Welcome To Tito's Tacos
That's 40 years with no seats. Unbelievable dedication.
After running into David, I of course asked him where the best cheap Mexican food was hiding. Following confirmation with City Search, John and I plotted a course to Tito's Tacos for some burritos.
There are some things to keep in mind about Tito's:
- There are no seats
- They have a parking lot...
- There is nowhere to park
- There are no chicken burritos
This entry is filed in Tito's Tacos.
Thursday, November 10, 2005 by Jonah.
Nice to see our beloved Tito's get some attention here. It is called Tito's Tacos for a reason--the beef tacos (with cheese) are the pretty much the only way to go. The meat (beef) burrito is solid as well. The chicken tamale is your only chicken option. It's fairly decent but not the star of the menu.
We look forward to following your burrito adventures in LA.
Posted by: losanjealous at November 10, 2005 01:34 PM
hey burrito dudes
if you are still in LA and want to experience the holy grail of carne asada burritos there is place called El Parian that is well known by carne asada burrito lovers
thick slices of chargrilled carne and homemade tortillas. Order the all meat carne asada burrito.
they are at 1528 W Pico Blvd. Near downtown LA
Posted by: Bandini at November 20, 2005 06:22 PM
Just for the record, there are seats at Tito's -six or seven old-style picnic tables, some in front and some in back, and maybe ten tables inside. I always go for the tables in back - it's quieter and shady in the summertime.
Been going since 1975! I stay simple with a bean and cheese burrito - no mystery meat.
Posted by: Tito's fan at November 30, 2005 06:35 PM
couple of points to be made here. as other's have said, yes there is seating, about 40 inside and 40 outside, so in other words, practically no seats available, which is a very, very accurate description... I have been going to Titos since 1976 ish (around the time solid food was introduced in my life)The menu has never changed in terms of content, and the food has always been the same. (in/around 2001, they had a 2nd choice of chunky salsa that I saw, but of course avoided)... There was a second Titos in the city of Orange, that was shockingly void of customers and has since closed down. (another reason to distrust people from OC) I have been going for almost 30 years now, and can say that the first 25 years of eating at Tito's, I ate nothing but the all meat burrito, with the chips that they give you for free and salsa. For most appetites, this is sufficient for a good sized lunch. I will on occasion get a Taco w/ cheese to accompany, but that requires the belt opening. Do not get the guacamole (not good, real runny), and I have heard that the enchaladas "suck". Stick with the burrito in either all meat, or bean and meat and the free chips and salsa... You don't need/want anything else. On another note, For laughs, I checked out your review on Taco Bell, and was shocked and dismayed to see the ratings of Tito's and Taco Hell to be in the same ballpark, but to each his own, I guess. Nice reviews of places though, in general. With more time in So Cal, you will find that theere are a lot of real, real good burrito/taco houses all over. Try Alejanddros in around OC and LA if you can. They have a great chicken burrito.
Posted by: Joaquin at March 24, 2006 12:33 AM
Tito's, oh Tito's, how I miss thee. Tito's all meat burrito is awesome. It is chile con carne in a fresh tortilla. I lived in Los Angeles for four years and tried many Mexican places. Tito's is the best in my opinion for taste and what you get for the money. A large flavorful burrito, yes a little messy but scrumptous. If we had Tito's in Boston it would be the best hands down. I went to Tito's at least twice a week. Maybe it was eating there all the time that made it better. In Boston we have the better Chinese food and in LA of course better Mexican. On another note it's hard to believe that a Tito's opened in the OC and failed.
Posted by: chris at May 1, 2006 06:59 PM
I lived in Santa MOnica in 74. I absolutely loved the burrito's at Tito's. Was back in NJ since 75 and have been trying ever since to duplicate that taste. Here they were made with chop-meat ugh! Until Quadoba's came along, still not Tito's caliber. I've come close with shredded beef, cheese and enchalada sauce. Just today had the idea to go on the internet and see if Tito's was still there, God, does this bring back memories. Thanks for the trip back!
Posted by: Babs2510 at July 3, 2006 04:56 PM
I am a lifelong Tito's customer. That being said, there is better to be had in the neighborhood (although I will never turn down the all-meat burrito, ever). However, I have plenty of friends who SWEAR by Tito's.
I suggest El Abajeno on Inglewood off of Culver less than a mile from Tito's. Try the carnitas taco (not a burrito I know, but humor me).
