The Valley is a weird place. Seriously. Despite having worked there for more than two years, I had no idea that there was a section of Van Nuys that felt like being transported to downtown LA. Yet, to grab some Peruvian at Puro Sabor, I found myself in said section. It was definitely weird, but usually the strangest parts of town have the best food. I hoped this would be the case.
Before basketball on Tuesdays I usually need to grab a bite to eat. For some people, this is a cramp-inducing process. I, on the other hand, cramp up while playing if I don’t eat enough. With that in mind, I went to Taqueria Juanito’s No. 1 in Balboa Park with my fellow baller and rather than order a couple little tacos, I got pretty much the biggest thing on the menu. It was their nachos, and came loaded with cheese, refried beans, a couple of salsas, cilantro and a meat of my choosing. I chose carne asada and pretty soon went to town on those nachos.
For a friend’s birthday, we headed out to Salsa and Beer in Lake Balboa to eat some birthday Mexican food. Having never really been to Lake Balboa and having mostly heard sketchy things about that part of town, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from Salsa and Beer. Yet, some of the best Mexican food I’ve ever had has come from sketchy places, so my expectations were somewhat mixed.
As soon as I walked in, though, I had a feeling this was going to be a great meal. Looking around, I saw happy faces and giant platters of Mexican food. On top of that, my sense of smell was sending me strong messages. Once the rest of our group arrived, I finally got a chance to look at the menu and was floored. First I was floored by the sheer size of the menu. Figuring out what to eat wasn’t going to easy. Once I started looking around, I realized the prices weren’t going to make things any easier, because everything was damn cheap.