Mama's International Tamales

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 9 reviews )
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213-487-7474
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2124 W 7th St (at opposite Mac Arthur Park), Los Angeles, California, USA, 90057

Serves meat, vegan options available. Changed ownership at the end of 2011 and has different owner and food as the former Mama's Hot Tamales Cafe. Open Tue-Fri 11:00am-6:00pm, Sat-Sun 10:00am-6:00pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Take-out, Mexican, Catering, Non-veg

9 Reviews

First Review by Chia

Pretty Good!!! - Edit

The food here is pretty good. I use to love pupusas when I was a meat eater so theirs is pretty good but not too crazy about the cheese they used. The tortilla soup was pretty good as well. I never had a green tortilla soup before. I prefer green over red anything (ie salsa, sauces, etc)

Pros: The food is pretty good, The customer service is pretty good , Prices for the meals are pretty good

Cons: Hard to find parking

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Not bad at all. - Edit

I'm extremely particular about tamales. I'm not impressed by the majority I've had. I tried Mama's fully prepared not to like them, but I was pleasantly surprised. It always helps when fresh ingredients are used.

Pros: Fresh ingredients , Good recipe

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great vegan options - Edit

Looks like what a place called mamas should. It still exist in contrary to other reviews and the vegan tamales were excellent

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Best vegan tamales - Edit

They had a stand at the Eat Drink Vegan Beer and Food Fest in Pasadena. They were dozens of vendors and Mama's had the longest line of customers, and of course we were intrigued. They have super awesome tamales, especially the corn tamales, they were out of this world. My non vegan friend declared them the best tamales he's ever had. On a second trip to LA I visited their store and bought 10 dozen tamales to go, they're that good. The people there are super friendly. They are a non for profit organization helping people get jobs.

Pros: Great food, Very friendly staff, Helping others succeed

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Excellent spot - Edit

Very good vegan tamales and vegan horchata, and particularly good vegan papusas: the dough is nice and thin and the bean and cheese filling is perfect.

There are three vegan tamale options and two vegan papusa options. They have a range of aguas frescas, including two types of vegan horchata: Mexican and Salvadorean. I'd never tried Salvadorean horchata before: it's thicker and more flavorful, a bit smoky.

Aside from the food, the restaurant itself is a nice place to sit down and have a meal. The people who run the place are very pleasant and advised us that a full vegan menu will be introduced soon, one that will include vegan ceviche.

Pros: Excellent food., Pleasant service, More vegan options to come

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No Longer Exists - Edit

I was really looking forward to trying out some vegan/vegetarian tamales from this store since it had so many good reviews and was so close to where I live. But when I arrived, it was to find that the store had been replaced by a Pollo Campero instead. And later when I looked up the store again, I discovered that due to some kind of legal battle/chronic illness(?) the owner was involved in, that they were forced to close. I'm sure it was a great place to be when it was open and I hope it one day open again, but until then it would be great if the store was no longer listed on any maps or restaurant guides. Please take down the listing on this site or make a note in clear and visible text, that it's no longer operational. Thank you.

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khatch 07 Nov 2016 - It's still there!  


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Mamas is awesome! - Edit

This place is great! I just moved to the neighborhood a few weeks ago and I've already been here 10 times! Great place to take you non-veg*n friends when you want to stuff your face too!

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Delish Tamales! - Edit

Mama's makes excellent vegan tamales- just make sure you ask which one's are vegan, since the restaurant is not. Too many tamales out there, restaurant or store bought, consist of a mass of cornbread and two strips of soggy onion inside. This place finally does tamales justice. Had the black bean tamale & chocolate tamale. Both excellent. Guacamole was disappointing. It was a pile of chopped tomato & onion, with a little avocado mixed in. Where's the avocado? Plantains were OK, but I've had much better. They were definitely on the dry side. The black bean soup served with them was good though.

Pros: Great tamales, Friendly staff, Clean and inviting

Cons: Sketchy hood, Parking is a challenge

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Yummy Vegan Tamales - Edit

Had read about this place on HappyCow and finally made it out to this part of Los Angeles. Here's my Mama's Hot Tamales Cafe review.

Was just here a couple days ago for lunch. It's situated directly opposite Mac Arthur Park in/near downtown Los Angeles. Parking is on street only.

The tables and chairs inside were all painted Mexcian-style with lots of lively colors of flowers, plants, and vegetable. It did seem a bit stagnant and grungy to me, though.

The chalkboard menu lists the tamales on offered that day. Of the six, 2 were vegan suitable (I asked): beans & herbs and spinach & mushroom. I got a bit of hot salsa to eat with the tamales, which were both quite delicious. I would definitely return to get the vegan tamales.

I also got a serving of the fried plantains, served with refried black beans (without the sour cream). While sweet, the plantains were too much charred (blackened) for my liking.

I would come back for the espresso as well, because the Americano I had (espresso + hot water) was quite good. Who knew a tamales restaurant would offer good coffee?!

Pros: authentic Mexican, good espresso

Cons: interior a bit grungy

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