BTW: I found your blog via Deadspin.com...us sports nuts love us some burritos -- we conducted our own (however informal) nationwide "survey". Link below. Follow the comments.
Posted by: bigtdog at July 22, 2006 03:41 AM
I'd been hearing about Tito's from my friends in L,A. for years, so I made a point of finding it on the first day of my trip to L.A. this year. After spending about 90 minutes criss-crossing Culver City looking for it, due to some confusion over Washington Pl. and Washington Bl. , I finally found them and managed to squeeze into the last parking spot.
At 10:30 on a Wednesday there was a long line but still several tables free - most were placing to-go orders. The tacos disappointed, despite their legendary status. I'm not a big fan of tacos dorados anyhow, and I thought there's were overfried to the point of being too hard to bite through. But the burrito, oh that burrito... much as I do like the big, "San Francisco style" burritos stuffed with everything in the kitchen, there are a few places that can serve a burrito with nothing in it but the meat filling, and be so perfect on its own that anything else would just take away from it. Just a warm tortilla and chile con carne. I tried one meat and bean burrito the next day, which was also good, but I don't think it needs anything in it other than the meat.
It wasn't the best burrito of my life but it stands out from the crowd. I'd definately go there often if I lived near Culver City.
Posted by: Nick Warren at July 25, 2006 04:04 PM
First of all....to the guy that said another reason not to trust someone from OC....Dude get your facts right! Tito's Taco's was in Anaheim on Beach Blvd, nor the city of Orange! And as far as I know its still open. And everytime I went there the was a huge line. And yes....it is the BOMB!
I personally always got 2 beef tacos....Yum!
ps....I moved to Ga a yr ago....There is not 1 decent mex rest. in this state!
Posted by: Shawn at September 6, 2006 02:45 PM
Tito's Tacos is fine for what it is - somewhat Americanized Mexican food. Decent tacos dorado (crispy/folded) not using those awful manufactured shells nor ground beef are hard to find, which explains my attraction.
Another location for good tacos dorados is Poblanita Express in Hawthorne (Hawthorne Bl. at Rosecrans).
Posted by: DiveFan at September 25, 2006 03:49 AM
I've eaten tito^s tacos for over 30 years, along with the red salsa. This combination cannot be beat !
Posted by: scott hampton at January 8, 2007 12:02 AM
You gotta be kidding! I ate at Tito's 15 years ago and was unimpressed. I tried it again today (1-26-07) just for the heck of it: BORING, BLAND, BLAH pseudo-mexican food.
Taco meat is boiled, tostado had a slab of tasteless beans on a cold hard tortilla, and the tamale was gooey and filled with chicken and some UFO green stuff. Forget this place!
Posted by: gregster at January 28, 2007 09:19 PM
Growing up in CC I started eating at Tito's in '64 before they moved into their "new" building. 43 years later it is still my favorite place for tacos and their salsa is the bomb! It may not be as authentic as some of the places listed in this blog but I guarantee that 2,000 years from now Tito's will still be here! They have not sold out to the big guys, they are consistent, and best of all they are still in business! I only wish Archie's sandwich shop and Stern's BBQ were still around. Tito's es el mejor!
Posted by: Blue Elk at April 20, 2007 08:13 PM
OK, it has been just over a year since my last post, I have some points that need to be made....
Shawn, I stand corrected about the location being from Anaheim, I was just too pissed off about them closing (yes, it is true, they are no longer around) in Orange county...
On another note, the taste can be somewhat duplicated using canned shredded beef and canned red mild chili/enchilada sauce (here you will have to hunt for the right taste)... I did it once, and then felt deeply ashamed, and threw away the recipe, and prayed to the Titos Taco God that he forgive my trespass.
For the record, Tito's is about as Mexican as I am, by name only. The taste is unique, and more "Macro" in terms of appeal than "Micro" if you get my point. If you are looking for authentic, you don't get it.
To gregster, you are ill informed, without taste (physical and social) and a flounder of the first order. You probably can't play cribbage, and put premium fuel in your leased Chevy Suburban. I am angry at you, and though I apologize for the rant, I just cannot tolerate anti-Tito's remarks.
@Blue Fish, You sir are no flounder. (Though your fish moniker implies regular skunking from time to time, however, I digress..) You are a gentleman and a scholar. By the way, you might be my Uncle from your dates specified.
