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Restaurant Tue Feb 13 2007

Rick Bayless, eat your heart out - at Los Nopales.

Dear Rick Bayless,

Have you been to my favorite Mexican restaurant? No, not Topolobampo. As much respect as I have for you and your food and your show, I think that Los Nopales takes the Trés Leches cake. Personally, I'm addicted to their tilapia tacos, lightly seasoned and seared pieces of tilapia accompanied by an avocado slice and tangy pico de gallo, enveloped in warm, soft deliciousness (two pillowy corn tortillas). The chorizo tacos are also simple but still can bring tears to your eyes. The sweetness of the meat (it has hint of cinnamon) is perfectly matched with the bite of the finely chopped red onions and fresh citrus notes of cilantro, generously sprinkled on top. The tacos used to appear on an a la carte menu at $1.65 each, but it was recently removed from the dinner menu. To get the tacos in the evening, you'll have to order the taco plates (three tacos with rice and beans).

On cold days like today, I can't think of anything dreamier than carting a few Coronas over to this gem, ordering a bowl of the most satisfying tortilla soup I've ever tasted (marinated shredded chicken, thin crispy slices of fried tortialla, sour cream and diced avocado in a spicy and slightly creamy tomato broth), and daydreaming about lying under some palm tree on a deserted beach on the Yucatan Peninsula. And don't even get me started on the guacamole or the ceviche or the molé enchiladas or the specials.

The family who owns and runs Los Nopales work their tails off, and it shows. Everyone there is so kind, and Maria never forgets a face and makes sure to greet all of her customers with a genuine smile and a warm "hello."

Los Nopales is located at 4544 N. Western Ave (between Sunnyside and Wilson Aves), and their phone number is 773-334-3149. Please try it, and let me know what you think.

I'm gonna go back to eating my Rustic Guajillo Salsa with a spoon now.



Pete Prestipino / February 13, 2007 8:38 PM

The tilapia tacos are definitely the way to go - but what about the guacamole! It's the real deal.

Katy / February 14, 2007 9:58 AM

I agree! Los Nopales is the best Mexican restaurant around. I love their tacos al pastor, and both the verde and rojo salsas.

Lou / February 14, 2007 10:44 AM

I would swim in their guacamole. Seriously. Fill a pool with their guacamole and I will swim in it.

Christine / February 14, 2007 2:44 PM

Serious Woot Woot for this place. Their Chicken Soup is INCREDIBLE. Do not be fooled by the price or simple description. Is awesome and big enough for an entree. YUUUUMMMM.
ps. Hi neighbor Pete!

Flobear / February 16, 2007 2:33 PM

Mmmm, the chicken tortilla soup is amazing, and I usually have a tilapia taco with the soup...and of course their flan for dessert.

I think I'm stopping there tonight now!

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I was using Rick Bayless' restroom, I mused, staring up at the ceiling window that was projecting a heavenly beacon of light upon my less-than-angelic duties. I could barely distinguish Rick's faint murmurs through the orange walls, something about how...
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