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Mexican - San Fernando Valley restaurants

  • Mexican buffet
  • 2/15/03 - Mission Burrito, 14867 Vanowen St. (north-east corner at Kester Ave., near DMV), Van Nuys, 818-901-1844. Mexican buffets: seven days 4-8:30p at $6.95 and Sunday brunch (all day?) at 7.95. Quality foods, many items, but no spices, little decor, slightly worn look, ok bath room, almost no kids. Bring your own hot sauce or ask for theirs. I ate Fri 2/14, about 5-7p, and was impressed by quality of food, but surprised by lack of spices (maybe it's kid friendly). Add your own spices, whatever. Details soon, but try it anyway. Also, locations in West Hills and Canoga Park, untried.
  • (And means both, not combined, like both chicken tacos and beef tacos.)
  • The 2/14 buffer had: chicken and beef (hamburger) tacos - chile verde - chile colorado - cheese and chicken enchiladas - chilli relleno - beans and rice - chicken and beef fajitas (but they could be other dishes) - quesadillas - taquitos - salads: shrimp, krab, chicken, & green - deserts like cheese cake (ok), flan (poor), jello, etc. - fresh fruit - guacamole, salsa, etc. - chicken legs - two soups (chicken and vegetable?) (ok), etc.

    9/17/02 - an ad said the price went up to $5.99, but it could be worth it.

    Finished 8/17 - 8/15/02 - Mango Tango Mexican Restaurant, 11669 Sherman Way, North Hollywood, CA, phone 818-255-0964. Just east of Lankershim Bl. Buffet Monday - Saturday, 11a to 4p for $4.99. Items probably change daily, so call for today's menu. And call about Sunday, I forgot to ask.

    Their ad says "fresh made everyday" or the like. Maybe so. But then, long cooked dishes can taste better the next day. Maybe for better Mexican food I need to leave Ventura Bl. which is what I did today.

    Not 100 items, but enough, and much better than I expected.

  • The buffet begins with several salads and dressings. Among the fancy ones, the fish salad (maybe seviche) and the cactus-leaf salad were tasty.
  • Next is a salsa station with several items, white and yellow cheese cubes, etc. One sauce may have been guacamole, but it was a little too hot to taste for avocado.
  • Next was the hot-food station with rice and beans. The one disappointing dish was beef and potato chunks in a nondescript red sauce. I only took two chunks of this beef, but both were tough. Another, a beef-only dish in red sauce, was very good: chunks of tender beef in a tasty sauce. There were also big pieces of chicken in a green sauce. I only took scraps of chicken, very tender, and the green sauce was very good. Next was cheese enchiladas made with white rather than yellow cheese and much better than average. For a change, you could try the cheese enchiladas with the good red and green sauces also.
  • Spicy chicken and vegetable soup and lots of topping were next. I just took some broth, very good, but try to avoid the layer of oil on the top.
  • Next was the desert and fresh fruit station. The deserts were better than average, and the fresh fruits sweeter. This may be the first really sweet fresh strawberries I recall in a while.
  • Last was a drink station with red stuff and white stuff for $1.25 extra which I didn't try.

    Summary. Lots of good stuff for $4.99 and on Saturday also. But, call first and check if you'll like today's menu which probably changes daily. This restaurant is in an older building, but one ad mentions "new remodeled," and the main room near the windows is cute. The place is clean, but the men's room needs remodeling to drag it into this century (or even the last century). TIP - If you're very sensitive to hot/spicy items, try just a tiny a dab on your plate and taste it with your finger before you take a plate full. I'm sure some items will be hot/spicy.

  • Mexican Sunday Brunch

    8/4/02 - El Torito Restaurant, 14433 1/2 Ventura Bl., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423, 818-990-5860. Sunday brunch is about 9:30a to 3p. If you arrive between 9:30a and 10:30a your get the early bird special price of $9.95 rather than the regular price of $12.95. But, do call for details - my server didn't know about the early bird, so check first.

    Some call this Mexican food, some don't. It's probalby not exactly what the natives in Mexico eat, but it is tasty.

    Sunday Champagne Brunch, serve yourself, all you can eat - For major items they had boneless pork chops, chile verde (pork), chile Colorado (beef), baked chicken, chicken fajitas, and cheese enchiladas, bacon (crisp), and breakfast-sausage links. For sides they offer rice, beans, fried potatoes, and sweet corn cake. There is an omelet station, but I suggest you eat the more expensive stuff, and make yourself an omelet at home. At the other station they make fresh corn tortilla and have some meat fillings to make tocos. Frankly, I didn't understand the tortilla station, and I didn't try it. They have waffles, rather dry, with several toppings. There are also several breads, salads, deserts, fruits, salsas, drinks, etc. They did offer two soups: tortilla and menudo along with several toppings. A tasty broth and lots of chicken chunks with the tortilla soup. I'll also mention that one salad had spinach leaves which I like, and they had something like shrimp seviche? which was only ok. I probably missed and item or two.

    Worth mentioning is what they didn't have. I didn't see the typical chips and dip (salsa), flour tortilla, guacamole, or sour cream.

    Summary - OK food, lots of stuff, but nothing really outstanding. Several dishes tasted like leftovers that had lost their flavors. The chile Colorado comes with a tasty sauce, but the chunks of beef were so large I only took the one small chunk I could find. Please cut this into smaller chunks. The champagne, I understand, was rather dry but ok.

    8/12/01 Returned Yesterday to retry the Sunday brunch buffet. Everything was about the same, except the pork chops has like a BBQ sauce and were as hard as a rock. I did try the meat at the toco station: beef, pork, and chicken. A bit salty, but, except the for chicken, about the best tasting meats on the buffet. The three cold drinks were red, orange, and white. The white one is made with rice, tasty, but it fills you up like a milk shake. They also provide hot chocolate which tastes good, but do stir it up. I did find sour cream at the omelet station, but I was reprimanded by the omeleter for resting my cup of chicken broth on his clean table cloth. How's that for customer relations?

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