Posted by: Joaquin at April 21, 2007 01:19 AM
First of all, let me begin by saying that Tito's has been a family tradition for 29 years of my life. I have never lived in southern California, but my extended family has. I can spot the Tito's sign off of the 405 better than anyone, and without that place of business I would never, ever go to LA county again.
Have you guys ever had Ropa Vieja? I believe it is Cuban and it's consistency and flavor bear a striking similarity to the all meat burrito (although not quite...). Living in Florida, I have used this dish to tie me over until my next trip out west.
To Joaquin, I know you have heard of Tom's Taco's that could be used for those in the OC who tire of 3 hour drives to Tito's. Any comments/directions/reviews? I say it is delicious, although the salsa is weak.
Posted by: Jesse at April 21, 2007 08:04 AM
Since the days of 3 tacos and a large soda for less than one dollar I have enjoyed Tito's on a regular basis....Even took my nearly toothless nephew there for his first solid food back in the mid-70's.
The old Tito's in OC is now called Tom's and is serviing the Tito's food as it always has. I have been there many times and have never found it crowded. It does beat the hell out of the long drive into Culver City.
As far as OC goes....in Costa Mesa... right near 17th and Harbor...is a place called SUPER POLLO. The delicious tacos are GARGANTUAN and delicious...not many of us can eat two of them...they are about $2.50 each and worth every penny. The burritos and quesadillas at this place are legendary....try it, you'll like it.
Its on a side street...look up the addrss online and you will NOT be disappointed.
Posted by: NO FLOUNDER at April 24, 2007 09:16 AM
I too have been going to Tito's my whole life. I'm 41. My Dad went there most of his life too. It is true that it isn't truly mexican food, it's for Gringos. The beef taco meat is boiled (with alot of MSG) and fried in the shell. The All meat burrito is really the best Item on the menu. It is the bomb! It's not a traditional mexican burrito though. It's more of a hungarian goulash. It's not spicy at all.
The salsa is pretty simple but really good. It's basically ground tomato with marinated peppers, carrots and onions ground in. They use a stainless steel garbage disposal mounted on a stainless steel table. I used to watch them do it in the restaurant, but they don't do it in front of the public anymore.
There is a Tito's in I think Stanton. It's at Beach and Ball Rd behind the El Pollo Loco. They were family friends of the original owner. Jewelers. And, they put their kids through college with that restaurant. They had a falling out with the original owners family and changed the name to Tom's Tacos. The food tastes the same, though sometimes the burrito isn't as consistent. Also, they don't splurge with the ingredients like titos does. And, it's also busy because they are pretty slow and don't have a system like Tito's does either.
The owner I believe was Hungarian. I met him a long time ago when I was 8-9. It was so long ago, that I'm not sure about that. He is probably dead by now. My dad used to talk to him at this little restaurant at the corner next to Tito's. I was young, I remember he was mad at his kids and opened a small restaurant next store. I thought it was funny that everybody was standing in line at Tito's while we were sitting down being served by the owner. He finally sold the place and made up with his family. Tito's is a cash cow and could cause problems in anyones family.
With the lines the place must clear at least 20-30K per day. People go there and order a dozen tacos, and 4 or more burritos, etc. Finger Food.
The enchiladas are really not good. The tamales aren't much better. The Guac has always been runny and just bad. The tostadas are simple, but with the salsa on them are pretty good. They have a green salsa which is just the marinated peppers ground up. I prefer the red.
But This started when us Gringo's didn't know much about Mexican food. Now we get Guacamole mixed at are tables, great soft tacos and fajita platters. Still a smidgen of what mexican food is. Some people love Tito's, while others think it's blah. It's mostly good memories for me.
I believe they use lard to fry everything in and they use lots of MSG. And I mean lots. My friend who is allergic had a bad week after eating the burrito. No problem, more for Me!
Posted by: Marcus at May 12, 2007 03:43 PM
Let it be known, that I have eaten at TITO'S TACOS since they were located on the corner of Washington Place and
Sepulveda blvd. Let it also be known, that if JESUS had known about TITOS he would have served it at his LAST SUPPER and the RED SAlSA would have replaced the wine..... THEIR FOOD IS TO DIE FOR!
Posted by: SCOTT HAMPTON at June 23, 2007 10:05 PM
Some say that there was some big incident where they were sited for using dog meat. I always wondered if the meat was beef or dog.
