CC Foodie – Cerveteca

There is a taco joint that is so associated with Culver City, it’s often cited as a landmark. The issue for me is that it’s just not that good. If you want some spectacular tacos, turn the corner to that small slice of Venice Boulevard that belongs to CC, and pull up a chair at Cerveteca. You’ll never look back.

They are open from 8 am to 10 pm most days, stretching to a 2 am close on Friday and Saturday night – or Saturday and Sunday morning, depending on which direction you are coming from. The tacos are fresh corn tortillas folded around things you’d expect from a taco stand – chopped cabbage, carnitas, grilled chicken- and things you might not expect – grilled salmon, battered cod, sauteed shrimp. The ingredients are top quality and cooked with a minimum of fuss. Depending on the crowd, you might have your order in front of you in three minutes.

Winning the day early, Cerveteca has a breakfast burrito that draws fans from all over. Choose your protein from chorizo, chicken or bacon ( or just veggies if protein isn’t your thing) rolled up with scrambled eggs, potatoes and cheese. And breakfast is whenever you wake up; they serve these fine, filling burritos all day long.

Maybe you are all taco’d out? Try a torta; you can get carne asada, barbacoa, or the ‘almost -famous cerveteca,’ a stack of chorizo, hamburger patty, black bean spread, fried egg and chipotle aoili that they warn you will take 15 minutes. So worth it, and so substantial, you might want to split one with a partner.

It’s really late, dinner was a long time ago – or was that lunch ? You must order the ‘drunk fries,’ a California riff on nachos that includes protein (steak? shrimp? you decide) cheese, pico de gallo and lots of guacamole. And fries. Really excellent fries. You might want to share it with your whole crowd; this a more than a major meal on one plate.

The quality of the ingredients is essential to how delicious all this is, but the art of the cooking is equally impressive. The time that is invested in carnitas and chicken tinga pays off once it’s on the plate – or, the tortilla, as the case may be.

If you are thinking of tacos in Culver City, don’t waste your appetite and bore your taste buds with some gringo-fied postcard landmark. Get some real tacos at Cerveteca, and enjoy the flavors of now.

Cervaeteca 

9418 Venice Blvd. 

Culver City 90232

Judith Martin-Straw

www.culvercitysymphony.org

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