Roast to Go: Good Mexican Food for a Good Price

Roast to Go: Good Mexican Food for a Good Price

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  1. Trying to decide where to eat in Grand Central Market in Downtown LA can be daunting, because every stand you pass is similar in one important aspect: they all smell delicious! This is especially true when it comes to Mexican food. The fact of the matter is, most of the Mexican joints are terrific… but you have to watch out for a couple who have earned bad reputations. For now, I’m going to concentrate on only one, because it’s the only one I have tried so far: Roast to Go.

    Do you like carnitas? Let me rephrase that: Do you adore carnitas so much that you’d frame your own mother if the payoff was the best Mexican roast pork you can find? If so, then please don’t date my sister; I’d hate to have to kill another of her boyfriends. On the other hand, you need not sell out your mom; just go to Roast to Go.

    I have had better carnitas, marginally, but I had to drive to Pasadena to get it. I also should point out that at least one other stand in Grand Central has an even better reputation for carnitas, but as I have yet to try it, I’ll have to keep the name of the place a secret for now.


    Roast to Go’s carnitas is juicy, tender and very flavorful without being overpowering in the spice department. It’s only mildly seasoned, but the seasoning is terrific and you’ll love every mouthwatering bite. My wife and I ordered the combo plate, and it was plenty for the both of us. Included were standard beans and rice (probably out of a can and pouch respectively: fair, but nothing over which to swoon), tortillas out of a package (but who cares; you’re here for meat, not unleavened bread) and what I call Mexican Salad, even if no one else does (onions, lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro and some things I couldn’t identify but enjoyed eating); everything you need for delicious DIY tacos.


    Problems: it’s in Grand Central Market, which means pay parking if you drive. A subway station is only a block and a half away and buses will deliver you very close—but if you drive, expect to pay for parking (at least $5), if you can find a nearby lot that isn’t full or, laughingly unlikely, you can park at a meter on the street. Good luck with that. So it isn’t the most convenient of places. But if you’re shopping in the market anyway, this is just one of many fine places to eat good food for cheap.

    Which is the next point: the carnitas plate was $7.50, came with a drink and was plenty for two. The burritos are six bucks. And they’re GOOD. Where can you beat that?

    One last thing: expect to wait… and wait… and wait…  There were two guys working the lunch rush, and the line moved about one person every 4 minutes. We waited 15 minutes until the third guy came back from break and got things rolling. However, the carnitas was worth the wait.


    Roast to Go
    Grand Central Market
    317 Broadway

    Los Angeles, California 90013

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