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Oak Parkers et al: Golden Lamb Mexican Restaurant?

Oak Parkers et al: Golden Lamb Mexican Restaurant?
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  • Oak Parkers et al: Golden Lamb Mexican Restaurant?

    Post #1 - February 17th, 2008, 4:28 pm
    Post #1 - February 17th, 2008, 4:28 pm Post #1 - February 17th, 2008, 4:28 pm
    Does this place ring a bell?* I stumbled upon it by chance at the east end of the Westgate "Shopping Center" - as close as OP gets, I guess - slightly more visible now that Marion is back open to traffic. I was surprised to learn they've been there for most of a year, opening first as "Mex Fresh Cafe" after Jerusalem Cafe moved from this location into the space formerly occupied by the worst Panda Express franchise in the world. I think that if I've noticed it before in either incarnation, I subconciously wrote it off as the back entrance to Los Cazadores.

    It's a bright, well-ventilated room with about five cute tables at one end and a space for queueing on the other, against a see-through grill with typical overhead clapboard menu. I was pleased to note that they have both pork and lamb carnitas, though usually not both on the same day, according to the staff. I tried the borrego, the simple pulled lamb shoulder, and they also have a saucier mixiote which is marinated. This was very fresh, good lamb.

    I also tried a chorizo sope, and taco al pastor - nice chopped white onion and cilantro, crispy edges, lime slice, good marinade. Not quite salty enough, and no spit that I saw (for Hammond's comfort), but it was much better than my last west suburban al pastor excursion. The sope was perfectly cooked, but made with a prefab masa boat, and tasted like every other chorizo sope I've had save Frontera and Fonda del Mar, which are exceptional.

    The two running the place couldn't have been more competent and pleasant - they knew their stuff, talked favorite bakeries with me, let me try a torta roll even though I didn't order one, and certainly could cook. She was from Oaxaca and he from Hidalgo. The horchata tasted homemade; very refreshing. No carne en su jugo, but they do have caldo de res and pozole (and, intriguingly, sopa azteca), and if they're as generous with the avocado on those as they were with the sope, they can't be bad. Salsas were fine; not pureed beyond recognition like many places, and a good bite to the red.

    I'll be back to try the mixiote and carnitas - I'd rather give these guys my business than Chipotle, even if it's a pretty standard taqueria; nothing fancy, but handled well enough.

    Golden Lamb
    1110 Westgate Street
    Oak Park

    *not like the bell at Xni-Pec, of course
  • Post #2 - February 17th, 2008, 8:23 pm
    Post #2 - February 17th, 2008, 8:23 pm Post #2 - February 17th, 2008, 8:23 pm
    Santander, thanks for the headsup. I had not noticed this place (with the de-malling of Marion Street, I'd been kind of staying away from that part of town until construction was over).

    The lamb carnitas are very interesting. Do they actually cook the lamb pieces in lamb fat? I'll find out.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #3 - February 18th, 2008, 10:58 am
    Post #3 - February 18th, 2008, 10:58 am Post #3 - February 18th, 2008, 10:58 am
    I had tried the carne asada taco a few months ago and was not impressed. The meat was ok, but the tortilla was stale and dry. But I will give them another shot and try the lamb. Its a place a really want to like as its so close, and its not always possible to head to La Quebrada.
    LO
  • Post #4 - May 18th, 2011, 9:41 am
    Post #4 - May 18th, 2011, 9:41 am Post #4 - May 18th, 2011, 9:41 am
    Passed this place on foot Sunday (when it was closed) and was reminded it still existed. Have there been any other experiences here, positive or negative?
  • Post #5 - May 18th, 2011, 11:47 am
    Post #5 - May 18th, 2011, 11:47 am Post #5 - May 18th, 2011, 11:47 am
    Ive walked by this place at least 10 times in the last year during normal business hours and it's never been open once.
    I just assumed it was closed, but it does seem odd that all the furnishings are still there.
  • Post #6 - May 18th, 2011, 8:57 pm
    Post #6 - May 18th, 2011, 8:57 pm Post #6 - May 18th, 2011, 8:57 pm
    I had a lamb taco there three weeks ago. It was pretty decent.

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