I grew up in LA (I’m a val), have lived in both Phoenix and Houston and to add too this, my wife is Mexican, so I know Mexican food, no tourist food here!
I asked for a real Mexican place whist staying at the Holiday Inn Express down the street, specifically mentioned I was looking for authentic, lengua, chicharon, barbacoa…and was directed to Rosas (322 Pacific Coast Hwy, Hermosa Beach). I was very optimistic when I walked in, they actually had horchata and other real Mexican drinks. I ordered a plate that had a chili rellano and taco, and ordered an extra taco with carnitas.
Salsa was good, needed a touch of salt but reasonable heat and pleasant flavor. They do not actually give you chips per se, it’s three fried corn tortillas you break apart yourself.
I’m enjoying my horchata when dinner arrives. I missed lunch so the first thing I attacked were the beans which were neither bad nor exceptional. Next I started on the chili rellano, hmm, whats this? I almost seemed like there was a tortilla over it, and they seemed to cook the chili less than I’m used to, maybe they like a little firmer texture. After a few more bites I can see that the shredded cheese inside is well…still shredded cheese, the things, way undercooked!
Next the taco that came with the meal. Anyone remember that strange meat that used to be in Jack in the Box tacos? Someone said it was kangaroo, but the meat in this taco was exactly the same consistency, finer than even ground beef, weird.
The carnitas taco looked great and the first bite was fine because it was mostly the lettuce and tomato. As I got into the meat more, it too was disappointing, none of the flavor you expect with carnitas, more like chunks of pork off some unseasoned roast.
Wow, what a letdown. I believe everything must come precooked in boxes or bags, simply reheated, or partially reheated in the case of chili rellano.
I will not return. By the way, no lengua, no chicharon, no barbecoa… it was a sign!