 632 N Fries Ave Wilmington, CA 90744

El Gallito Taco Truck - Carne Asada Burrito ($5)
This truck parks less than 50 yards from Eduardo’s Border Grill and is a much better burrito option.
The burrito came with finely chopped asada, spanish rice, refried beans, cilantro, and onions. There was no salsa inside the burrito but my order came with two salsas: a spicy salsa verde and a mild-ish guajillo salsa roja. I would still prefer some kind of salsa inside the burrito. 
I think the quality of beef at El Gallito can be inconsistent and the asada may be a little too greasy for some burrito lovers. I liked the refried beans which I much prefer to pinto or black beans. And although I’m not a fan of rice in a burrito, it does its job here without dominating the flavor. 
This was a pretty big burrito and at $5 the price is right. I’d order this one again.

El Gallito Westwood/Santa Monica Blvd

El Gallito Taco Truck - Carne Asada Burrito ($5)

This truck parks less than 50 yards from Eduardo’s Border Grill and is a much better burrito option.

The burrito came with finely chopped asada, spanish rice, refried beans, cilantro, and onions. There was no salsa inside the burrito but my order came with two salsas: a spicy salsa verde and a mild-ish guajillo salsa roja. I would still prefer some kind of salsa inside the burrito. 

I think the quality of beef at El Gallito can be inconsistent and the asada may be a little too greasy for some burrito lovers. I liked the refried beans which I much prefer to pinto or black beans. And although I’m not a fan of rice in a burrito, it does its job here without dominating the flavor. 

This was a pretty big burrito and at $5 the price is right. I’d order this one again.

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El Gallito Westwood/Santa Monica Blvd

Eduardo’s Border Grill - Steak Border Burrito ($8.32)
This one included black beans, rice, sour cream, guacamole, cheddar cheese, and steak.  It was a lot to contemplate and after a few bites I wondered when I was going to get to the meat. Once I did I wasn’t particularly impressed.  There’s just too much filler in this one and I’ve never enjoyed black beans and cheddar cheese with carne asada. The tasteless guacamole and the lack of enough salsa inside the burrito also didn’t help its cause. Neither did the wallet busting price of over $10 for a burrito and a small soft drink.

Eduardo’s Border Grill 1830 Westwood Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90025

Eduardo’s Border Grill - Steak Border Burrito ($8.32)

This one included black beans, rice, sour cream, guacamole, cheddar cheese, and steak.  It was a lot to contemplate and after a few bites I wondered when I was going to get to the meat. Once I did I wasn’t particularly impressed.  There’s just too much filler in this one and I’ve never enjoyed black beans and cheddar cheese with carne asada. The tasteless guacamole and the lack of enough salsa inside the burrito also didn’t help its cause. Neither did the wallet busting price of over $10 for a burrito and a small soft drink.

Eduardo’s Border Grill 1830 Westwood Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90025

Burrito Express - Bean and Cheese Burrito ($3.20)
Oh my god. What a beauty this one was. This may be the best bean and cheese burrito ever. Okay that may be a little over the top. But I’m embarrassed I didn’t include it in the Top 10 Bean and Cheese burritos in LA list. It’s a serious top 3 contender. Copious amounts of cheese, delicious beans, and a perfect wrap. Oh boy!

Burrito Express- 1597 E Washington Blvd Pasadena, CA 91104

Burrito Express - Bean and Cheese Burrito ($3.20)

Oh my god. What a beauty this one was. This may be the best bean and cheese burrito ever. Okay that may be a little over the top. But I’m embarrassed I didn’t include it in the Top 10 Bean and Cheese burritos in LA list. It’s a serious top 3 contender. Copious amounts of cheese, delicious beans, and a perfect wrap. Oh boy!

Burrito Express- 1597 E Washington Blvd Pasadena, CA 91104

Campos Famous Burritos - Pork and Beans ($4.65)
This was a really terrible burrito. The pork tasted like it came from a can, the beans were watery and gross, and there was zero flavor whatsoever.  I didn’t even bother to drown the burrito in salsa to try to eat it. Come to think of it I’ve never had a burrito at Campos that was any good. What exactly is Campos actually famous for? Famous for sucking?

