Huevos Rancheros: Tio Pepe


I admit it. It’s true: as was correctly noted on some thread, I am not very objective. Take for example this next post, it’s totally biased, subjective, and uncritical. Why? Because even though I haven’t been back to Tio Pepe since I was a young mocoso, I went there today with the express purpose of liking my HR dish, no matter what. And as my life coach always tells me “take the time to develop and envision your dreams, then all your pendejo ideas will come true.” I took a deep breath, got in the HR zone, and made the magic happen.


Chips and two salsas to chose from, am I on the right track or what? Though the green one was interesting and super tart, I preferred the red salsa. I used to come here quite regularly with my ‘apa to eat burritos de chile colorado, but it’s been a really long time since I’ve been back, luckily the layout is still the same. And the service is just as friendly and chatty as I remember it; the server was telling me that he thinks this hot weather is peculiar and how it might be the reason for his sore throat. I appreciated the attempt at conversation; after so many tables served you’d think he would be utterly jaded.


They did add some festive plastico picado to the place. It was lonely this Saturday afternoon, just a few regulars sitting at the counter. That’s where we used to sit.


Y los huevos? Hardly any sauce on the eggs, unusually thick cuts of bell pepper, lardy beans, one egg was perfect while the other was over cooked, no crisp tortilla-just oil dipped. But like I told you, my mind was set and I loved it. If you happen to have fond childhood memories of this place, of the good people you used to share a meal with but have now moved on to other lives, than you might like it just as much as I did. An objective person will likely enjoy the meal as well, but a bit of subjectivity might enhance the experience. That’s just what I think.

Tio Pepe 323.264.6453
3578 E. 8th St.
LA, CA 90023

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7 Responses to Huevos Rancheros: Tio Pepe

  1. Teck says:

    Dude, I cannot believe you are posting about El TIO PEPE! I used to live in the apartments on top when I was just a kid… The food was never really that good, from what I remember. There used to be a place just up the block called “El Huarache” (next to the post office) which was really good, but its not there anymore.

    This post literally hit home for me…


  2. Jesus Quiroz says:

    The place gets points for cleanliness, but loses some for the oscillating fan. Doh!

  3. Janet Berumen Ortiz says:

    Wow, Tio Pepe’s took me way back to 1970 when I used to go there with my ex-husband and 3-yrs old son. Tio Pepe’s was the only place to have HR in the 70’s and every Saturday morning we’d go and enjoy with a Nesbitt’s Strawberry soda… man, that was liv’in!

    I have to admit, the HR don’t look quite as good as they did back then because they had a little more caldo over the eggs which made them perfectos! Thanks for the stroll down memory lane!

    Provecho HR King!

  4. EL CHAVO! says:

    There were two restaurants by the Lugo post office no? I remember them both, though I never actually ate at any of them.

    In a part of town mostly without AC, that cheap fan actually gives the place a few extra points!

    Yeah, these HR’s could definitely be improved, I bet they used to be better. HR King? I’ll take your royal assignment! 😉

  5. chuy90023 says:

    I’m with Teck and Janet–can’t believe you’re writing about el Tio Pepe!

    My mom was a waitress there back in the late 70s. I remember passing it by on the bus as she took me to la guarderia at Dacotah Elementary and knowing that she had to then rush back to punch in. I think I’m fond of it solely for that reason, though I never really liked the food there much. But you’re right, the look and layout don’t change.

  6. Oye great story and pics. I go by that place on my way to work into downtown 5x a week. Though ive never been inside, it sure looks like i imagined it would. Though i have been to the post office and food 4 less near by.
    I come from montebello. But since last year I started taking the metro 66 down olympic blvd cause its faster than the metro 18 down whittier blvd.

    I just discovered your blog, thanks to a link on viewfromaloft.

    Aside from the occasional tacos, i rarely ate mexican food outside( like at restaurants) of family gatherings or my mom’s cooking. And that applies to today as well.

    But i still remember going shopping as a kid to soto st and brooklyn ave (cesar chavez now). The big buy, bank of america and the “gringo” mens clothing store.

  7. Antonio says:

    I know I am probably out of place in saying this here … and about a year too late after this review but I really don’t care what the food tastes like I just want to visit your restaurant. Friends and I just finished viewing a great “gay love story” film for Cinco de Mayo. Today, I live in Europe but grew up in East LA and actually I don’t remember the Tio Pepe restaurant.

    The film is almost entirely filmed outside and inside the restaurant. The film quality could have been better but the subject and story matter was perfect. It doesn’t matter who is allowed to fall in love as long as we allow our brothers and sisters the right to experience the “magic” of being in love.

    The film made me very homesick and the next time I am in LA … I promise to bring at least 15 friends and family to celebrate LOVE and we will eat there for allowing such a great film to be filmed there. Thank you Tio Pepe.

    The film’s name was: East Side Story.

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