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Al & Bea's Mexican Food

2025 E. First St.
Los Angeles, CA 90033
323-267-8810
Best Of
Al & Bea's Mexican Food +

Photo: Tien Nguyen

Details

  • Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • $
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack Food
  • No Alcohol
  • Patio/Sidewalk Dining, Takeout
  • Street Parking
  • Reservations Accepted, Reservations Not Necessary
They are a stolid bunch, Los Angeles burrito lovers, neatly queued at burrito shrines at noon, pulling homemade burritos out of lunch buckets, occasionally attending to late-night cravings as faithfully as worshipers attending midnight mass. And Al & Bea's is one of the greatest of the Eastside's classic burrito palaces, a low, ancient, heavily fortified kitchen, but the plainness of the food at Al & Bea's may come as kind of a shock. Your choices are basically limited to red chile or green, meat or no meat, and whether to pay the extra 15 cents for cheese. When you order, the guy behind the register flips your ticket out of his pad like a cardsharp showing you the four of clubs. You pull your napkin from a roll. Then you wait, and eavesdrop on the line. In addition to burritos, there are old-fashioned fried tacos with guacamole, which are delicious, and hot, oily taquitos, which are even better. Hamburgers are available, although in practice they seem mostly to be eaten by patrons under the age of 10, as well as an only-in-East-L.A. classic known as the Four-Finger Dog, which is a couple of hot dogs dressed like a burger and served on a hamburger bun. The fried jalapenos, stuffed with something very like the shiny, processed cheese you find topping nachos in movie theaters and at Dodger Stadium, are more compelling than they have any right to be.

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    Dear Mr. Gold: I have a friend in town from Berkeley who loves burritos. What do you suggest? I’m thinking of ignoring her habit and forcing her to go for mole at La Tia instead, but she seems set in her ways. —Erica, L....

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