Campos - 20th and Pico - Santa Monica

Campos Famous Burritos - Pork and Beans ($4.65)

This was a really terrible burrito. The pork tasted like it came from a can, the beans were watery and gross, and there was zero flavor whatsoever.  I didn’t even bother to drown the burrito in salsa to try to eat it. Come to think of it I’ve never had a burrito at Campos that was any good. What exactly is Campos actually famous for? Famous for sucking?

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Campos - 20th and Pico - Santa Monica

Isaac’s Cafe - Green Chile Burrito ($6.50)
I expected this burrito to come with refried beans, but after the first bite I didn’t mind that it didn’t. It was loaded with pork and coated with a delicious green chile sauce. The chile sauce soaked into the cumin and garlicky chunks of pork and had just the right amount of spiciness.The last few bites were a real treat. The remaining bits of pork swam in the delicious green chile that had pooled at the base of the burrito.
When it was all over I chugged down my root beer and pumped my fist. Oh, what a burrito! If it wasn’t flu season I think I might have hugged someone. 

Isaac’s Cafe- 632 N Fries Ave Wilmington, CA 90744

Isaac’s Cafe - Green Chile Burrito ($6.50)

I expected this burrito to come with refried beans, but after the first bite I didn’t mind that it didn’t. It was loaded with pork and coated with a delicious green chile sauce. The chile sauce soaked into the cumin and garlicky chunks of pork and had just the right amount of spiciness.The last few bites were a real treat. The remaining bits of pork swam in the delicious green chile that had pooled at the base of the burrito.

When it was all over I chugged down my root beer and pumped my fist. Oh, what a burrito! If it wasn’t flu season I think I might have hugged someone. 

Isaac’s Cafe- 632 N Fries Ave Wilmington, CA 90744

Campos Tacos - Chile Verde Burrito ($4.50)
Campos Tacos is a mexican fast food chain that serves up greasy tacos and enchiladas to hungover people. Campos Tacos is different from Campos Famous Burritos but I’m not exactly sure how different. The food tastes almost identical. 
I ordered the chile verde burrito with beans. This burrito can also be ordered without beans or with beans and rice. It’s not a very big burrito, a fact that I didn’t lament after  a couple bites in. The reason is, it’s not a very good burrito either. 
Chile verde might be my favorite type of burrito, so whenever I eat them I am going to be highly critical. There are two things a great chile verde burrito must have. First off, it must have good chile verde. And secondly, it must have some spice. A chile verde burrito without spice isn’t worth eating. This burrito had neither spice nor flavor. The sauce was bland, the pork had a weird fatty consistency, and the beans were watery.

Campos Tacos 12201 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Campos Tacos - Chile Verde Burrito ($4.50)

Campos Tacos is a mexican fast food chain that serves up greasy tacos and enchiladas to hungover people. Campos Tacos is different from Campos Famous Burritos but I’m not exactly sure how different. The food tastes almost identical. 

I ordered the chile verde burrito with beans. This burrito can also be ordered without beans or with beans and rice. It’s not a very big burrito, a fact that I didn’t lament after  a couple bites in. The reason is, it’s not a very good burrito either. 

Chile verde might be my favorite type of burrito, so whenever I eat them I am going to be highly critical. There are two things a great chile verde burrito must have. First off, it must have good chile verde. And secondly, it must have some spice. A chile verde burrito without spice isn’t worth eating. This burrito had neither spice nor flavor. The sauce was bland, the pork had a weird fatty consistency, and the beans were watery.

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Campos Tacos 12201 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Chanos Drive In - Green Chile Burrito ($4.55)
Chano’s green chile burrito comes with juicy shredded beef, stewed onions,green chiles and refried beans. It’s spicy but you don’t really notice the heat until you get through half the burrito. By that time I usually pepper the burrito with salsa verde to add a little more heat.
The burrito is always piping hot and can be a challenge to eat depending how well the tortilla holds up. But its worth it because there is so much flavor. By the time you get to the end of the burrito the juice from the meat has completely soaked the bottom of the tortilla. The last 1/4 of the burrito demands to be eaten with a fork but I never seem to go that route. With burritos this good its okay to violate social etiquette.

Chanos Drive-In 3000 South Figueroa Street Los Angeles, CA 90007

Chanos Drive In - Green Chile Burrito ($4.55)

Chano’s green chile burrito comes with juicy shredded beef, stewed onions,green chiles and refried beans. It’s spicy but you don’t really notice the heat until you get through half the burrito. By that time I usually pepper the burrito with salsa verde to add a little more heat.

