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By Steven Li on 2006-09-27

September 26, 2006


Panic suddenly set into me when I realized that this is probably the last year I’ll be in the LA area before moving to NYC. Holey moley, I thought. There’s a treasure trove of Asian and Mexican food to be found and I’m spending my time on monte cristos (see below)? Give that this is a Tuesday night and there’s a buttload of homework to be done, I did a quick search for taco joint in the Claremont area and then beggggged and convinced my dear friend Fan that we would simply die if we did not have tacos for dinner.

And so here it is! Dining options are limited in Claremont :( (unless you consider Macaroni Grill and Olive Garden to be the height of culinary success) and Patty’s is one of the few restaurants that people head to with an excitement to eat good food, as opposed to filling your stomach. It’s a dingy old spot, I would have headed in anyways but the “A” health inspection was a little reassuring.

Patty’s is known for two things: 1. The Hot Sauce 2. Fresh House made Tortillas.
They give you a little bottle of the sauce if you get take out, but if you sit in and eat, they provide a whole big bottle. I watched as two different groups of people downed the entire bottle with their burritos. Is that sick or impressive?

You have to forgive me for any incorrect descriptions or analysis of this taco. My lack of experience with Mexican food leaves me only with eager taste buds and a lot of attempt with descriptive words. The Carne Asada Taco held fair sized chunks of tender steak with just the right chew, a pile of lettuce, tomatoes and onions. It was just good. Tasty, with all that meaty-ness and a good squirt of hot sauce (actually the sauce was good but not all that spectacular – think slightly sweet watered down Siracha – I concluded that people used so much sauce because it takes a heavy dose to taste the spiciness!) I liked how the taco tasted “fresh” and clean – not at all like what I’m used to from Taco Bell (which is surprisingly one of the more successful fast food places in Hawaii). I was a bit bummed when I discovered that only the tortillas used for burritos were made in house, but that’s just another reason to return.

This was the first time I’ve had a potato taco and boy, if Patty’s was in walking distance my consumption of fried foods would increase infinitely. I’ve never even heard of a potato taco before, and knowing me, I felt an instant attraction to carbs. A soft tortilla was filled halfway with a seasoned mashed potato mix – slightly chunky. Then,…here comes to good part, then entire thing was deep fried! Mmm, yum indeed! The potatoes we slightly spicy and their soft texture provided a welcome contrast to the golden crisp shell. Finished with lettuce, tomatoes, and cheap old cheese, I think I got a good deal for my dollar. I don’t know how many tacos on average constitutes a meal, but the two from Patty’s plus an avocado milkshake filled me up pretty good. I’ll definitely be back to try the burritos – can you believe I’ve yet to have a fresh flour tortilla??!

I’m also going to try stop with all these fried foods for a while. For the sake of my arteries! haha. we’ll see how long this lasts :)

Patty’s Mexican Foods
1332 North Towne Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711
(909) 625-9160

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