I don’t know about you, but when I search for a new place to eat in an unfamiliar area, there are two major factors that I consider in making a decision of where to eat: word of mouth and the amount of people in the restaurant/the wait outside of it. In the case of Tito’s Tacos, located at 11222 Washington Pl, Culver City, CA, both factors in the decision-making passed with flying colors.
Since 1959, Tito’s Tacos has been considered to be one of the premiere taco stands in Los Angeles. To put this into perspective for those who have never had the privilege of visiting the City of Angels, there is pretty much a taco stand on every corner. Therefore, the near 50-year reputation that Tito’s has already makes this establishment very impressive. Speaking of impressive, Tito’s Tacos also passes the second factor in restaurant decision-making by the dozens of people waiting in line to get their order in. Upon my visit to Tito’s, there were four windows open and seven people deep waiting at each one. When driving by, the mass of people already demands attention and curiosity, which is honestly why I wanted to eat here. I wanted to know what the buzz was all about.
Alright, so let’s get to the good part: the food. However, I must preface this with an explanation of my taco-eating experience. I am third generation Mexican-American and Los Angelenos on my mother’s side. My mother learned how to make delicious Mexican food from her mother, whose home kitchen was in many ways a restaurant to her family and community. My grandmother had the blessing of making food for all ten of her children and her 6’0”, 200-pound giant of a husband on a daily basis (in comparison she was only 4’11’’). Her reputation of making the best food in the neighborhood traveled around, and it wasn’t rare for her to be feeding several of her children’s friends who would visit just to savor her delicious meals. This reputation and quality of food passed from my grandmother to my mother. So to say the least, I know all about good food, specifically Mexican and ESPECIALLY tacos.
The reason I mentioned my family’s heritage of making scrumptious Mexican food is because Tito’s Tacos has that homemade taste. The menu is simple and simply delicious: rice, beans, beef tacos, tamales, and burritos. The hard-shell tacos have this quality taste that lets you know that they were handmade there at the stand. The tortilla itself is fresh and made to perfection with the right amount of crunchiness. The beef is savory with an actual bite of flavor. In my opinion, the meat either makes or break the overall taste of any taco, and in Tito’s case the beef is exceptional.
On top of the beef is fresh lettuce and an abundance of shredded cheddar cheese. (Side note, if there is one thing that irritates me when it comes to crunchy tacos, it’s when there isn’t enough cheese. Not enough cheese= a tease, and no one likes one of those). The burrito is equally made to perfection, with delicious Mexican beans, just like my grandma would make. One bite, and you know these beans are the real deal and definitely not originated from a can. Along with every order of Tito’s comes complimentary tortilla chips and salsa. Each chip is large enough to make the perfect double dipping tool for your best George Costanza imitation.
To sum up my experience at Tito’s Tacos, it is rare that a taco stand can excel in both reputation and the taste of homemade cooking, but Tito’s passes both. Whether you’re getting a late snack on a Saturday night or needing the perfect pick-me-up during the middle-of-the-week-lunch, Tito’s offers authentic, homemade Mexican food at an affordable price. If you’re ever in the Culver City area, do yourself a favor and visit Tito’s Tacos to get that taste that only Grandma can make.