Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Burritos in the House!

In the classic J. Lo song, If You Had My Love, she calls out "Boricua's in the House!" I always thought she was singing "Burritos in the House!", and I would sing that part enthusiastically thinking, yeah! Jenny from the Block brings burritos home.

I made the fatal mistake one day of singing out my favorite line from that song while my Spanish speaking friend was covertly listening and waiting to mock on me. As it turns out, J. Lo was just referring to herself because boriqua or boricua is slang for a Puerto Rican. Embarassing? Si.

I love Mexican food, or so I claim, but weeks and sometimes months will go by without a scrap of tortilla coming anywhere near my person. Then I'll have it twice in one day. That's what happened this Saturday. It was my Cinco de September.

I woke up early to go for a run with my friends. I thought maybe finally the Mexican breakfast would be mine. However, my friends were planning on running 20 miles. I was totally not down with that. After a mile and a half, we went our separate ways. They went north on the Santa Monica boardwalk and I headed to Brentwood via San Vicente for an 8 to 10 mile run. I ran around the dirt path surrounding the golf course. It was nice and cool, perfect running weather.

Then I passed Susie Cakes which was closed. Unfortunately. Because I had money for snacks. Be Prepared is not just the Boy Scouts' motto, it's mine too.


So, I was thrilled that Tavern was open so early in the morning.

tavern ext

I interrupted my run to get a $1.50 cup of coffee. I loved the fact that the milk was on ice in a bucket. I worry when milk is just sitting out in a plastic thermos. Besides which glass milk bottles are so beautiful.


I also seriously considered getting a piece of the sticky bun. Doesn't it look divine? I settled for photographing it with my phone. I could at least look at it later so I wouldn't forget to eat it. As if!

Stickey bun

I asked to have the coffee "for here" and the cashier's eyes bugged out in horror. I meant "here" as in outside as I was sweating rather profusely but I think she thought I was planning on sweating on their butternut squash colored banquette booth that lines the deli counter. But no, I went outside and sat with my new furry friends. They were really cute and they didn't mind my disheveled state.


As much as I liked sitting outside, at some point, I had to go back to Santa Monica so I could eat something and then go to work. I thus kicked it up a notch and put a little speed work into my weekend run. Gazelle like, I know.


I waited for my friends but they were seriously running 20 miles, so I had no choice but to buy a breakfast burrito, eat it sitting down on one of those strange brick islands on 3rd Street. No choice I tell you. It was like a jail sentence. Actually, it was pretty good.

breakfast burrito

I like running alone the best. There's a silence and a peacefulness you get when you just are mindful of your own breathing and your slow forward movement into a different space. There's no tranquility running with friends. But it's much nicer eating with friends so I guess that's the rub.

Later that evening, I had Mexican food again. This time at Loteria Grill at the Farmer's Market. We ordered a horchata and a limeade. The horchata was wonderful in its milky, creamy, cinnamonny way.

loteria gril drinks

I got the chilequiles rojas. This gets strangely spicier the longer it sits out. It's still not really spicy but it has a noticeable kick about the time you're 1/3 finished with it. A really deliciously hearty and comforting dish. Soggy nachos with like half the fat.


The tortilla soup is also down home comfort in a bowl. This is the small, believe it or not. The large is a bucket pretty much. With two slices of avocado and a light film of cheesy oil coating each spoon, you probably want to share - or maybe not. The chicken tinga burrito is always a good choice too.


Loteria Grill has great mole as well and a terrific breakfast menu that's served all day. I love their plantains and their spicy pork tacos. I should eat Mexican more often. It's so delicious. I need to make Burritos in the House! a line I can shoutout with veracity.
Loteria Grill on Urbanspoon
Loteria Grill in Los Angeles


  1. I eat Mexican, like, twice a week, every week.

    It's probably why I'm such a gordita.

  2. I'm prefer solo running too... on top of peace and tranquility, I like being able to set my own pace (which varies throughout the run) and not worry about leaving others behind or cough a lung out trying to catch up (usually the latter!)

    But hey, to eat out with other pals (who are just as sweaty, huffy, and B.O.'d) is worth the running companionship -- so, you in for the madness in OMG 10 days?! ;)

  3. weezy: an apple a day keeps the doctor away. so maybe mexican food is like the better cooler apple? and you're not a gordita. those are taco bell concoctions and you're not really a fast food type item. hehe.

    H.C. dude where's my car seriously! i need to rsvp already. the problem is I'm dying. I'm not kidding. I'm like a walking corpse right now with exhaustion. I want to go and the resto lineup you have is radical and bitchen and all kinds of 80s slang words that I actually used the 1st time around. I revisit the issue my lovely HC friend and I get back to you soon. merci mon amie.

  4. I'm also a solo runner. I always get a little flinchy when someone suggests running together. Not only because I don't want them to slow me down (I pound that pavement like a champ), but also because this neurotic head of mine can't get untangled when someoneis around chittidity chatting about the guy who didn't call them back.

    But anyway, Loteria is gooood stuff. I need to try their horchata.

  5. run sooky run....! no wonder you can hammer down so much grub.

    love me some loteria. it's been a while.

  6. Di: you've got a classic runner's build. no one will ever say to you "you're not fast enough pre... you're too short pre" etc. hehe. yes, chitchat can really get in the way of that deep meditation/ out of body euphoria. and yes, you need to try the horchata.

    baggs: have you seen run lola run? i loved that movie. i know you love the chilequilas at loteria. for good reason!

  7. I find it endlessly awesome that you carry money with you while running and stop for snacks along the way. I've never met anyone else who does that! You're OG, Sookie.

    And since I'm a purist when it comes to running, doesn't the iPod kill the tranquil state?

  8. Gassy: I am OG. Snoop Dog told me that himself (in my dreams). In real life he'd just say "we don't love them hos" but you know that already gas cuz you're a rap music prodigy.

    Yeah, ipod is evil. down with the ipod! i ran with my iphone last week and it was awesome like a mini boom box. the brentwood moms w/ dogs/strollers gave me the stink eye. i need to stick to venice boardwalk where i belong.