The breakfast taco takeover of Los Angeles continues apace, this time with a chain restaurant getting into the mix.
It's a local chain, and it's small. And it's pretty great quality. It's La Monarca, the Mexican-inspired bakery that does luscious-looking cakes and has cases full of pastries like cookies and croissants. In the past, the locations haven't had much in the way of savory items, aside from ham and cheese croissants, some slices of quiche, that sort of thing.
But these new breakfast tacos (the bakery just debuted them a week or so ago) are a very strong jumping-off point, if La Monarca is looking to expand its menu. The taco fillings are thoughtful, varied and delicious: There are five options, including huevo ranchero, soyrizo, chipotle beef machaca, poblano chicken mole and salsa verde braised beef. The huevo ranchero option, which comes with ham, is the most classically "breakfast" of the choices, but the two beef offerings might be the most delicious.
But the star is the tortilla, which is really the focus of the new menu addition, anyway. As with all items at La Monarca, the traditional lard is eschewed in favor of butter. It doesn't really change the taste of the tortillas; the difference in quality comes from the fact that they're made locally, in La Monarca’s kitchens. And they are easily top-five store-bought tortillas in L.A. now. Maybe even top-two? (I'm sure there's some little place I don't know of.)
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The tortillas are made with flour imported from Sonora. They're not particularly "pure" — the ingredients list is eight items long — but they're delicious. They can be purchased in 12-ounce packages to go, also.
Various locations. lamonarcabakery.com.