Aztecs referred to the avocado as a “fruit of the Gods,” and with its creamy texture, buttery flavor and natural health benefits, it’s not hard to imagine why. Modern civilization still refers to it as a revered fruit, but only because we can make guacamole with it. And if there’s one thing Los Angelenos love, it’s a bowl of really good guac. While it may be on menus all over town, there are a few places that do it better than others. Check out these restaurants for some of the best guacamole this side of the border.
Hours: Mon to Thurs—1 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri & Sat—11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Su—11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
El Cholo’s long-standing reputation is based on good old fashioned tradition and family recipes dating back to 1923. From the nachos to the green corn tamales, you’ll swear it’s just like mom used to make (if not better). The guacamole is so good you’ll want to make a meal of it all by itself.
Manuel’s El Tepeyac Cafe
Hours: Mon to Tues—6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Wed & Sun—6 a.m. to 9:45 p.m., Fri & Sat—6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
If you’ve driven passed Manuel’s El Tepeyac Café, then you’ve seen the line to get in. Anyone who has been there will assure you the food is well worth the wait. In fact, waiting on line is considered a cultural experience, as many of the regulars recall coming there with their parents as children. The burritos and tostadas are legendary, but only made better by a side of creamy guacamole for dipping.
Hours: Sun to Thurs—11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri & Sat 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Considered to have some of the best Mexican food on its side of the hill, Loteria Grill is a favorite among shopping tourist and hungry locals. Located not too far from the studios, it’s common to see “familiar” faces grabbing a bite at a table in the corner. The guacamole, with endless chips and salsa, is a must have starter. Knock it back with one of the jalapeno margaritas and you’ll be hooked.
Hours: Mon to Thurs—8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri—8 a.m. to Midnight, Sat—11 a.m. to Midnight, Sun—10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
If you’re one of those persnickety guacamole connoisseurs who feel no restaurant guac can compete with your homemade version, then this is the place for you. Kate Mantillini has a guacamole cart, so all the fixings are rolled up right to your table by a guacamole “specialist.” These specialists will then mix and mash the spices and various ingredients of your choice right in front of you. Try not to get carried away.
Hours: Mon to Thurs—11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri & Sat—11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Sun—10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Mucho Mas in Burbank is another real deal for authentic Mexican cuisine and delicious margaritas. The fiesta plate is a dream and consists of taquitos, quesadillas, flautas, nachitos, sour cream and some killer guacamole. It’s the secret assorted spices that make the buttery guacamole so good it melts in your mouth. And with a 4 to 7 p.m. happy hour and Sunday brunch specials, Mucho Mas is muy bueno for everyone.
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Kristine G. Bottone is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.