Friday, February 24, 2006

The feeling that is Campo's

Campos famous avocado burrito, left; turkey taco, right
It's no Musso and Frank, but Campo's is part of my own L.A. restaurant history. As a small child, I was taken often to the Brown Derby, Perino's, the Polo Lounge and the Luau. But as a teenager, I rode my bike to Campo's on Pico and 20th. After volunteering at KCRW on a scarily retro childrens' radio show, we chowed down on their signature turkey tacos and avocado burritos, and figured that was what Mexican food tasted like. Now, of course I know that most good Mexican food tastes very little like Campos, but somehow I don't really care. There's something about the way they fry the corn tortillas around crispy little shreds of turkey and then sprinkle orange cheese on top that tastes just right. Same with the avocado burrito -- so bland you could feed it to infants, always in need of a sprinkle of salt, but the combination of soothing beans and smooth cool guacamole just goes down so well. I've been eating at Campo's so long that they were actually called Las Palmas when I started, but they had to change their name because another restaurant had that name. So long that the Pico outlet was the only one, and I feel still the best. So long that like the Zankou Chicken on Sunset, I still think of the restaurant as half its size. Oh, and Matt got a carne asada burrito. He said it was good, but I didn't taste it, because like Jonathan Gold with the birria at El Parian, I'm only allowed to order the turkey tacos and avocado burrito.


Anonymous said...

I feel the same way about Campos. I spent the 80's eating almost daily at the one in Westwood. My burrito of choice was the carnitas (with avocado). If I hadn't been in my twenties at the time I'm sure they would have killed me. I never seem to find carnitas that are as good- I guess because campos' being the first I'd ever had, that is the way carnitas shoud taste. I'm glad the one on Pico is the same- I'll have to go there soon. Thanks for your blog, I really enjoy it.

Matt Armendariz said...

Reading your entry at 8:42 on a Sunday morning has only made me want to grab my car keys, put my shoes on and bury myself in a mound of Mexican food.

I think I can hold out until at least noon :)

Great posting!