Mexican Food with a Surprise Twist

13365 Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

When a friend told me about Mrs. Garcia’s Mexican restaurant near The Marina in Los Angeles, at first I thought it was just a fast food place cashing in on current craze in town for fish tacos. I was wrong. It is a neat little place that serves some interesting things in a relaxed atmosphere with live entertainment most nights. On Tuesdays, the Magic of Bob Weiss
Every Tuesday, Bob Weiss, a magician entertains with his magic tricks, and from Wednesday through Saturday a classical/flamenco guitarist keeps the atmosphere buzzing, especially in the heated outdoor patio. Yes it does get quite chilly in the winter here, but no problems about that at Mrs.Garcia’s. The area itself is noisy and busy with the sound of sirens seemingly constantly going on, but the food is what matters here. Prices are great as well, with one prominent food writer stating “ Mrs. Garcia’s is one of the last places left on the Westside where you can get change from a $20 bill after a nice dinner for two.”

I particularly liked the Tortilla Soup-nice and thick and creamy, and followed up with the Mayan Chicken, a charbroiled chicken breast seasoned with a mild Achiote pepper marinade, an absolute steal at $7.25. What was really interesting about this dish were the sweet potato fries, grilled vegetables and the generosity of the portions. These prices are just unbeatable, and host John Lee has every right to brag about this deal and the many other culinary goodies on hand at the neighborhood restaurant.

His father had owned The Chung King Inn, the second Chinese restaurant in the San Fernando Valley, and a favorite hangout for the stars of the era. Legend has it that Tex Ritter rode his horse from the studio to the restaurant on a few occasions to chow down on the food, but others such as Bob Hope, Mickey Rooney and Virginia Mayo were also regulars. John gave up a career as an aerospace engineer to work hard on a format for Mrs. Garcia’s. The restaurant had been much smaller in a nearby location, but a complete remodeling job has resulted in the current version.

Mrs Garcia's Bill Board There are five different Quesadillas including a grilled vegetable version, or a mini-quesadilla version for a starter, as well as an extensive burrito menu that features the wet version for just $1 extra. Baby Back Ribs, Ceviche of Scallops, Lamb and Eggplant Kabob and a Salmon poached in champagne with fresh tarragon are just a few more examples of the excellent food here. Steak lovers should go for the tender charbroiled sirloin steak marinated in a superb Chipotie Pepper barbecue sauce, with fish lovers trying the Ahi Tuna with Mango Salsa. Combination plates that include rice, pinto or black beans and a salad can feature up to three entrees from a choice of six, and the Baja Burger is stuffed with Jack cheese and mild green chili peppers, topped with lettuce, sliced tomato and red onions, and of course served with the house sweet potato fries. Even the desserts were pretty good, including a real tasty flan in syrup, and the bread pudding-three large pieces topped with whipped cream. The Chardonnay wine I tried however was quite forgettable however, so best stick to the food.

If you are unable to visit the restaurant then order from the huge take out menu that can be found on the web site at

Tel: 310-827-8993
Fax: 310-827-8550

Free delivery
Dinner for two with wine: $25

Mike Hepworth, February 2001

Mrs Garcia's home page.

Bob Weiss's magic home page.

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