The Other Restaurant Row

South shore eateries, markets help make a neighborhood

Los Comales

2110 E. Riverside, 442-7279

Sunday-Thursday, 10am-10pm; Friday-Saturday, 10am-midnight

What this plain little strip mall joint lacks in atmosphere, it compensates for in culinary competence. Grilled and stewed meats are what this Norteño-influenced restaurant does the best. Well-seasoned steaks such as their Tampiquena Ribeye ($9, served with an enchilada, rice, beans, and guacamole), Carne Asada Los Comales ($8, served with a sope, rice, and beans) or T-bone Los Comales ($8.50, served with queso flameado, chorizo, grilled onions, chiles, rice, and beans) really stand out here. Also delicious is their pork in cascabel chile sauce, which dazzles the palate with the combined savory tones of slow-stewed pork and chiles. Homemade corn and flour tortillas complement all of their dishes.

Los Comales' extensive menu is not as diverse as it appears at first glance. This is because most menu items repeat themselves through slight variations. Their outstanding stewed pork in tomatillo sauce, for instance, finds its way into tacos ($1.50), sopes ($3.50), gorditas ($3.50), enchiladas ($7), or as the centerpiece for the Pork en Salsa Verde plate ($7). Similarly, chicken with mole, or just plain grilled steak, can be mixed and matched into a number of different plates, from tacos to enchiladas. Los Comales' meat-heavy menu may not be a paradise for veg lovers, but carnivores, and especially steak lovers, will find the gustatory promised land at Los Comales.

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