When it first opened in 1979, La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill was a simple taqueria in Los Angeles. Its open kitchen gave patrons a front-row seat to watch chefs transform fresh ingredients into bold, memorable Mexican dishes. Today, the original concept has evolved into a booming franchise, but each location works on the same principle: add a modern twist to classic Mexican food. Chefs continue to work in an open-kitchen environment where they concoct seven types of homemade salsas—laced with ingredients such as fire-roasted roma tomatoes, cilantro and garlic, and even mango—to complement carne asada tacos, los cabos shrimp burritos, and hefty bowls packed with chicken, fire-roasted veggies, and plenty of cheese. The kitchen crew also assembles large breakfasts of eggs and chorizo as well as huevos rancheros for early risers and paperboys who demand a tip in the form of eggs.
For more than 30 years, the cooks at Royal Taco have helped customers satisfy their Mexican food cravings with authentic dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. As the day begins in earnest, the kitchen staff prepares savory plates of huevos rancheros and chorizo con huevos. The lunch menu includes hefty servings of chimichangas, made-to-order tacos, and the restaurant's signature dish, Superior Burritos; large tortilla-wrapped meals stuffed with meats, veggies, cheeses, and sauces that are served as big meals to normal diners or multi-vitamins for ancient leviathans.
The burrito sits steaming on its plate at Casita Linda Mexican Restaurant. Like a bomb-squad technician, the curious diner wants to know how this thing ticks, and cuts an intricate window in the fresh tortilla casing. Tender beans, rice, and pico de gallo nestle in tangles of shredded chicken. It could have been carnitas, asada, or tender al pastor. The staccato snap of fajitas against the scalding onyx surface of the skillet interrupts the quiet and draws eyes to the menu. In minutes, the kitchen erupts with individual tacos and chipotle-infused enchiladas crowded with fistfuls of pork and beef. Plates clatter onto tables, and the comfortable silence of a meal in full swing fills the eatery as the sun beats down outside upon the red-clay tiled roof.
It's been featured on the Travel Channel. It's 18 inches long—longer than most human newborns. It weighs in at a little more than five pounds. It's a burrito.
This monster, which goes by the name Burritozilla, is the signature dish at Iguanas. Chefs fill every square inch of the three tortillas required to contain it with hearty scoops of meat, salsa, sour cream, cheese, rice. beans, and guacamole. Many have stepped up to conquer the dish, from terrified local university students to Man v. Food's Adam Richman. But, with the understanding that not everyone would be able to defeat this oversized burrito, the Iguanas menu also holds creative interpretations of more manageably portioned Mexican classics.
Seven hand-trimmed meats—including grilled Angus-beef carne asada, tomatillo-braised pork, shredded chicken in spicy chipotle sauce, and carnitas—stuff tacos, tortas, and quesadillas. They also lounge atop nachos and even nacho fries. All this cheesy, juicy decadence aside, Iguanas’ menu is also big enough to include light, crisp taco salads and bitsy Baby Burritos and Tiny Tacos, the perfect size for kids or anyone who wants to make the Burritozilla look that much bigger.