Los Compadres: Mi Casa Es Su Casa

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I have just celebrated my first year of residing in Long Beach. There have been innumerable nights out in restaurants, and tons of discoveries along the way. While, yes, there are certainly areas of Long Beach that are still in the process of gentrifying, the arts and culture offered here, and the open friendliness of the locals has won me over in so many ways.

One of the most notable attributes that Long Beach offers is a certain untouched sensibility that allows a person wandering through to get an idea of what Los Angeles used to be like. The buildings and homes are a monument to what LA was, before the early 2000’s boom that drove remodels and “facelifts” to what was once a more culturally diverse and authentic city. You want to know what LA looked like pre-turn of the century, drive south on PCH from the 710 freeway.

My husband and I have noticed a certain microcosm of Mexican food in Long Beach that is difficult to find in such a close proximity elsewhere in Los Angeles. The restaurants are focused more on regions of Mexico or seem to be much more authentic than what we are accustomed to.  It seems like in every neighborhood of Los Angeles, we have our standard for Mexican, from El Cholo, to El Coyote and Casa Vega. (Strangely, all of these restaurants have margarita’s that can knock you down…coincidence?)

On a quiet Tuesday night we decided to give Los Compadres a shot.  We chose the Anaheim St. location, as it is closer to home. This was the second time we had eaten here. The first time, there was a long wait, and lucky for us, this time we were seated immediately. We ordered a delicious side of guacamole, the chips were perfect. I decided to order the #7, in order to compare it to my other adventures in Mexican food. A chicken taco and a cheese enchilada with rice and beans. Does it get more standard than that?  The shredded chicken was perfect, the enchilada was exactly what it should have been and you know you are in a proper Mexican restaurant when there is Tapatio on the table. I used it liberally.

Seriously, there are so many things on this menu that are more authentic than your standard Mexican eats in Los Angeles, I didn’t know where to start. Mariscos seemed like they might be the primary protein coming out of the kitchen and I must have seen at least three different Botanas of shrimp, muscles, and oysters fly out of the kitchen. The bacon wrapped shrimp looked decadent, and the Vuelve a la Vida might be on my list for next time. It involves six oysters, shrimp, octopus, abalone and jaiva presented in a giant stemmed bowl served in the traditional ceviche-style cocktail sauce. Can you say, yes please?

For traditional, and I mean, seriously traditional with photos of the dishes on their menu, Mexican fair with amazingly friendly “mi casa es su casa” service, get in line at Los Compadres.

Los Compadres has two locations: 3229 E. Anaheim St or 1144 Pine Ave. For more information: (562) 961-0061 or www.loscompadreslbc.com

About Chandra Clewley
A self-described Foodie, Chandra can’t wait to sink her teeth into Long Beach Restaurants. She is a native Southern Californian who loves and lives in Long Beach. Chandra has traveled the world tasting, serving and learning about fine food and wine. You can also find her writing on her blog www.DailyMischief.com and by following her on Twitter @ChandraClewley

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