don rogelio's restaurant

Don Rogelio's Restaurant
10618 S. Inglewood Ave, Old Towne Lennox, CA, USA

I gotta stop trawling the deep ghetto for destitutes, but then I'd never find gems like this authentic Texas Tex-Mex place standing incongruously in a decrepit stretch of unincorporated Inglewood. Also, I'd never achieve "satisfaction" nor amass "souvenirs," to use LAPD parlance.

Don Rogelio's is as homestyle as it gets—everything about it is like stepping into owner Viola Herrera's home for a home-cooked meal and getting home-schooled on what's real, homie. She's a great cook and a feisty storyteller, and any meal you have here is sure to be served up with lots of love (or "amor," as they say in Texmexico).

 don rogelio's restaurant

What this place lacks in finesse it more than makes up for in flavor, so my initial slight skepticism gradually gave way to appreciation. Everything about Don Rogelio's is legit. The dining room has not-very-clean furniture literally from Viola's home, while the cheapo CD player blares what seems to have been a wedding band demo disc circa 1977.

You eat at a kitchen table and can feel free to wander around the yard soaking up the scrappy splendor of this strange oasis in the midst of a neighborhood you might otherwise desribe as Grimly Sleepy. 🤠 🙏 💀 💤

don rogelio's guac, texas beef, tortillas, chile verde

L.A. taco snobs expecting the more ubiquitous Mexican street food style might erroneously dismiss this place as Gringo, but this isn't inauthentic Mexican, it's honest-to-goodness Tex-Mex like you'll find in Herrera's hometown of Corpus Christi.

The food is stellar—the salsa's a little oily, but has some nice heat to it, and the guacamole's fresh and bright. I went with the Texas beef plate, while my trawling companion (think of her as a sort of west coast Lee Malvo) had the chile verde pork. Both fuckin' delicious. Killer handmade tortillas, too.

 don rogelio's restaurant

Top to bottom, you pretty much can't not love this place. By the time you leave, you'll have forgotten about the flies hovering around the dining room (unobtrusively, strangely enough) and any of your other minor quibbles.

Our bill ran to about $30 total, which for the amount and quality of the food was more than reasonable. Can't imagine not dropping in again next time we're in the area exploiting the marginalized for sadistic pleasure … hell, that'd be like going to Hollywood and not seeing the Hollywood sign.

The Grim Sleeper Bus Tour

Review by B.J. Plunderbottom, July 2012