El Burrito House

You guys, I’m so excited about this. A few years back Gustavo Arellano did an eater article about Mexican food along 99 and we visited a few of them traveling between LA and NorCal. We headed that direction for the first time since the pandemic and wanted to hit up one of the highlights (El Burrito House in Kingsburg) only to find we couldn’t… because they’re in LA now!!!

Gustavo Arellano follows them on social media so maybe he’s already mentioned the move but I was so, so excited to try it again myself. Specifically, I wanted to try El Burrito House and La Azteca side by side because I’d compared them previously for their homemade flour tortillas. Honestly, there are no clear winners here (or ONLY winners) because they’re both pretty superlative burritos.

It’s not really 1:1 comparison because they both have protein, beans, onions and cilantro but La Azteca has no rice and additional grilled tomato. That doesn’t seem like a huge separation but rice is such a filler I think it’s pretty significant, plus the grilled tomatoes make more of a difference than you’d expect. As such, I just got my usual at La Azteca and something that looked good at El Burrito House. Certainly if someone wanted to make a more rigorous comparison they could do an all meat order from El Burrito house with the proteins both places offer.

First, here are the menus from La Azteca and El Burrito House because they both changed pretty recently:

El Burrito House menu

La Azteca menu

Note that La Azteca no longer has a bean and cheese burrito but since we called in the order my wife asked for one and we got it! I don’t think they meant anything by inscribing it thusly but that’s freakin’ hilarious.

I didn’t have any internal pictures because looking at a partially eaten burrito kind of does a disservice to the food and I didn’t want to cut them in half. As such, the only real visual comparison is size which El Burrito House won handily (which makes sense since I think it’s one of the largest non-novelty burritos I’ve ever had).

I got the chile verde burrito from El Burrito House and the chile relleno burrito with chicken from La Azteca (my usual order now). Side note: the chicken at La Azteca is maybe their most underrated filling. It’s described as grilled but since it appears to be dark meat and served with that grilled tomato it’s perfectly done and super flavorful.

Tortilla comparison:

  • El Burrito House: I’m glad to say my memory of their homemade flour tortilla still holds up! They have that kind of floury dustiness I’ve found in other homemade flour tortillas but with a lighter, almost fluffy resilience separate from La Azteca while still not mushing into gumminess.
  • La Azteca: Similar dustiness but almost translucent and a little brittle (but still holds together decently). More chewy but not unpleasantly so.

Burrito comparison:

  • El Burrito House: Very well filled with a good tortilla:filling ratio and excellent tender and flavorful chile verde. The included red and green salsa are very standard (although the red was much spicier today than I remember previously) and I’ll happily use the leftovers on breakfast this weekend. To be honest, I said that they “won” in terms of size but really it’s almost too big. Certainly good QPR if that’s your metric for burritos.
  • La Azteca: Good as always although sometimes it can seem like a bit too much tortilla. When you get to the ends it’s mostly a mouthful of tortilla but since it’s delicious I’m certainly not complaining. I like their one salsa but since it’s very piquant mixture of spicy, bitter and smoky a little goes a long way. As I mentioned before, the grilled tomato (which is in a few burritos) stands out particularly well with the chicken. The first time I tried it I thought it was braised chicken because of the texture and flavor.

One thing both places have in common is a nopales option which I love. I get nopales most of the time at places where it’s available (La Azteca, Tacos Villa Corona, Cinco Puntos), particularly in a breakfast burrito where I think it shines as a crunchy, vegetal contrast to everything else.

When I mentioned this to cashier (and I think owner) of El Burrito House she said they’re going to add another nopales dish with pork and chili colorado. She also mentioned that the chef is from Zacatecas where nopales are apparently a big deal…? All news to me but I’m thrilled to hear it.

It’s pretty noticeable that the menu is incomplete (it doesn’t even have drinks listed) so I’m super excited for what they have coming up! For those that believe the chef makes all the difference it should be noted that it’s the same Sergio as in Kingsburg.

One last note- the most similar comparison would probably be breakfast burritos since I believe they have the same fillings so I may do a side by side of that at some point when my blood pressure has subsided. Either way, I’m really excited to have El Burrito House close at hand for thorough perusal and enjoyment. Please check them out, they’re awesome.


Totally spaced out that Tamales Elena y Antojitos closed for real but remembered El Burrito House is a couple minutes drive from there. I think I’ve been back at least once previously but there’s been a few changes since then.

Some new menu items and (I think) restored dishes from the Kingsburg location items:

I got the Azteca since I love nopales and remember seeing it on their Kingsburg menu previously. Not bad at all but I think I’d try the trocitos de puerco with nopales burrito next time if it’s still on special.

Burritos are still huge and tortillas are handmade and good:

Side shot to show that these are the large 2.5” ramekins for scale:


Do they make their tortillas the traditional way, with lard?

Good question, I’ll ask next time I’m there! I’m not sure what specific qualities lard would impart but I compared them side by side with La Azteca in my first post to reference off of a more familiar product.

The best flour tortillas I’ve had were made with lard. I haven’t made them myself, but from making pie pastry I know that the choice of fat has a big effect on the texture.

This guy makes tortillas with various fats, changes them up every week.

Yeah, we’ve made flour tortillas at home with different oils and solid fats and it does have an effect as in pastry. That said, while lard is traditional we made decent quality flour tortillas with other fats. I fractionated schmaltz into solid and liquid fats previously- it would be interesting to see how that changes the final product although I suspect the flavor would be too intense from having used unfractionated schmaltz for flour tortillas.

All things being equal, I would bet they’re using lard at El Burrito House, though. Having chatted with the owner a couple times while the order was assembled she seems to take a lot of pride in the product, retained the same cook as the previous location and mentioned specific dishes from Zacatecas they added to the menu or are planning to add in the future so sticking with tradition seems like a thing with them