This weekend, on a somewhat lazy Saturday morning, the Duchess enjoyed one of the best meals she's had all year, and the best Mexican food by a long shot (perhaps ever). Duchess and fam, in the general vicinity of the Van Nuys airport (sadly not to fly private, nor to explore the previews for the most recent Los Angeles Modern Auctions event (results here)), finally made their descent on Salsa and Beer, a festive little dive on the corner of Vanowen and White Oak Boulevards in Lake Balboa (Van Nuys adj.*).
What took the Duchess so long? Her trusted sage a/k/a hair stylist (ask for Sheyanne) had informed the Duchess of Salsa y Beer's glory months ago; the Duchess's weekends, however, have been more than overwhelmed with activities social, work-related and otherwise, and she has never made the grand quest. Readers, don't wait. Salsa and Beer is worth it.
It's a brightly painted joint with D.I.Y. seating, a warm atmo, and a salsa bar. The service is mucho slow, but is more than overcompensated for by the deliciousness of the meals. El Senator had the shredded beef and potato burrito, natch, which was sublimely unbelievable. Duchess enjoyed a plate of tender beer-marinated fish tacos, with corn tortillas made approximately three minutes before she walked in the door. The kids' meals come with either rice and beans (unreal) or fries (equally good), and with drink max out at $2.99. That's practically free for those of you who have the misfortune of not living in Los Angeles. (If only we'd known that full service catering is available before booking the nuptial venue.)
For discerning foodies or snobs in general, here is the real proof of the genius of Salsa and Beer. We arrived at approximately 11:10 a.m. The resto was bustling, but not totally full. By the time we were rolled out on gurneys to our car at 11:50 a.m., people were waiting for tables. Some people with larger parties (6 or more) came a half hour ahead of the rest of their compadres solely to reserve a table--remember, no reservations. Oh, and our grand total? $24.00 for a family of four. This is factually cheaper than McDonald's (the Duchess's other favorite restaurant).
Viva Salsa y Beer!
*Vanowen and White Oak intersection is no longer Van Nuys. In 2008, Los Angeles County approved a motion renaming a larger portion of Van Nuys to Lake Balboa--this includes all of White Oak Avenue south to Victory Boulevard. Vanowen is the next major intersection with White Oak north of Victory, and thus is squarely within the Lake Balboa boundaries.
Picturesque Lake Balboa