Posted by: Sherri at June 25, 2007 06:21 PM
So for the last couple of months, ever since watching Rachel Ray’s TV show highlighting great spots around Los Angeles, me and my lady friend have been wanting to check out Tito’s Tacos in Culver City. It was an LA institution they said. The food was delightful they said. Lesson learned: never trust the Food Network again.
The place was off the freeway and in a rather grungy location. At first I was excited by the atmosphere and the crowds surrounding the place, although that would soon prove to be a negative. The parking lot was nearly full, small and cramped, although we were lucky to find a spot right away. Much to my dismay they were cash only:even In And Out, which has long been an LA institution sans plastic payment, has moved on into this century. A tagged and raggedy ATM machine charged me two bucks to take out a twenty, and already I was regretting this trip.
Inside, there was a line that wasn’t truly a line, more like a huddled mass. People were rubbing up against each other, and lo and behold, the place didn’t even have cash registers! You ordered your food, they bring it out a couple minutes later, they tally up the total on a notepad and gas station calculator, then take your money and come back another minute later with your change. Oh, and they charge you a quarter for a glass of water (the price of the paper cup). We each ordered a burrito, and they were small by lunch truck standards.
They were skinny, by Del Taco standards. I wasn’t expecting Chipotle, which is great but lacks any real authentic flavor, and I was hoping Tito’s would deliver. It was salty and sloppy. Mine came with beans; mushy and wet are not my ideal characteristics of refried beans. My girlfriend was instantly reminded of goat meat when she tried hers...certainly not the flavorful steak we’re used to at most street corner roach coaches. The burritos fell apart under their own weight (keep in mind, they lacked any real substance in the first place). The best part were the nachos, but we don’t eat nachos, so it couldn’t save the meal. In short, this was an unforgettably forgettable experience, and I caution anyone from going there. Tito’s is the product of successful marketing and word of mouth, but in way did I see or taste how or why they deserve it.
Posted by: Carlos at October 9, 2007 07:18 PM
I visited Tito's for the first time yesterday. I went with a friend who has been driving from West Hills to Culver City for years just to have the beef burrito. I enjoyed a taco and chased it with the beef burrito..and I must admit that it was the best burrito that I've ever had! While the wait was a bit over 10 minutes just to order, it was worth ever minute. Thanks Butch for the experience, I'll definitely be back!
Posted by: Randy at November 15, 2007 09:23 AM
I started eating Tito's in the 1960's when they were in the International Food Court on the corner of Sepulveda and Centinela. Right behind the Hamburger Handout (19 cent'er we called it as the burgers were only 19 cents). The original Sizzler Steak house was behind the International Food Court.
Tito's still rocks but long ago we used to get five tacos and a box of chips for only $1.25.
Posted by: Brian at April 12, 2008 11:11 PM
I LOVE TITO'S AND i live in GA! So everytime I go to L.A. I HAVE TO HEAD STRAIGHT TO TITO'S EVERYDAY just for a bean burrito with extra cheese. There's nothing like it :)
Posted by: ILOVETITOS at July 12, 2008 01:36 PM
Sadly, I live 1500 miles from Tito's. I've lived away from CC for 20 years and to this day I crave their burritos. My dad tried to get the owners to franchise Tito's years ago and I'm sure he's not the only one to try. TITO'S IS THE BOMB, ALMOST WORTH FLYING TO CALIFORNIA FOR.
Posted by: Shelly at October 13, 2008 07:31 PM
Hey Burrito Analyst! I am The Taco Inspector. We are either best friends or arch rivals...I'm not sure yet!
I just did a VIDEO REVIEW of Tito's Tacos, make sure to check it out at www.thetacoreview.com
Peace and cilantro,
Posted by: Taco Inspector at June 24, 2009 02:21 PM
I miss Titos. I grew up in Culver City and now live on the east coast. It's comfort food - who cares if it's Mexican, Hungarian, Sudanese... it's comfort food that makes you feel good. if you're not from Culver City, you wouldn't understand... I don't compare the tacos or burritos to others...each taco, each eaterie, each burrito has it's own qualities. Whenever I return to LA, I always go to Titos.
Posted by: Mark at July 15, 2009 12:37 PM
This is the best. I have grown up eating it and my parents grew up eating it. Please visit it. I always said the longer the line the better the food. ;)
Posted by: Ryano661 at October 2, 2009 07:13 PM