96. Burrito de Birria de Res from Burritos La Palma

¡Viva Jerez!
¡Viva Jerez!
Photo by The Mexican

Behold the beginning of our annual 100 Favorite Dishes countdown! Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily! In many ways, the burrito de birria de res from Burritos La Palma does not belong so low on this list; in fact, Burritos La Palma technically doesn't belong on this list at all, given it's in El Monte. But it's OC to the bone, cabrones--let me explain.

I first tasted them about two years ago, when a professor friend of mine brought some burritos and flour tortillas so we could talk about home. Burritos La Palma is originall from Jerez, Zacatecas, the ancestral hometown of me, my pal, and thousands of people who live in Anaheim. The flour tortillas from La Palma were great, and sold at the Lake Forest farmer's market for a while, but what impressed me the most were the burritos of birria de res, a jerezano specialty almost impossible to find in Southern California outside of a wedding in a labor hall.

Flash forward to earlier this month, to when Burritos La Palma won the Best Traditional Taco award at Tacolandia on the strength of its burrito de birria de res. People grumbled that a burrito isn't a taco; people should've lined up at the Burrito La Palma booth instead of that guy from Top Chef who wanted chicks to flash him. The beef is intense, juicy, stringy--absolutely magnificent. And, best of all, my sister told me Burrito La Palma is planning an OC branch soon--HELL YA! In the meanwhile, drive up to El Monte so you can stop second-guessing me about this pick...HA!

Burrito La Palma, 5120 N. Peck Rd., El Monte, (626) 350-8286

The List:

97. Bò Kho at Song Long Restaurant 98. Pancake Sandwich at Willowick Golf Course 99. Tahdig at Tanor Fresh Mediterranean Grill 100. Quatro Formaggi Panini at Old Vine Cafe

Email: garellano@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @gustavoarellano.

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