It really confounds me that there are so many bad Mexican restaurants in Southern California. It convinces me that the Hispanic community here is most likely cooking at home instead of going out as I think they’d find most of these places unacceptable. Come to think of it, it seems that a lot of restaurants (Chinese, Italian, Japanese, etc.) just seem to phone it in, figuring mediocre is good enough for the masses. It’s sad actually, but I guess that’s what makes a gem of a place even more special. I digress though.
I wanted to do a little piece on a Mexican joint near me that takes great pride in putting out quality food that is far superior to almost anywhere I’ve been. Taqueria Cuernavaca in Ventura, California (on Ventura Avenue) is one of those places that you don’t want others to know about because it’ll get too crowded, but since they’ve made me happy with meal after meal I figured I’d return the favor. One thing that I love about this place (other than the food, the sauces, and the scratch made chips) is that they have a sign that says ‘this is not fast food’, which pretty much lets you know it’ll take some time, but it’ll be worth it.
Michelle and I get tacos every time we go (although I’ve never seen a dish come out of their kitchen that doesn’t look amazing), so just I’ll let the pictures of these tacos speak for themselves.
For those interested the name “Cuernavaca” is derived from the Nahuatl phrase Cuauhnahuac, and means “surrounded by or close to trees.” Who knew?
If you’re traveling north of Los Angeles and head through Ventura, you really should stop here as you won’t regret it (actually you’ll be sure to stop again and again).
You can find it here: