Acapulco – Use Your Illusion, Part II

acapulco, westwood, los angeles, ca - fajitas
Let’s talk about this “illusion” again.

I write a food blog (yes! I do! I actually write a food blog!), which means I do know something about what happens on the other side of the computer screen that you’re reading. However, I have to admit that, along with most other readers of food blogs, I tend to believe this pseudo-fantasy that food bloggers live a rather, well, fabulously foodish lifestyle every single minute of every single day. Food bloggers wake up every morning, float into their sun-kissed kitchens, and whip up star-studded cream scones from scratch. They pick fresh herbs and greens for dinner from their windowsill gardens (unless they’re somewhere in the Midwest in which case they probably have a full-fledged garden in a real backyard), shop at farmers’ markets; hell, they probably make weekly field trips all the way out to the farms themselves. They cook multi-course, multi-tiered meals at home every night, and bake their molten Valrhona chocolate lava a la black sesame gelato fancy schmancy in the middle of two sauces on the plate desserts with a final fleurish de sel.

You see, from my point of view as a reader, other food bloggers’ food blogs are, hm, how you might say? Hard core. I read a post that is only a snippet of the blogger’s life, but since that is the only snippet I get, I simply extrapolate and believe it to be true all the time. And from there, I romanticize about their lives – when food bloggers go out to eat, they. Go. Big. Or small. But small in a charming, gourmet way. Food bloggers eat out at the most wonderfabutastical hot!fresh! now! four-star (but not in LA) reservations-90-days-in-advance-only restaurants in town. Restaurants that are serving up butter-poached Iberian black pork belly on a trampoline of caviar-infused fois gras foam with [insert farm name here] baby beets braised in Alpine runoff. But of course, that’s only when they’re not at home expertly pairing wines with their latest acquisition of unpasteurized cheese made from the milk of the last standing llama on the side of the Himalayas.

Or something like that.

But sometimes I wonder.

I wonder, does she ever eat, oh, I don’t know…a bean burrito?!?!

Or like, has he ever eaten a plate of chili cheese fries? Not gourmet hand-cut fingerling potatoes covered with Kobe beef chili and melted Cabrales Blue? I am talking 4 am. Frozen fries. Suspiciously “meat” chili, and processed nuclear power plant waste, schoolbus yellow, vinyl “cheese?”

Of course she doesn’t. Of course he hasn’t. They’re food bloggers.

They would never *gasp!* stoop to such industrialized, commercialized, pre-packaged fodder-not-food!




The thing is, I know that every “fine food” blogger out there cannot possibly eat at Providence and Sona and Grace and whatnot every night. They cannot possibly be eating home-cooked roasted fig souffle and walnut dusted quail every night. They just don’t blog about the nights when they eat microwaved popcorn straight out of the bag so that the melted butter-flavored oil acts as an adhesive between blackened kernels and the burnt crest of their knuckles.

And thus, perhaps, it is all….an illusion?

I cannot speak for anyblog else but myself, but if ever The Delicious Life gave off the impression that all I do is slip into my leopard print peep-toe stilletos and twirl off to Hatfield’s today, BLD tomrrow, I am here to dispel that myth.

Not much of a myth, though really. First Louise’s Trattoria, then Hamburger Hamlet.

acapulco mexican restaurant, westwood, los angeles, ca - sea of cortez
authentic acapulconean from the sea of cortez


Sheesh. Next thing you know, I’ll be doing a detailed, item-for-item comparison between TGI Friday’s Jack Daniel’s Platter and Applebee’s Appetizer Sampler.

Naw, I would never do that. The closest Applebee’s to me is in the Valley, and we all know that I don’t “do” the Valley. ;)

I have a love/hate/love-to-hate-to-love relationship with Acapulco. I love Acapulco because it is Mexican food. Real food bloggers love Mexican food, but they love regional, authentic Mexican food that has crickets and chocolate in it. I love Mexican food, but not the kind that would elevate me to the level of hard-core Mexican foodie. I grew up in San Antonio, so I am a staunch supporter of Mexican food influenced by the big bad red-state: Tex-Mex. I love guacamole, chunky salsa, pickled jalapenos, refried beans, sour cream, and melted yellow cheese on everything.

It is exactly the kind of Mexican food that Acapulco serves.

I hate Acapulco, too. I hate the Westwood location because they have, quite possibly, the worst parking siutation in the world. Is that an exaggeration? No. There is no street parking in Westwood Village, and with all of the construction for mixed-use retailcommercialresidential developer’s profit, there is no public parking lot within reasonable walking distance of the restaurant. This is one situation in which I would very gladly pay out the yin yang for valet parking, but Acapulco in Westwood doesn’t offer such luxury. By the time I furiously circle the block determined to find a spot on the street, then grudgingly park a billion and half miles away per google maps in the structure on Broxton Avenue, I could have gone to the real Acapulco in Mexico. With Captain Steubing and Gopher.

I love to hate Acapulco because it is basically a Taco Bell, but even though Acapulco doesn’t have the convenience of a drive thru, Acapulco does have margaritas. Do Mexican people who live in Mexico even drink margaritas? Or are margaritas some American bastardization of some other truly authentic Mexican drink? I don’t know, and I am quite certain that I would have a hard time, like I do with mole, appreciating a “real” Mexican tequila drink if ever I was presented with one. I just like a simple shot of tequila with a splash of lime juice and a pinch of sugar, poured over rocks. Then again, perhaps my preference is the real margarita and these frozen blended abominations with creatively cutesy names like Rockin’ Razzarita are the Americanization. Hey, I can tolerate Mexican Pizza, but I draw the line at frozen blended fruity margaritas with fruit that doesn’t even come from the same hemisphere as Mexico. Like peachy lychee.

