first garnered national attention when Chef Ludo Lefebvre for his pop-up restaurant Ludobites as documented on the Sundance channel's LudoBites America a few months ago.
Watching the episode gave me a little background on Casa Pulido. I was curious to check it out because of course, they weren't serving their own dishes when Chef Ludo was there, so I decided to give it a try.
Casa Pulido has been a Redondo Beach staple for many years. I could truly feel the family-owned vibe as I set foot into the small, yet cozy restaurant. The décor is reminiscent of an old Mexican restaurant with its white walls, dimly lit interior, yellow frosted windows and small flags hanging from the rafters. It may not be as classy and chic as many newer Mexican restaurants, but that didn't seem to matter to the many patrons—most of them regulars—that dined with me that rainy afternoon.
Casa Pulido's menu features favorites like arroz con pollo, carnitas, carne asada, and of course, tacos, burritos and tamales. There was a lot to choose from. I decided to order something off their lunch menu, which featured more than 10 entrees that were only $6.50 each. Not bad at all.
I started out with the obligatory chips and salsa. I can always appreciate fresh food. The chips were very warm and a bit oily. The salsa had a mixture of the acidity of the tomatoes coupled with a slightly peppery taste. It was a good starter, but I didn't want to fill up on it.
A few moments later, my tamale with rice and beans arrived. The tamale was buried in the black beans. It would have been very easy to miss if I weren't looking for it. The beans had a nice, smoky flavor from the cumin; the masa of the tamale was starchy yet sweet. The rice was very soft to the bite. For $6.50, I definitely got my money’s worth.
The service was quick, and I felt like I was at home the whole time. I'll be sure to try other things on their menu. They've been around for a long time, and I can see why.
Casa Pulido is located at 228 Avenue I in South Redondo Beach.