Los Paisas is one of the Mexican restaurants we go to often. We first heard about it when The Culinary Detective was doing reviews in The Daily Breeze. He even covered the place when he had his show on The Food Network.
The original location is a combination meat market/mini-grocery/restaurant, tucked away in a bedraggled strip mall on Western Avenue at Torrance Boulevard. On the weekends they have a BBQ grill going in the front--chickens, carne asada and more. For a while, the tacos were a buck apiece, now they are $1.25--still a bargain!
We mostly order the taco plates which come with rice and beans. I usually get carnitas and Dale sticks to carne asada. I really like their beans--more body and flavor than other places. The rice is light and fluffy. The menu has a lot more stuff--caldos, burritos, sopes--which I'm sure are all good. They also offer imported (from Mexico) bottles of Coke and Pepsi, which is great since it doesn't contain HFCS.
My favorite thing is their shrimp ceviche. It contains the usual ceviche ingredients: shrimp, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, citrus juice and chiles, but it has this weird background flavor of allspice. I'm not a big fan of allspice or cinnamon in savory foods, but somehow this is just the right thing--it's awesome.
Recently, Los Paisas opened a second location, on Carson Street east of Normandie. Another strip mall, but this is a brand-new space. The theme here is "tacos y mariscos". We checked it out for the first time last week. The menu seems to be about the same, but with more fish/seafood items. Here is the famous shrimp ceviche tostada--
This is the carnitas plate--
The walls are covered with really cool murals. This one represents the Mexican state of Nayarit.