I went to Acapulco with my sisters. We plowed through an embarrassing number of refreshes to our basket of chips and salsa. We had chicken and steak fajitas, but make no mistake, these are chile-citrus marinated, so I guess I can’t really say it’s the same as Taco Bell. Fajitas, no matter how cheesy it is to feel this way, no matter how many times I have seen, heard and smelled them sizzling away on a white-hot, still-smoking plate, always impress me a little, especially when the server presents it as if it were Quetzalcoatl’s gift to man. We also shared one of Acapulco’s Especialidades, the Sea of Cortez, which has grilled halibut, grilled shrimp, and a crab enchilada because apparently, seafood from the Sea of Cortez is authentic Acapulconean food. And of course, we had margaritas.

I am not going to do a detailed description of the food at Acapulco, because chances are, you have eaten there before, and if not sepcifically Acapulco, then something almost exactly like Acapulco, except that the name is either Chevy’s or Chi-Chi’s. Or maybe El Torito.

So there you go. The illusion is gone. I’m going to go eat a Pop Tart now.

Acapulco Mexican Restaurant
1109 Glendon Ave
Los Angeles, CA, 90024

** a year ago today, this local yokel drank savvy non blank **

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Miss Tenacity September 6, 2006 at 2:35 am

Hey now, back when I was a culinary cretin I found the Applebee’s “Steakhouse Salad” the height of deliciousness. I today might still find it quite edible, that is if they still had it on the menu in my city…. for shame!


2 Tyler September 6, 2006 at 5:09 am

Wow, your pictures on this blog are breath-taking.

Nothing like a a good Acapulco meal when you need a quick food fix.


3 JR September 6, 2006 at 5:52 am

They actually make Hello Kitty Pop Tarts. Did you know that? I saw them at Big Lots last weekend!


4 Acme Instant Food September 6, 2006 at 4:25 pm

Oh come on Sarah, you ARE a food blogger. You know you are going to delicately layer that Pop Tart with home made Earl Grey ice cream and then balance a lavendar-scented meruingue on top.

I mean, wouldn’t everyone?


5 Hilary September 6, 2006 at 5:51 pm

FYI…the Acapulco on La Cienega (next to the strip club) has valet parking. Not that I’ve uh ever eaten at an Acapulco or anything.


6 mihall September 6, 2006 at 8:50 pm


This post alone has given me the license to start my own food blog. I’ve been hobbled by the seriousness of it all, but hell, I’m going to comment on everything now and damn the consequences.


7 KT September 6, 2006 at 10:43 pm

I don’t know what you’re talking about, Sarah. I really do eat at Providence and grace every night, if I am not taking commuter flights to SF and New York to eat at more acceptable restaurants, or jetting out to Spain for the weekend at El Bulli.

The other nights I am curing my own meats, aging my own wine, tending my herb garden and heirloom vegetable crops and cooking up elaborate meals for my husband.

During the day I am a successful lawyer and a bestselling novelist and I own a chain of gelato and yogurt shops that is rapidly taking over the greater Los Angeles area.

I thought you knew … these are just the basic requirements for being a food blogger. I’m afraid that Acapulco’s was your third strike and if the Foodblogging Unified Credential Corps (FUCC) discovers it, you may lose your foodblogging license. I won’t tell them, though.


8 holly_44109 September 7, 2006 at 12:16 am

There’s a place in the Cleveland area called Nuevo Acapulco that I take much pleasure in – their margaritas are on TAP!!


9 holly_44109 September 7, 2006 at 12:16 am

There’s a place in the Cleveland area called Nuevo Acapulco that I take much pleasure in – their margaritas are on TAP!!


10 Erin S. September 8, 2006 at 3:39 am

Well, as I sit here and eat my chips and tositido’s salsa for dinner, I have to say your post and KT’s comment made my night. Now excuse me while I go find a Bud Light to wash it all down.


11 sarah September 8, 2006 at 5:28 pm

miss tenacity: culinary cretin! i love it! i must use that term!

tyler: why thank you! isn’t it scary how good food can look in photos? makes you wonder about those tv ads for…arby’s.

jr: i know. someone told me about them, but i’m allergic to meowberries, so i have to stick with frosted strawberry.

acme: lavender scented meringue? amateur. i’m having a strawberry pop tart. that means i’m drizzling it with a balsamic/black pepper reduction. duh.

hilary: of course you haven’t been to acapulco! you just know about it because you’ve been to the STRIP CLUB! lol!

mihall: well good! EVERYONE loves food, and you should write about it, no matter what! even if it’s a bag of cheetos! especially if they’re the flamin’ hot cheetos. ooooh.

kt: if you won’t tell the fucc, i won’t tell them that frozen yogurt sucks ;)

holly: margaritas on tap – now that is…classy! i think there’s a place in LA that serves frozen chilled cocktails out of machines, too, like slurpees.

erin: you drink bud light?!?! YOU just made MY day.


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