Good, fresh corn tortillas are not always easy to find. But in and around the core of L.A., there are places where the tortillas are so fragrant and tender just off the grill that you'll want to eat them at once. At these spots, you can also usually buy home-style, freshly made flour tortillas, extra-thick Central American corn tortillas and platter-sized tortillas from Oaxaca.
These handmade flour tortillas are thin and flexible. The shop sells handmade corn tortillas too. Either type is $1.50 a dozen. La Azteca Tortilleria, 4538 Cesar E. Chavez Ave., (323) 262-5977.
On weekends, you can watch Oaxacan women make blandas, also called blanditas, at this restaurant in Koreatown. These super-sized Oaxacan corn tortillas are almost twice the size of supermarket tortillas. Blandas, $1.50 each, at Guelaguetza, 1034 W. Olympic Blvd., Saturdays and Sundays only, (213) 427-0608.
Made by the pound
If you're in Pico-Union around 4 p.m., stop here, where Central American women pat out thick, meaty Salvadoran-style tortillas. Instead of slapping the dough back and forth between their hands, they place a hamburger patty-sized round of masa on a circle of paper and pound it to size. $1.75 per half-dozen at La Adelita #1, 1287 S. Union Ave. (corner of Pico), (213) 487-0176.
Worth a wait
You may have to wait for your tortillas at this spot because they're made to order. Women pat the masa into shape by hand and plop the tortillas onto a large grill where they puff like pillows as they bake. Corn tortillas, $2 a dozen, at Los 5 Puntos, 3300 Cesar Chavez Blvd., (323) 261-4084.
All in the style
La Gloria doesn't show off its handmade flour tortillas. Listed on a board overhead as "hand-style" tortillas, they're packed and ready to go. 97 cents a dozen, La Gloria, 3455 1st St., (323) 263-3086.