Christine Ziemba at LAist ponders the mystery that has puzzled generations of Angelenos who strike out across downtown on the impossible quest: why is there no good Mexican food to be had on Olvera Street?
We tried again on a recent Friday afternoon and hit up one of the street’s larger restaurants – El Paseo Inn – and failed, again.
It started out promising though: The chips were fresh and the salsa was spicy. Taking this as a good sign, we went ahead and ordered a simple, wet chicken burrito with rice and beans. When the plate arrived, the beans looked like they’d been poured fresh from a Smart and Final can; the rice had no flavor. And for a price tag of $12, you’d think you’d get a mongo burrito and take home half for later. Not the case. We’ve had egg rolls bigger than this burrito....
Now the smaller stands along the street might be cheaper, but the fare’s no better. We’ve tried enchiladas swimming in grease at a number of them. We picked up a simple “conchita,” which is usually a light and tasty sweet roll. The one we picked up was about as appetizing as that Yum Yum donut sitting on your boss's desk from yesterday morning.
With being in business on Olvera Street said to require almost as many political connections as getting a restaurant concession at LAX, she should consider herself lucky the chips didn't reek of jet fuel.
That was quick: Au contraire, writes Jonathan Gold.