Once an obscure meal made from skirt meat known to mostly butchers and Mexican vaqueros back in the 1930s, fajitas gained public notoriety in 1969 thanks to Sonny Falcon and his fajita taco stand at a week-long outdoor festival in Texas. The dish became so popular, Sonny was dubbed “The Fajita King” by an Austin reporter. Since then, fajitas have made their way into almost every Mexican restaurant this side of the border. From tender chicken and beef to carnitas and jumbo shrimp, this mouth-watering entrée served sizzling on a hot platter with tortillas and condiments served on the side is still a Tex-Mex cuisine favorite of today’s generation. If you suddenly find yourself in the mood for this sizzling dish, here are Los Angeles five restaurants worth a visit.
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Salsa and Beer
11619 Sherman Way
North Hollywood, CA 91607
Hours: Sun to Thurs – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri to Sat – 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
This valley establishment is well known for its wide variety of Mexican beer and endless salsa bar, but the fajitas are just as famous. Listed under Sizzling Famous Fajitas, this enticing entrée is served with tender onions, zucchini, bell peppers, rice, beans, pico de gallo, guacamole and tortillas. Whether you choose to tackle the chicken/beef/shrimp combo or bump your fajita up a few notches to Guadalajara spicy, you’ll ask yourself why the place isn’t called Salsa and Beer and Fajitas?
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4000 S Centinela Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90066
Hours: Mon to Wed – 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thurs – 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Fri to Sat – 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., Sun – 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Casa Sanchez is a classic dining experience that the whole family can enjoy. The traditional décor, original paintings and mariachi band to entertain while you dine makes every diner feel they’ve been transported south of the border. The fajitas, with chicken or steak marinated and pan-fried in gold tequila (Flameadas), are hearty and tender and only made better when accompanied by one of Casa Sanchez’s exclusive cocktails. Pair each bite with a fork full of rice and beans for the ultimate combination of tastes.
Cinnamon Vegetarian Restaurant
5511 N Figueroa St
Highland Park, CA 90042
Hours: Mon, Wed and Thurs – 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Tues – closed, Fri to Sat – 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sun – 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
William Cano, owner of Cinnamon’s Vegetarian Restaurant, is a firm believer in the positive benefits non-violent food has on humans mentally, physically and spiritually. He also believes vegetarians shouldn’t have to sacrifice taste. Cinnamon’s mock chicken and steak fajitas burst with flavors even carnivores enjoy. They are served with Spanish or brown rice and your choice of refried, whole pinto or black beans. If this still doesn’t quite do it for you, order your fajitas spicy to amp up the flavor a bit.
3701 W Sunset Blvd
Silver Lake, CA 90026
Hours: Mon – 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Tues to Sun – 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
At first glance, you might second guess your restaurant choice. However once walking through the door, you’ll see why El Conquistador is a favorite of this bohemian area in Silver Lake. The décor is bold and vibrant, just like the clientele. While most people go to El Conquistador for the lethal margaritas, they often stay for the fajitas. Choose among beef, chicken, combo or jumbo shrimp sauteed in sherry wine, fresh mushrooms, red and green bell peppers, tomatoes and black olives. Whatever option you order, the fajitas will consistently have you coming back for more. Get creative by putting together your own combinations in the accompanied flour or corn tortillas. As an insider tip, order the fresh greens salad as your side to incorporate these greens into each bite.
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636 S Venice Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
Hours: Lunch Mon to Sat – 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Dinner Mon to Thurs – 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Dinner Fri to Sat – 5 p.m., 11 p.m., Dinner Sun – 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Aside from giving us Cinco de Mayo, the French occupancy in Mexico also shaped the way food was made for a time. While the French may be long gone, Tlapazola Grill offers a unique fusion of southern Mexico cuisine with French influences. This nouvelle-type restaurant puts a slight spin on the cultural staples many have come to know. The chicken, beef, shrimp or combo fajitas will leave you quite satisfied. The key ingredient in this mix is garlic, a flavor rarely seen in a fajita dish. Accompanying the secret ingredient are onions, chile pasilla, tomatoes and a side of green rice. Green rice? You read it right.
Kristine G. Bottone is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.