Monday, January 12, 2009

Quality Mexican Cuisine in My Own Backyard at Serrano's Mexican Kitchen - CLOSED

Isn't it interesting how people will drive miles and miles away from your own neighborhood just for a good meal, but sometimes forget to check out what's in their immediate vicinity? A few years back, I was exactly the same way, but now as I drive through the familiar streets of my town, I try to keep my eyes peeled for any new or at least unfamiliar restaurants that may pop up. One day, a tiny eatery called Serrano's Mexican Kitchen caught my attention, so I kept it on my radar as a future meal stop.

One evening, I went with my family to check it out and boy, am I glad I did. In comparison to the Mexican restaurants currently in Duarte, Serrano's is the best this city has, but even just on its own, Serrano's is simply superb! Since my first visit, I've been back a few times. What draws me repeatedly is the quality of the food.

For example, I love their corn tortillas, which are thick and holds well when you're eating a soft taco. I've eaten my share of soft tacos where just lifting one up can become a mess as it rips apart and the taco filling ends up all over your fingers and plate. I have never had that problem with Serrano's tacos and while the fillings will fall out, at least my tortillas stay intact.

The other great thing about their soft tacos is their generous portions. Generous in the sense that the meat filling isn't hidden under mounds and mounds of lettuce and vegetables to the point that you're not even sure if you ordered a beef taco or a chicken taco or that there's even any meat there at all. Instead, you get wonderfully seasoned meaty tacos that are dressed simply with fresh diced onions, cilantro and your choice of one of their homemade salsas.

I also really enjoy their beef taquitos. You'd think that there's not much to taquitos and that how can you possibly ruin them? Oh, but you can. I've had taquitos that are over cooked to the point that it's a chore to even bite into them because they're just so hard. If you do happen to get your chompers into them, what you may pull out with your teeth are long pieces of meat that are dry and chewy. Like the tacos, the taquitos at Serrano's use the same tortillas which gives them a bready texture, but one that's has a nice crisp to it. The beef filling is also tender and moist.

Other items that have made me a happy diner include their milanesa steak, which was coated with a golden crispy batter and actually stays on while you cut into the meat. I've also tried their sopes and their quesadillas. So far, everything I have tried has been good to excellent and everyone who I've directed there has come back to me with kudos.

So the moral of the story is, that in your search for a good meal, always check out what's in your neighborhood. You may just find your next favorite eatery.

To see pics, go to:

Serrano's Mexican Kitchen
2171 E. Huntington Drive
Duarte, CA 91010
(626) 359-4959

Serrano's Mexican Kitchen on Urbanspoon


Mike said...

Abby, maybe you can clear up some taquito confusion Jenn and I have been having.

What is the difference between a "flauta" and a "taquito?" I always thought a taquito onsisted of meat rolled tightly in a corn tortilla and quickly fried, while a flauta was similar but used a flour tortilla and skipped the frying process all together.

Any clue?

Susan C said...

Good to know about this place. This will be a fun place to stop when I'm in Duarte for appointments.

pleasurepalate said...

Mike: Here's the info I pulled from the following website:

Flautas and Taquitos are very similar and the terms are used interchangable depending on what your location is.

The Tortilla Difference

Most of the time Flautas, which mean "flutes," usually refer to a flour tortilla that is rolled up around a filling and deep fried. A Taquito is a corn tortilla rolled in a similar fashion with a filling of beef, chicken or cheese and fried until crisp. Sometimes the Flautas are rolled to be narrower on one side then the other to create a long, narrow cone shape. But the main difference is that usually Flautas are flour torillas, and Taquitos are made of corn tortillas. However, you can also find Taquitos made from flour tortillas and Flautas made from corn.

The Length Difference

In some areas of Mexico the Flauta and Taquito are determined by size. the Flauta is very long, made from a burrito-sized corn tortilla. They are very long and thin and are usually served as a main dish. Taquitos on the other hand are the shorter versions usually served as an antojito or appetizer.

Hope that helps! :)

pleasurepalate said...

Susan: I hope you enjoy the food there as much as I have.

Exile Kiss said...

Hi Abby,

Nice review. Thanks for the info on this place. I sometimes pass by Duarte when I'm on the 210, so I may have to try this place out the next time I'm in the area. :)

pleasurepalate said...

EK: Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you have a great meal at Serrano's. :)