Jul 2015

La Azteca Tortilleria – East Los Angeles

La Azteca Tortilleria - Boyle Heights - Los Angeles

As much as I love exploring the San Gabriel Valley’s restaurant scene for my weekday lunches, I was thrilled to discover recently that East Los Angeles is a stone’s throw from my office. Easy access to some of the city’s finest Mexican food is most definitely a lunchtime game changer.

For my inaugural midday jaunt to the Eastside of town, I wrangled a crew of fellow food lovers and headed to one of my favorite spots: La Azteca Tortilleria.

La Azteca Tortilleria - Boyle Heights - Los Angeles

When the shop’s original owners, Alex Bernal and his wife, Maria Rodriguez, retired in 2010 after three decades of making tortillas the old-fashioned way, from scratch and in small batches, their good friends Juan and Candalaria Villa purchased the business and continued the tradition. It’s a painstaking process, to be sure, but the results are truly fantastic.

La Azteca Tortilleria - Boyle Heights - Los Angeles

The difference between a store-bought tortilla and the handmade wonders here is like night and day. While the former cracks as it rolls and tastes like the plastic it’s wrapped in, the latter is hefty yet plush and is capable of curving around copious amounts of pork, cheese, beans, or most likely, all three.

La Azteca Tortilleria - Boyle Heights - Los Angeles

Most everyone in our group ordered a burrito, which are monstrously portioned and come stuffed with all manner of proteins including beef (asada), chicken (pollo), fried pork rinds (chicharrón), chorizo, and pork (carnitas).

La Azteca Tortilleria - Boyle Heights - Los Angeles

I selected the shop’s signature chile relleno burrito ($6.50), a cheese-stuffed poblano chili wrapped in a freshly griddled tortilla with refried beans, cheese, and onions. The burrito’s flavor was as impressive as its girth. All that was needed was a bit of house-made salsa and a cool horchata to wash everything down.

La Azteca Tortilleria - Boyle Heights - Los Angeles

I stole a bite of my colleague’s insanely decadent and fabulously flavorful carnitas and chicharrón quesadilla. The crisp tortilla cradled the porcine package perfectly. Highly recommended for pork lovers.

La Azteca Tortilleria - Boyle Heights - Los Angeles

For dessert, we shared a pound of freshly fried chicharrónes that were deftly seasoned and impressively greaseless. Mmm…

Where to lunch next in and around East Los Angeles? I’m thinking this mole spot has my name all over it. Or maybe the new Vaka Burger when it opens. Lunchtime will never be the same again.

La Azteca Tortilleria
4538 East Cesar E. Chavez Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90022
Phone: 323-262-5977

I still gots love for you, SGV:



Monterey Park:


San Gabriel:

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One thought on “La Azteca Tortilleria – East Los Angeles

  1. El Tepeyac Cafe is in Boyle Heights as is the Mariscos Jailisco truck (which I desperately want to visit) This place looks super tasty!

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