If Jimmy Buffett or Ron Reagan ever suggest a place to eat in L.A., you'd better take their advice, even if the restaurant in question looks like just another Mex hole-in-the-wall from the outside. Both are fans of The Talpa, a family-run Mexican neighborhood joint that'll make you think seriously about moving to this neighborhood. The food is basic, Mexican comfort food being prepared by the pot-clanging gang in the kitchen. The stars of the menu are the chile rellenos, a perfect ratio of pepper, egg coating and jack cheese. So damn good, and nothing like those corn-dog-looking ones you see so often. Avoid the wine-based margaritas. 11751 W. Pico Blvd., W.L.A. (310) 478-3353. —Libby Molyneaux
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