May 11, 2011

Benny's Tacos, Venice

Benny's Tacos is located on the popular Lincoln Boulevard in Venice. With the restaurant under new ownership, their marketing team invited me to check out the "most authentic taco in LA." If you live in LA, you know this is a daring claim and I had to give it a try.

The bold colors on the walls and string lights around the patio create an inviting and fun atmosphere.

If you choose to order inside, you will be greeted with the savory aroma of rotisserie chickens. The menu is extensive and the cashier will be glad to let you know that everything is made in house except for the ice cream and bottled beverages.

Salsa bar

House made tortillas

The restaurants prides itself on their rotisserie chicken and homemade tortillas. Find a seat inside and watch the magic happen as they make white and corn tortillas to order. Don't worry if you get entranced by the process, they will call your name when your order is ready.

1/4 Rotisserie Chicken Plate

The quarter wing and breast arrive with fresh tortilla chips, salad, guacamole and garlic sauce. The chicken was tender, moist and well seasoned with a nice citrus flavor. The garlic sauce was slightly sweet, which was unexpected and had a tangy flavor which added a nice flavor to the chicken. On its own, the garlic sauce tasted odd, but it worked with the chicken. The skin on the chicken wasn't crispy, but it had some good flavor. The guacamole was creamy with a hint of spice and made a good dip for the tortilla chips, which were crispy and light. The "salsa" side didn't add anything to the dish.

Corn tortilla

The chicken plate came with a choice of white or corn tortillas and I opted for corn since it's my favorite. The tortilla was some of the best I have ever had. They were VERY thick and perfect to create a taco and moist, but not too moist where it would fall apart. The corn tortilla was so good, it could be enjoyed on its own.

Carne Asada Plate

The carne asada plate arrived with pinto beans, rice and tortilla chips. The meat was well seasoned and juicy, however it was tough which made it difficult to cut with a knife. It was also well marinated and had a nice char grilled flavor to it. The meat worked well for a taco as long as you cut it up into small pieces. Otherwise it was hard to bite pieces off. The beans were average and nothing worth writing home about. The rice was cooked just right: not too mushy and not too hard. It had great seasoning and made me want more.

Grilled Fish Taco, Grilled Shrimp Taco

The fish and shrimp tacos could be grilled or fried and I opted for the grilled option. There were also two sauces: chipotle or white. When the cashier told me white was ranch, I decided to go with chipotle. The fish and shrimp were cooked perfectly and seasoned just right so the natural sweet flavor could shine. I ordered one with flour tortilla and one with corn tortilla, but definitely wish I had ordered both with corn tortilla. The soft corn tortilla worked well with the ingredients where the white tortilla flavor was over powering and hard.

Lobster Burrito Plate

The lobster burrito plate arrived with black beans, rice and tortilla chips. The burrito was stuffed with black beans, rice, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and chunks of lobster meat. It was also topped with what tasted like a butter sauce and melted cheese. This was the dish I was most looking forward to but the one I was the most disappointed in. The giant burrito was almost all rice and beans and I had to hunt to find a chunk of lobster. Because of this, the lobster flavor never shined through. The pieces of lobster I was able to find were cooked well, but it was disappointing there wasn't more. This certainly isn't something I would order again.

Overall, Benny's Tacos had some hits and misses. The corn tortillas, rotisserie chicken, shrimp and fish tacos were the definite highlights. I can't say it was the best tacos I have ever had, but they were very good. The portions are great for the price and be sure to check out daily specials for the best deals. The wait was a bit long during dinner time so be prepared. If you are in the area and find yourself in the mood for rotisserie chicken and excellent corn tortillas, stop by Benny's Tacos to satisfy your craving.

2.5 out of 5 Stars

Benny's Tacos
427 Lincoln Blvd
Venice, CA 90291


There is a private lot with plenty of parking. Entrance to the lot on Lincoln Blvd. and Sunset Ave.

Benny's Tacos on Urbanspoon

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