Hola amiguitos! Aqui les traigo otra instalacion de mis babosadas en forma de un HR review!
As you all may have noticed, HR reviews have been few and far between. One obvious reason is that blogs are dead. Every time I start working on a post it feels as if I’ve pulled out the ol’ Selectric to write a letter of complaint to some outfit or other. I used to really enjoy the blogging days before social media. For a brief moment it really felt like people were open to online discussions. I made a few friends and so many enemies, it was great! Nowadays I can’t be bothered to engage. Basically, Me Vale! The other reason for the dearth of HR reviews was my avoidance of eating out since the pandemic hit, which I am still doing. Why hang out amongst potential sick people when you can probably cook something tastier at home? Nowadays I mostly order out when its just easier to pick something up rather than think ahead and do all the prep work to make a meal. But maybe Recreational Eating is about to make a big comeback in my life, quien sabe?
Wait, none of that has anything to do with HR’s, sorry about that! On to the show!
I happened to be in Azusa since I wanted to see the water flowing through that mountain area. I have childhood memories of dangerous rides on inner tubes on some rapidly flowing temporary waterways. It’s pretty neat to see all the streams return in places that were until recently bone dry. My partner suggested La Tolteca for lunch and wouldn’t you know it, I had about 10 minutes left to get their breakfast menu. Make mine a plate of Huevos Rancheros!
This place is an old school Mexican-American restaurant but with that fast casual aspect where you order at the counter and they bring the food to your table. It’s probably a better way to run a restaurant instead of the usual method of relying on that one harried waiter to do everything. Plus its better when you dine with cheapos that either want a separate check or will not put in enough to cover their meals and the appropriate tip. I’ve been in too many situations where everyone has “paid up” only to find the actual money is about $50 short of the check. Uff, cheap people are the worst!
They give you some chips and salsa with your meal. We ordered some guacamole to go with it, a bargain at 3 bucks! The chips are good although I got that weird mouth coating feeling that suggests lard, but I don’t know for sure. The salsa is a bright and zingy tomato based concoction. Very nice.
The HRs! Hmm, what kind of ranchero sauce is this? I can see a line of separation but why would…OMG is that a layer of oil? No mames! Is this real life? Oh shit, this is real life! And that is a deep ass layer of oil resting on top and on the side of my HRs. I was not expecting this puddle of oil for lunch. My doctor would not approve. But since I did not know this would be the case, I valiantly and heroically ate my meal, carefully trying to avoid the wall of oil. Underneath all of this was a tortilla, but you will be surprised to know that it was NOT a crispy tortilla despite all the resources to make it so. Wow! So much oil and you do not fry the tortilla? Crazy. They ask how you want the eggs. I said “over easy”, usually the closest to “estrellados” in Spanish, but they arrived quite hard, with most of the yolk solidified into a yellow orb. Oh well. The sauce was interesting, it was like a New Mexico style red sauce which can be quite tasty. You can see the dark bits, it’s a chile base that tasted good, only they seem to have dipped it into the fryer at the last minute, for some odd reason. Then they added some of that fresh red salsa on top of the huevos, which is confusing.
I enjoyed the meal, despite my unnecessary attempts to keep the oil at bay. I would rename this as Huevos en Aceite de Chile and make it an item to highlight as a culinary destination.
They do give you beans and rice with the meal, but they come on their own plate. They were good enough. Was there lard in them beans? I didn’t ask and they didn’t tell.
I would definitely come back to this restaurant to try their other fare. They have that Chicano comfort food, a bar with a bunch of beer taps, and an inviting setting in which to hang out with some friends.
But an oil salsa HR dish is not something I would request again.
429 N. Azusa Ave
Azusa, CA 91705