Huevos Rancheros: El Corita aka Belia’s

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LH locals might have noticed that one of my old favorites, El Corita, has been undergoing lots of changes lately. Consuelo stopped working there, they added a bar, a pool table, cemented up one door and opened a new one, got rid of the pool table, have random hours of operation, destroyed the great paintings, and most notably, they’ve “changed owners” and are now called Belia’s Restaurant. But that’s still a bit confusing…

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…since the new menu names the place as El Corita Belias Restaurant. Whatever, but how’s the food? That’s what I’m here to find out! Una orden de Huevos Rancheros, porfas.

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The first thing you notice now when you walk into this place are the settings on all the tables, including some fancy ass wine glasses for your water. They really are trying to class it up, the server was even wearing a tie (and a 49ers jacket) which might explain this…

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…small salad before my plate of Huevos Rancheros! That is some crazy shit! Maybe it’s forward thinking, maybe it’s innovative, and maybe I am just too narrow minded, but that lil’ lettuce plate was disturbing.

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Even the bottles of salad dressing were creeping me out. No matter, soon enough my plate of HR’s showed up.

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I’ve picked up the habit of tasting the beans first whenever they’re on my plate, probably because it’s an element of Mexican food most places overlook in their quest to satisfy the carnivore. Yet, that simple side of beans can often foretell what to expect from the rest of the dish, it’s an overlooked element that can range from great to fucking sickening. See how the beans look kinda dry but still kinda normal? Well just one little taste and you know they belong to the fucking sickening category: they tasted like some sort of putrid cough medicine. Not like stale beans, not like rotten beans, but like how you would imagine the taste of rancid medicine. I decided the beans were dangerous so I gave them up for good. The rice was kinda odd but palatable, but since LA is not in starvation times just yet, I gave that a pass as well.

Which brings me finally to the HR’s. Not only did they have a perfectly fried tortilla underneath, for good measure Belia’s threw in another perfectly fried tortilla underneath that one. What are the odds of that? When you finally encounter a proper fried tortilla they have to go and kill it by over doing it. My fortune was truly foretold in the beans. Of course the eggs were overcooked, and the sauce was a chunky mix of vegetables with a liquid tomato binding. It may have tasted okay but all I could think of was the damn medicine beans, and I kept wondering about such silly things like food poisoning. It turns out that thinking about getting sick from food isn’t really a sign of a decent dining experience, as I have now learned.

The saddest part to this is that I really, really wanted to like the food. I’ve been there twice since the change over and both times the servers have been really interesting, sharing stories about the “previous” owner and her practices, ideas of where they want to go next with the place, and even tales about growing up in LA. Even the cook came out to nicely ask for opinions on the food, and I had to nicely say it was okay. I lied. Surely they’re just working out some kinks and I’ll eventually be back, but there might be a stretch of time before that happens.

El Corita / Belia’s Restaurant 2576 Pasadena Ave. 323.225.7151

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7 Responses to Huevos Rancheros: El Corita aka Belia’s

  1. Nate says:

    i liked the huevos rancheros i got in pasadena a couple weekends ago. the place was on fair oaks, i think, north of colorado. my palate’s usually not very discriminating, though. . .

  2. Gracie says:

    I too, have eaten there beofre. At one point the food was actually pretty good. I tried the camarones and I loved them. But things don’t seem too normal there. Living just up the street, I pass by there every day. Trying to be the supportive type to new businesses, I would go in and order different food, so I could get a taste for what dish would be my favorite. Most of the time they didn’t have what I wanted. And the other time they were just closed!!! How can someone expect to have a good business when they’re never open?? I’ve also gone in there at night when they have music and drinks going on. After talking to a few people in there I got to know a little more about what’s happening behind closed doors. Seems their cooks get replaced so much that they can’t find one that’ll stay long enough to keep the food tasting the same every time I visit. And lately I’ve noticed that they don’t even open up at all. Well, they do open up on weekend nights for music and drinks. looks like this retaurant is turning out to be a night club or bar now. I guess it’s not any better than what that place was before the “new owners” took over. I still don’t see the logic in opening up a restaurant and never opening up your doors. Can there be more to this place than what you and I see????

  3. EL CHAVO! says:

    Hi Gracie,
    Yeah, it used to be an okay place, but now it seems the food is an afterthought. They’ve been mostly closed now since I wrote this, except some times late at night they open up. They didn’t even open up for the big Valentines day special event they were promoting, 20 bucks for a dinner buffet and music! The previous owner was the one that added the big bar and was trying to make it a drinking place, but since I think her alcohol license requires the food, she had to keep that going. Whatever is going on at that place, they’re definitely not concerned about making it a proper eating establishment.

  4. Aleks says:

    It’s official!!! El Corita is now under new ‘owners’. It was aquired by another guy who already has a restaurant in Pasadena. It’s a Marisco place so most likely this will be a Marisco place as well. I’m curious to see how the new people do there. Hopefully better than the ones prior. We’ll wait and see. Let’s give them a warm Lincoln Heights welcome!

  5. EL CHAVO! says:

    So I guess that makes it a new-new-owner! They’re straight out closed now as it’s never open anymore, not even in the evenings. Hope the new place gets better. By the way, the hut across the street (Gloria’s) is under new management as well, I’ve got a review of their HR’s coming soon!

  6. Aleks says:

    I went to Gloria’s when they first opened. I had their chile rellenos. They were pretty good. Not the best, but good. I like their hand made tortillas. I need to go back and try their menudo or cocido. The family seems super nice too. I’m all for supporting those who are trying to make something positive. I think El Corita will be re-opening this weekend. I’m not sure if the new owner will change the name to the name of his other restaurant, or keep the Corita name. We’ll see.

  7. Henry says:

    El Corita has been strange lately.
    However, now it has been closed for remodeling.
    Owners have changed again,
    and so far it is said it will be better this time around.
    I’m excited.
    Grand opening will be some time on the First week of November.
    I still don’t know the exact date.

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