We have been on a tamale drought for the last month or so but the moment I spotted Tamales Alberto, I knew the drought was over.
Rants, Raves and Reviews…
Upon arrival to Tamales Alberto, we immediately tried to pin down our location. Were we in Echo Park? Silverlake? Downtown? A couple dining inside gave away the answer. Decked out in Dodger shirts and accessories, these folks from Fresno were on their weekly pilgrimage to find the best Mexican food before heading over to Chavez Ravine to check in on the ball game. And in the shadow of the stadium, this place was a true home run.
On a quiet Sunday morning, parking was plentiful and free. Tamales Alberto has a colorful storefront on a dull section of Temple. The small restaurant serves 4 types of Tamales: Cheese and jalapeño, chicken & green sauce, pork in red sauce & chicken mole. We ordered one of each and I tried to get a little insurance by asking for some hot sauce.
Our Dodger friends assured us that the hot sauce was not necessary. And they were right! Spicy, rich flavorful and delicious tamales. Served warm & freshly steamed. And did I say cheap? So far, I would have to rate Alberto at the top of the tamale list!
Masa: rich, flavorful and delicious. They got it right.
Filling: spicy chunks of chicken & pork. Copious amounts of cheese. Hmmm.
Presentation: ok, not fancy but functional, plastic plates & utensils. A rickety screen door.
Location: stars – great pit stop on the way to a ball game, otherwise a little off the beaten track. But well worth it!
There is something about a tiny dive on a stretch of Temple in East Hollywood adjacent that reeks of tamale goodness. You would never think about stopping around here. (Unless you are a hipster Vegan and know of the place across the street which really seems out of place. I digress)
The first thing to know is that this place seems to be more of a takeout joint but there are 3 or 4 tables available in this completely unadorned space. But don’t let this prevent you from making the trip because These tamales are some of the best I’ve tasted. First of all these beauties are not the usual made-the-day-before-and-warmed-in-a-microwave variety. The make them fresh daily (or is it hourly) and you get yours straight out of the steamer.
The service is Spanish only so our Spanglish resulted in each of us getting 4 different tamales rather than our usual 4 to share. No worries. Each tamale was $1.30. Yeah, we were living large.
The Green Chile Chicken are the spiciest green chile tamales that I have ever eaten. So good and moist. The same can be said for the Chile Cheese which have large slices of poblano, tomato and mexican cheese. I also sampled the Red Chicken Mole which were good but not remarkable.
If I had to pick my top 3 tamale joints in LA, Tamales ALberto would be one of them. They close early so plan accordingly.
Masa: Corny, in a good way not greasy. Perfect.
Filling: The best Green Chile Cheese sauce filling ever.
Presentation: Plastic forks and styrofoam plates, meh.
Location: You would never think to stop there. Street and alley parking is OK though, for a quick bag of takeout tamales.
1644 W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90026