BURRITO WISDOM – a vegetarian burrito quest www.burritowisdom.com

EL COCHE 6.25

Posted in Business District, Downtown by burritowizard on October 14, 2010

505 S Flower St
CIty National Plz
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Measurements: 8″ circumference; 7″ long (smaller than average)

Bean, Rice and Cheese burrito $3.84

For the past few years foodies, trend-trackers, and the general public seem to believe that tacos and burritos from food carts taste better than those cooked in a conventional kitchen.  Enter El Coche; located in the food court under the Arco building in downtown Los Angeles.  This food cart themed restaurant turns the tables on those sentiments, offering some of the fun and aesthetic of a food cart, with the enforced health code of a restaurant.  I have a soft spot for unique one-offs in food courts.

Decent standard issue salsa bar

Value: good for downtown

WIZARD’S SCORE: 6.25

LA SALSA (6)

Posted in Business District, Gringo, National Chain by burritowizard on April 5, 2010

601 West 5th Street

Los Angeles, CA 90071

(213) 623-6390

www.lasasa.com

 

Califonia (basic veggie) Burrito $5.54 after tax

Measurements: 8″ circumference; 7″ length (smaller than average)

Sitting in La Salsa neither enjoying, nor dis-enjoying my experience,I try to think of a way to describe it.  I can’t stop thinking about the novel Grendel, by John Gardner.  A heartwarming recounting of the epic Beowulf from the monster (Grendel’s) perspective.  The point is that you need to have ‘evil’ to create a ‘hero’.  But, Burrito Analysis is far more complicated.  The ‘great’ and ‘bad’, are easy to recognize.  We need mediocrity to determine the nuances between what is esculent, palatable, and delectable.  This is why La Salsa needs to exist, it is the bare minimum one should accept from a burrito place.

 

The salsa bar is beautiful, but none of the salsas are worth mentioning.

 

Value: blah

 

WIZARD’S SCORE: 6

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MAD BURRITO (6.25)

Posted in Business District, Downtown, Gringo by burritowizard on January 10, 2010

700 S Flower St
Los Angeles, CA 90017 (MACY’S PLAZA UNDERGROUND FOOD COURT)

(213) 489-5503

Measurements: 9″ circumference; 7″ length (standard size)

Vegetarian Burrito: $6.59 after tax or Been and Cheese Burrito $5.49 after tax (Whole Black Beans Only)

In Latin “Salsa Bars Omnia Vincent” means: Salsa Bars Kick Butts.  Mad Burrito should be: B.Y.O.B., bring your own burrito, but their salsa bar does kick butt.  Probably better than any salsa bar you’ll find in a corporate food court.  Macy’s Plaza, Downtown Los Angeles Business District, think Taco Bell (with actual edible food products), on steroids.

Nice thick red and green sauces, pico de gallo without jalapensos, sweet mango salsa (not pictured here), and many other fix-ins

Value: not good

WIZARD’S SCORE: 6.25

CASA (6.5)

Posted in Business District, Gringo by burritowizard on April 2, 2009

casa-downtown-exterior

350 S Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90013

(213) 621-2249

Measurements: 9” circumference, 7” length (standard size)

$9.79 for either vegetarian burrito option (w/ side salsa $.25 extra)

I have feared the $10 burrito like some fear the $4 gallon of gas.  At Casa it’s almost here.  Walking by the exterior or viewing the website will leave you with the impression that this is a trendy upscale Mexican restaurant.  At lunch, which is the only time they serve burritos, it’s of the new ilk of restaurants that charge about 20% more for their food, give you the atmosphere of a sit down restaurant,without the added cost of the tip or the convenience of service.  It’s a racket.  Food reminds me of Hugo’s Tacos, but more expensive.  Clean, gringo, gourmet recipes, vegetarian friendly, not for Burritophiles.  But, they’ve got something… If you work at Price Waterhouse Coopers, you’re probably happy to see this place in the food court (which is almost exclusively filled with Nuevo California healthy options).  Salsa tastes more like balsamic vinegar based salad dressing than anything Mexican.

casa-downtown-burrito

Value: one of the worst in town

WIZARD’S SCORE: 6.5