The burrito is always piping hot and can be a challenge to eat depending how well the tortilla holds up. But its worth it because there is so much flavor. By the time you get to the end of the burrito the juice from the meat has completely soaked the bottom of the tortilla. The last 1/4 of the burrito demands to be eaten with a fork but I never seem to go that route. With burritos this good its okay to violate social etiquette.

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Chanos Drive-In 3000 South Figueroa Street Los Angeles, CA 90007

Freebirds World Burrito - Monster Steak Burrito ($9.47)
Freebirds is a chain burrito restaurant with three locations in Los Angeles. The setup is similar to Chipotle. You pick what type of tortilla you want (wheat, cayenne, spinach, or flour) and then pick your fillings. They have four sizes of burritos: hybrid, freebird, monster, and super monster. I ordered a monster steak burrito. When it came time to add beans I did not like the look of any of the bean options so I went without. The result was a very silly looking burrito with some steak and salsa, but mostly rice. Yes, some beans would have made it look less silly but I doubt the flavor would have been much better. To add insult to injury the steak was cold and chewy. 
Yeah this one was pretty damn awful and not very wallet friendly either.

Freebirds World Burrito - 4025 Del Rey Ave, Marina Del Rey

Freebirds World Burrito - Monster Steak Burrito ($9.47)

Freebirds is a chain burrito restaurant with three locations in Los Angeles. The setup is similar to Chipotle. You pick what type of tortilla you want (wheat, cayenne, spinach, or flour) and then pick your fillings. They have four sizes of burritos: hybrid, freebird, monster, and super monster. I ordered a monster steak burrito. When it came time to add beans I did not like the look of any of the bean options so I went without. The result was a very silly looking burrito with some steak and salsa, but mostly rice. Yes, some beans would have made it look less silly but I doubt the flavor would have been much better. To add insult to injury the steak was cold and chewy. 

Yeah this one was pretty damn awful and not very wallet friendly either.

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Freebirds World Burrito - 4025 Del Rey Ave, Marina Del Rey

What’s an LA burrito?

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Al and Bea’s- LA Burrito legends

The three most common types of burritos in California are Mission style, LA style, and San Diego style. They may have different names elsewhere but for the sake of clarity I will use these terms. Out of these three LA has the least coherent burrito identity. One of the reasons for this is that the best place to get burritos in LA is at Mexican-American burrito/taco stands, not at taquerias. Go to any taqueria in LA and a carne asada burrito will consist of spanish rice, pinto beans, and a couple scoops of carne asada of questionable quality. If you’re lucky they’ll put some salsa inside the burrito. These aren’t LA style burritos. LA style burritos come from roadside stands like Lupe’s in Montebello,Lupe’s #2, and Al and Bea’s. These are burritos with flavor and with history. Al and Bea’s has been slinging its lard filled bombs through those tiny windows for almost 50 years. Lupe’s #2 rarely has an empty stool as locals and non-locals rub elbows eagerly waiting to devour red and green chile burritos These are the burritos of LA. Not those weak rice and pinto bean filled burros that you find at LA taquerias. 

The goal of this blog is to find all three types of burritos in LA. Here is how I describe each type of burrito:

Mission style(San Francisco)- A steamed tortilla filled with meat (carne asada, al pastor, carnitas, or pollo), rice (cilantro-lime or spanish), beans (pinto or black), cheese, gucamole, salsa, and sometimes lettuce.  This type of burrito is very difficult to find in LA if it can be found at all. Chains like Chipotle and Qdoba are about as close as we get in LA to this kind of burrito. 

San Diego style- tortilla filled with high quality carne asada, pico de gallo and sometimes guacamole or sour cream. No rice or beans. No lettuce. Sometimes jack cheese. Sometimes fries (California burrito). The only place so far in LA that I’ve found a San Diego style burrito is the Alberto’s chain in San Gabriel Valley. 

LA style - tortilla filled with refried beans(preferably with lard) or frijoles de olla, meat (machaca,stewed beef or pork, chile colorado, chile verde or ground beef) and salsa or chile. No rice. No guacamole.No lettuce. Sometimes cheese.  They commonly have names like red chile burrito or green chile burrito. 

From this point on I will try to avoid taqueria burritos that don’t fall into either of these categories. Taqueria burritos from now on will be ordered all meat to avoid the pointless exercise of eating a burrito that is half filler. Wet burritos will continue to be eaten on rare occasions. 

