La Azteca Tortilleria: The Best Burrito in America?

Siblings Chris and Cynthia Villa help run the family show at Los Angeles's renowned La Azteca Tortilleria

Siblings Chris and Cynthia Villa help run the family show at Los Angeles’s renowned La Azteca Tortilleria

East L.A. It’s a phrase that awakens a voice in my head: “Don’t let your car break down here.” But such stereotypes often just keep one from experiencing colourful, unpretentious neighbourhoods. That’s certainly the case when I venture to *La Azteca Tortilleria, on a Latino commercial street that certainly seems safe enough, at least at mid-day.

As you may have read in one of my recent San Francisco posts, a Mission District Mexican joint was voted as having America’s best burrito, beating out, among others, perennial top pick La Azteca. I had to find out for myself and, sorry, it’s no contest.

It's hole-in-the-wall cheap for food this outstanding

It’s hole-in-the-wall cheap for food this outstanding

La Azteca’s chile relleno burrito with asada meat (about $7) may well be the best burrito I’ve ever eaten. Longtime owners the Villa family start each day by grinding the corn for their fresh tortillas. You can certainly taste the quality in this lightly toasted wrap.

But that’s just the warm-up for what’s inside—a smoking hot mix of good steak, beans and the kicker, a whole chile relleno dipped in egg and then fried. I can’t fathom why this isn’t a more widespread practice, though Villa daughter Cynthia admits she couldn’t bring herself to eat a relleno burrito till late adolescence.

I pour on some house-made pico de gallo to heat things up a little more. Then I launch into this big, bad boy, living dangerously by eating it in the front seat of my car. It’s so good, I’m nearly halfway through before I remember to grab my camera.

My hands are trembling too much to get a sharp photo of this bad boy, but you get the idea

My hands are trembling too much to get a sharp photo of this bad boy, but you get the idea

La Azteca Tortilleria (they don’t bother with things like a website or Facebook page)
4538 East Cesar East Chavez Avenue, Los Angeles
Tuesday to Sunday 6 am-3:30 pm. Closed Monday

Advertisements

One thought on “La Azteca Tortilleria: The Best Burrito in America?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s