I've been going to this restaurant because they have that hard to find authentic home style taste and they make tortillas fresh - on the spot - and they're so good you could eat them by themselves. Their menu is just right, having all the components that make up just about every dish you can think of - it's a small (hole in the wall) restaurant and at times you may have to wait 10 minutes, but it's worth it and you will see people waiting - why? Because honestly, there's almost no dish that is not good (and they serve menudo and cocido every day, even birria!) - and there are some that are just plain great. Before my mother passed away I would go to lunch with her all the time and she was a great cook, so she was as picky as the sun is hot - and more then 1/2 the time when I asked her where to? She'd say, with a smile on her face, 'Chispa!'....which made me happy to make her happy. I couldn't rate this any better, to impress my mom meant you took care in the details (to mom that was roasting fresh chiles, cooking on low heat when necessary, fresh ingredients, just the right amount of spices - never too salty or bland, salsas that let you know someone knows how to cook and consistant, consistant, consistant). And everyone there is friendly and they already know what I like -so I don't even have to say the whole dish (lengua en salsa de tomatillo con frijoles y arroz - THE BEST!) - I almost regret rating it cause that means I might have to wait longer....but my mom shared this place so can I. Take your parent(s) out to this little place...they'll want to go back and so will you.
After a fun visit to a nearby costume shop, our hungry group of 12 set out to find some good food to enjoy together before returning to the office. One of our group said that Loteria was a favorite of hers, so we trekked on over on her recommendation. I found the menu to be interesting - a variety of vegetarian selections (the one who recommended the place is a vegetarian) including a cactus salad and a succotash of zucchini and roasted corn to name a few. It was cool that there was something on the menu for everyone in our mixed bunch. I'm a big fan of carnitas myself, so I ordered a carnitas burrito. In addition to being super spicy - just the way I like it - the meat was tender and tasty, and the composition featured black beans instead of the refried variety. The burrito was also on the larger side. I could only finish half, but was delighted to have something to enjoy or share later on. The only downside to our visit was the service. We arrived before the lunch hour - around 11:30 or so - and were the only patrons in the place for at least the first 20 minutes of our time there. Yet table service was slow (i.e. bringing water to the table and taking drink orders), and one entree was completely forgotten about. Also requests for salsa, chips and other sides / condiments were either ignored or completely forgotten. Still the place is promising, has a nice atmosphere, and is a real find that's just a few blocks away from Hollywood & Highland.
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