Burritos La Palma

Review by: Maggie Rosenberg & Trevor Hagstrom

Overly Americanized Mexican food can be garish. A giant plate of “ultimate” nachos or an overstuffed Mission “super” burrito are satisfying, sure, but they are ultimately sloppy and graceless. These are foods you eat in private with a stack of napkins. Much genuine Mexican cuisine is elegant. Mexican burritos, for example, are nothing like the foil wrapped monsters created in the USA. They are rather simple wraps, about the size of blintzes, and they are filled only with a scoop of richly flavored meat. 

Burritos La Palma serves casual versions of Mexican snacks from the state of Zacatecas. This means tastefully small, genteel tortas, burritos, and quesadillas — the latter two served on some of the best freshly made flour tortillas in Southern California. These tortillas are thin without being mealy, and soft without becoming doughy. They are just right. They are what make Burritos La Palma special.

There are a few different meat guisados (stews) that you can get as a burrito or quesadilla filling. We are equally enthusiastic about the signature birria de res, and the chicken tinga. The birria de res is a beef version of the adobo-driven goat stew you usually get when you order “birria.” The tinga is smoky chipotle-laced chicken. Other guisados and the creamy beans can be fun to try as a filling for variety’s sake, but they aren’t nearly the same caliber as the birria and tinga. These are burritos you can try a few of; it’s not hard to eat three in one sitting. 

A good strategy is to get the platillo especial, which comes with two birria de res burritos smothered in a chili verde sauce with ground pork and finished with jack cheese. It comes with a little salad and a scoop of beans. It is a nicely balanced plate lunch with just the right amount of food. The green pork sauce on a beef stew burrito is surprisingly harmonious. It’s a good way to taste many of the restaurant’s best flavors in one cohesive dish. The combination of the orange greased beef, the slightly doughy wet tortilla and the cheesy topping reminded us of pepperoni pizza. We would recommend that you get one dry burrito as well. These flour tortillas should be tasted without the intervention of sauce. 

The torta sincilla (simple sandwich) seems like it would be a waste, given its lack of tortilla. Not so. With mayonnaise grilled into the soft bun, it has minimalist filling of just one tender slice of pork tenderloin, one coin of tomato, a schmear of avocado, and a carrot and jalapeño escabeche. The pork loin has a clean, earthy flavor. It’s a dainty little sandwich, as compact and edible as the burritos. 

What To Eat

Platillo Especial

Deschebrada Burrito

Birria Quesadilla

Tinga Burrito

Bean and Cheese Burrito

Torta Sincilla


Burritos La Palma Recipes


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