In 1946, Gallegos brothers Jose and Ezequiel, originally from Mexico, opened the Gallegos Brothers tortilleria in Santa Monica, where they made and sold fresh tortillas.
Jose's daughter Frances and her husband Tereso Gomez purchased the property in 1982 and began adding several dishes to the menu. In 2002, the restaurant relocated to Mar Vista on Venice Boulevard, west of Centinela Avenue.
is a great neighborhood find. Aside from offering made-to-order Mexican dishes, it also sells a few deli-style items, such as chorizo, enchiladas, tortillas and dried red chiles.
The restaurant has a few homey touches including mismatched artwork on the walls. However, the quality of the food at Gallegos is far superior to the decor. It's a step above typical fast-food Mexican restaurants, with the dishes tasting more authentic and homemade.
As I stepped up to the counter to order, I asked for a breakfast burrito and was informed that the breakfast menu wasn't available after 11 a.m. However, the cook agreed to add some scrambled eggs to a grilled veggie burrito and also made some breakfast potatoes, which I loved. The potatoes were diced up nice and small so more surfaces could get crispy. I could’ve eaten them all day.
The burrito, wrapped in a flour tortilla, was healthy and flavorful, but next time I might ask for potatoes and cheese to be included as well. It tasted even better with salsa and guacamole, though the guacamole was a bit watery.
I also ordered a cheese enchilada, which was excellent. The enchilada sauce, made from dried red chiles, was not too spicy and the tortillas were moist and not over baked. Nor was the dish greasy, even though melted cheddar cheese oozed out with every bite.
My friend ordered the seafood tacos, consisting of shrimp and imitation crab and thought they were incredible. The portions of seafood were generous, combined with a tangy cabbage slaw on soft, small corn tortillas. The pork tamale, however, was a bit disappointing. He mentioned that the masa (corn dough) was a bit dense and flat and my friend would have liked it to be fluffier. The saving grace was a nice amount of well-seasoned shredded pork filling inside.
Daily specials are posted on the board and remain the same each week: Mon. - taquitos, Tues. - tortilla soup, Wed. - tacos especiales (chicken/beef), Thur. - seafood burrito, Fri. - seafood tacos and Sat. - french toast and lunch menudo (Mexican soup). Other classic Mexican dishes on the menu include huevos rancheros, chile verde with pork (carnitas), chilaquiles, and a variety of tacos, tostadas and tamales.
We ended our meal with egg custard (flan), a popular Mexican dessert. Topped with nutmeg, this silky rectangular confection was creamy and delicious.
, 12470 Venice Blvd., Mar Vista, CA 90066, 310-391-2587