>> Tortas Ahogadas El Rey | Eat the World Los Angeles

Friday 26 April 2019

Tortas Ahogadas El Rey

๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ Mร‰XICO (Jalisco)

EDITOR'S NOTE: An updated version of this article (13 December 2023) is available as part of the Historical section of our Substack page. Check that out here:
In a fun building that has seen two burger joints close in the past ten years, Tortas Ahogadas El Rey has decided to expand to their third location. After two locations in Southeast Los Angeles, Lynwood and Huntington Park, this El Monte branch will seek a different customer base in the San Gabriel Valley.

Inside, the furniture immediately transports you back to Guadalajara. The dining room may still have the bones of a burger joint, but within that it feels 100% Tapatรญo. The tables and chairs are exactly like those in the good tortas ahogadas restaurants we dined at, comfortable and high-backed, ready for a long stint eating and drinking into the night like at personal favorite Ahogadalajara.

As the name might tip you off to, most folks come here for the tortas ahogadas, "drowned" sandwiches that are dunked or covered in a luscious sauce made with chiles de รกrbol. The versions at other locations consistently show up on city-wide lists of favorites like a recent compilation put together by LA Taco, where it won first place.

Not one for lists or rankings, we are just happy to have so many folks from Jalisco in and around Los Angeles, making the foods from one of the most delicious of Mexican states to be readily available.

On this night, we came for the carne en su jugo ($9.99, above and below), another Tapatรญo specialty very specific to Guadalajara. I had first tried "meat in its juice," a soupy dish always served in a fairly shallow plate, at Karne Garibaldi. One of Guadalajara's originals, eating here was a slap in the face when I realized so many years of life were wasted not eating it.

The dish served here at El Rey looks very similar to that first plate. The main ingredients are thin slices of flank steak, red beans, potatoes, bits of bacon, and a heartwarming broth. Squeeze in some lime for a sour kick and life is very good. Tomatillos, serrano peppers, onions, garlic, and black pepper all make their voices heard.


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