FiveThirtyEight's search for the best burrito in America via a Burrito Bracket has a number of flaws, but it did, at least, get one thing right in ranking Al & Bea's burritos among the very best in the country. For the uninitiated, Al & Bea's, opened in 1966, is a Boyle Heights institution rightly famous for its fantastic bean and cheese burritos, with the green chile and cheese combination perhaps the most fantastic of them all. It's deceptively fragile, with refried beans, shredded cheese and green chile uneasily ebbing and flowing in a tightly wrapped tortilla. Indeed, if you poke it as you might a ball of dough, an impression remains. Yet it stays mostly intact from first bite to last, giving you ample time to admire how everything perfectly melds together and how, in a town full of burritos the size of rolled-up yoga mats, this ascetic burrito is the one you'll remember. —Tien Nguyen
2025 E. First St., Boyle Heights. (323) 267-8810.
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