Evergreen Avenue in Boyle Heights is home to two of the most recognized Mexican Restaurants in Los Angeles. Ciro’s and Manuel’s El Tepeyac are located across the street from each other. Anyone who is not familiar with Mexican cuisine will think the two serve the same food. However to the experienced Mexican food palate, they have two distinct flavors.
Manuel’s is more well-known than Ciros. The burritos here are known for their taste and size. The Hollenbeck (named after the local police station and park) is a large single size burrito. The Manuel’s Special – a sight to behold – can serve 8-10
people. Folklore has it if you can single handedly finish a Manuel Special you will get another one free to eat on the premises. I would not recommend that to any one.
The guacamole is fresh and tastes wonderful. The beans are made with chorizo and are some of the best in Los Angeles. The servings are humungous. Enchiladas, huevos rancheros, machaca and steak picado are some of the best dishes. Manuel’s is casual and prices are reasonable. The place is always crowded but service is great.
Back in the day, the founder, Manuel would offer you a shot of whiskey if he saw you in need of a “fix,” always somehow knowing if you partied too much the night before. He would greet you at the door and talk about everything from local politics to his family. There are other El Tepeyacs in the region owned and managed by family members but there is only one Manuel-El Tepeyac and it’s located on Evergreen in Boyle Heights.