13352 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA | Directions 9006633.992394 -118.443921
Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm, Sunday 1pm-5pm
Neighborhoods: Culver - West, West LA
Where is the flavor in the tamales? Disappointed! – I had been quite looking forward to enjoying the variety of tamales, considering the accolades of articles previously written as well as the high rating of 8.7, and the overall cuteness of the decor, but slightly thrown off by the very empty tables. Having selected a combination of 7 tamales both savory and sweet to sample the creative nature of ingredients, and considering they each cost average $4-$7/each, I was expecting a feast of multi flavor explosion, I was sadly disappointed. And I know tamales, I have been helping my family make tamales in that glorious assembly line for all family dinner holiday gatherings, as long as I can remember, as well as create my own modern takes on the mexican treat, so I know about the right texture of the masa, and the flavors, and etc. Unfornately, at Tamara's Tamales--apart from having the texture of the masa dough spot on and the generous size of the tamales, that simply CANNOT make up for the VERY BLAND, and I mean bland flavorless mush that was presented. I had to resort to plenty of salt(and I am not usually a salt-sprinkler on food) and other accompaniments available to try and fix it, I ended up throwing most of them away, after a few bites. The only positive note here is that I give kudos for a tasty well spiced sweet pumpkin tamal--the only good one in the bunch. While I appreciate this concept very much, the folks behind Tamara's Tamales need to taste each of their hopeful tamal delicacies prior to cranking out those batches. Additionally charging $4 for horchata which is just sweet rice water is a bit much.
Mexican staple gets gourmet treatment, with more than two dozen varieties, ranging from traditional to eclectic. – In Short
Tamara's is tucked into a strip mall across the street from a gargantuan Costco compound. The bright space--a few tables, a salsa bar and the take-away counter--generates a warm, personable ambience. The numerous varieties of tamales include traditional (green corn, chili and cheese, plus a lush pineapple-raisin-anise sweet combo), gourmet (Greek, wild mushroom, cilantro-pesto chicken), vegan, vegetarian and fat-free. There's also a complement of sauces available--mole, salsa and chili.
Great Takeout for Tamales – Tamara's is THE place in the MDR / Culver zone for takeout tamales. The price is right and they always have two dozen or so different types of tamales available. I especially like the Sweet Corn, Chicken with Green Sauce and the Chocolate. Yeah, chocolate tamales! When you go, be adventurous and try out a few new flavors.
Yummy! – I haven't seen such a variety of tamales anywhere! Besides the several meat, seafood, and chicken tamales there are also 5 vegetarian *and* 5 vegan tamales. All are priced, atmost, $3-$4 each. One adult would eat between 2 and 3 tamales for a meal. While it is not expensive, I think it could be a little bit cheaper. For the quality and variety of food and the cleanliness of the place it may be worth the price. It does cost money to run a place that has a health department grade of "A".
Did I say the tamales are very tasty? I highly recommended this place.
If the tamales were a buck cheaper I would go more often, considering that they serve on paper plates and plasticware.
Holy Tamale! – They serve one thing and one thing only, so if you don't like tamales you really should avoid this restaurant. Then again, it could change your mind. There are numerous flavors to choose from, including traditional flavors (which are always a safe bet), more frou-frou options like pesto choices, and the Gautemalen favorite the Nacatamal (full of all sorts of vegetables).
Unless you're very hungry or you naturally have a big appetite, I would suggest ordering two different tamales and then snacking on chips. Or, if you don't like chips, then order three tamales (though you still might have some left over -- tamales are very, very filling).
Although the tamales are good, I do think they are a little overpriced.
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