Some of the most coveted seats in...

Some of the most coveted seats in the South Bay are the 10 counter stools at El Tarasco. For many Manhattan Beach residents, this tiny, 27-year-old cafe is a longtime favorite.

Although a wide range of Mexican dishes is offered, the 15 types of burritos are the most popular choices.

The Super Deluxe ($4) is a large creature filled with beef, rice, and beans and covered with melted

cheese, guacamole, sour cream and enchilada sauce. It can also be ordered with chicken, carnitas or carne asada. Some burrito fanatics pile it on with extra cheese (65 cents), guacamole (90 cents) or sour cream (65 cents).


Carne asada tacos ($2.30) are so loaded with grilled steak that they could pass for burritos in many places.

Several dinners are offered, all served with rice and beans. A diverting combination is the chile relleno-and-enchilada plate ($4.50). The chile relleno consists of a cheese-stuffed mild green chile that has been dipped in egg batter and fried. The enchilada, a tortilla stuffed with chicken and cheese and topped with a red salsa, makes a nice counterpoint to the slightly crunchy chile.

El Tarasco is at 316 Rosecrans Ave., Manhattan Beach. (310) 545-4241. Open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Other locations, 26344 S. Western Ave., Lomita. (310) 534-5165. Also 411 Grand Ave., El Segundo (310) 322-1074. 210 Main St., El Segundo (310) 414-9612.