I will eat and rate burritos according to how they taste. I will try to avoid all burrito snobbery. If a SF style burrito tastes good it will receive a thumbs up. 

If anyone disagrees with my characterizations of the different kinds of burritos they can fuck off. Just kidding. I’d like to hear any and all objections and please send in your burrito recs.

Paco’s Tacos - Supermex Burrito ($11.25)
I don’t trust wet burritos. There is so much they can hide. They look good on the outside. I’ve never seen one that didn’t. But once you tear into them you almost always regret ordering one. This one from Paco’s came with beef, beans, lettuce, and avocado. I told them to hold the lettuce. They said sure thing, we’ll hold the avocado too. 
It was a terrible burrito. Terrible taste from the beef which was tough and flavorless. Terrible taste from the beans which were bland. Terrible taste from the sauce which tasted like it came from a jar. After four bites I was done. Even the ridiculous price  couldn’t force me to take another bite. It was that bad. 

Paco’s Tacos 4141 S Centinela Ave Los Angeles, CA 90066

Paco’s Tacos - Supermex Burrito ($11.25)

I don’t trust wet burritos. There is so much they can hide. They look good on the outside. I’ve never seen one that didn’t. But once you tear into them you almost always regret ordering one. This one from Paco’s came with beef, beans, lettuce, and avocado. I told them to hold the lettuce. They said sure thing, we’ll hold the avocado too. 

It was a terrible burrito. Terrible taste from the beef which was tough and flavorless. Terrible taste from the beans which were bland. Terrible taste from the sauce which tasted like it came from a jar. After four bites I was done. Even the ridiculous price  couldn’t force me to take another bite. It was that bad. 

Paco’s Tacos 4141 S Centinela Ave Los Angeles, CA 90066

Tacos Por Favor - California Burrito ($8.74)
TPF has put a lot of thought into this burrito. It’s very well constructed with a generous amount of meat layered under french fries and a bed of sour cream, guacamole and cheese. The carne asada has great flavor and the juice from the meat provides a good coat for the french fries.
A lot of california burritos are a mish-mash of ingredients with some fries thrown in. But this one is really special. I don’t ordinarily like to spend over eight bucks for a burrito but make an exception when they are this good. My one criticism is the lack of salsa inside the burrito. It could have used a pico de gallo to add an extra flavor and some spice.

Tacos Por Favor 11901 W Olympic Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90025

Tacos Por Favor - California Burrito ($8.74)

TPF has put a lot of thought into this burrito. It’s very well constructed with a generous amount of meat layered under french fries and a bed of sour cream, guacamole and cheese. The carne asada has great flavor and the juice from the meat provides a good coat for the french fries.

A lot of california burritos are a mish-mash of ingredients with some fries thrown in. But this one is really special. I don’t ordinarily like to spend over eight bucks for a burrito but make an exception when they are this good. My one criticism is the lack of salsa inside the burrito. It could have used a pico de gallo to add an extra flavor and some spice.

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Tacos Por Favor 11901 W Olympic Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90025

Lupe’s #2 - Beef Combo Red ($4.90)
Lupe’s #2 has 12 different burritos on its menu but I had never swayed from my usual order of one bean and cheese green and one bean and cheese red.  This time I tried the beef combo red burrito. It’s a very good burrito with juicy shredded beef, flavorful refried beans,and a spicy hot sauce. My only criticism is a minor one. I would have liked a little less meat and a little more beans.
You probably can’t go wrong with any of the burritos at Lupe’s #2 so next time I may try the very popular chicharron with hot. 

Lupe’s #2 - 4642 E 3rd St Los Angeles, CA 90022

Lupe’s #2 - Beef Combo Red ($4.90)

Lupe’s #2 has 12 different burritos on its menu but I had never swayed from my usual order of one bean and cheese green and one bean and cheese red.  This time I tried the beef combo red burrito. It’s a very good burrito with juicy shredded beef, flavorful refried beans,and a spicy hot sauce. My only criticism is a minor one. I would have liked a little less meat and a little more beans.

You probably can’t go wrong with any of the burritos at Lupe’s #2 so next time I may try the very popular chicharron with hot. 

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Lupe’s #2 - 4642 E 3rd St Los Angeles, CA 90022