Best of L.A.

9 Best Burritos in Los Angeles

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Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 2:01 PM

click to enlarge Chile Relleno Burrito With a Handmade Flour Tortilla at La Azteca Tortilleria - JAVIER CABRAL
  • Javier Cabral
  • Chile Relleno Burrito With a Handmade Flour Tortilla at La Azteca Tortilleria
Behind every great taco, there's an even greater burrito. A proper burrito is excessive in all the right places: an edible package of chewy opulence that stands for everything great in the Mexican-American influenced culture that is Los Angeles. Meat, carbs and convenience, sauced and served to your exotic whims on a budget.

A smokey lamb burrito, a couple of breakfast burritos, hell, even one with seared seafood and shredded cabbage in the style of the burritas from Puerto Vallarta.This hand-picked list is for those days when a mere taco will not suffice, featuring a burrito for every mood and time of day. Turn the page for the best 9 of them in town.

click to enlarge Breakfast Burrito from Lucky Boy's - JAVIER CABRAL
  • Javier Cabral
  • Breakfast Burrito from Lucky Boy's
9. Lucky Boy Drive-In

At 7:15 AM on a Thursday morning, Lucky Boy's is already in full hustle. The person in front of you, behind you and the one trying to cut in front of you are all ordering the "Legendary Lucky Boy's Breakfast Burrito." Some in orders of six, some with sausage instead of bacon, some sliced in half -- however they order theirs, you will know as soon the old man at the cashier shouts their customized order aloud to the bustling kitchen staff behind him. Their signature burrito is Americana breakfast nostalgia cloaked tight: fluffy scrambled eggs, rubbery melted cheese and exceptionally crispy hash browns, with the only seasoning being the oodles and oodles of salty bacon. With a little of their watery salsa poured atop, there is nothing really better on a chilly Pasadena morning. Early morning, too: They serve the burrito all day until they close at 2 AM (everyday). 640 S. Arroyo Pkwy, Pasadena.

click to enlarge Burrito de Lengua Con Todo at Tacos La Oaxaqueña - JAVIER CABRAL
  • Javier Cabral
  • Burrito de Lengua Con Todo at Tacos La Oaxaqueña
8. Tacos La Oaxaqueña

Late at night after all the traffic has died down and the local restaurants have closed shop, an otherwise desolate stretch of Lincoln Boulevard is home to La Oaxaqueña -- a taco truck that has been on the corner of Lincoln and Rose for ten years now. From 6 PM to 12 AM daily, they specialize in Oaxacan antojitos made with Oaxacan ingredients like Quesillo (Oaxacan unpasteurized string cheese) and Cecina (Oaxacan dried beef of pork). Its loyal patrons still order tacos for the most part, but as the night gets deeper and the gabacho workaholics start to get hungry, the burrito is boss. Perhaps that is why their burrito has a trivial amount of shredded lettuce and cheese? Perhaps that is why the salsa is pretty wimpy even for West L.A. standards? Fortunately, the complexity of correctly cooked tongue conquers many flaws. The tortilla is thin and ultra chewy. The beans, refried. Don't take the Asada way out, it's time to step it up. Lincoln Blvd & Rose St., Venice.

click to enlarge The Kogi BBQ Tofu Burrito - JAVIER CABRAL
  • Javier Cabral
  • The Kogi BBQ Tofu Burrito
7. Kogi BBQ Truck

Almost three years later, the Kogi BBQ truck still attracts hour-long lines. So, it is safe to assume that their burrito is still awesome, right? The Kogi BBQ burrito is a traditional breakfast burrito, well, a traditional breakfast burrito doused with their special chili-soy vinaigrette (known as "crack" to Kogi's astute fans), sesame-chili salsa roja sauce and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. Opt for their tofu protein instead of meat and you might as well be eating a flour tortilla wrapped Soondubu jjigae. The scrambled egg binds with the tofu while cooking and adheres beautifully to the red chili. The size of the burrito is adequate, leaving some room for a kalbi taco or three.

Turn the page for #6...

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