El Cholo is an historic Santa Monica stop — Photo courtesy of hellfroze Santa Monica's El Cholo - part of a family group of restaurants begun in 1927 - serves a deliciously unique green corn tamale. This Wilshire Boulevard delight has also won awards for its margaritas, so enjoy.
Barra Barra Restaurant in the heart of San Diego’s historic Old Town serves up a succulent pineapple and raisin tamale through the month of December. Traditional pork and chicken tamales with tangy red and green sauce are also on the menu. You’ll find the ambiance of Old Town is as delightful as the cuisine, especially during the holiday season.
Lerua's in downtown Tucson is so popular for its green corn tamales, it regularly ships them around the world, to hungry patrons needing a taste of Tucson. Green corn tamales are slightly sweeter than regular tamales. Don't leave Tucson without trying them.
Histoic La Fonda, in the quiet, tree-shaded Alamo Heights section of San Antonio, has been drawing legions of loyal patrons since 1958. Its classic tamales come with or without chili and queso, and the Kids Plate #1 is comprised of tamale, rice and beans, attesting to the popularity of the dish.
In New Mexico, tamales are found year-round, but are considered a special holiday season treat. A simple corn masa is spread onto a dried corn husk, filled with meat (usually chile-roasted pork), and steamed cooked. It can be a time-intensive dish to make, but at the same time it brings families together in the kitchen, which adds to its holiday theme. In recent years chefs have taken the simple recipe and have added a variety of new ingredients, including dessert ingredients such as fruit and chocolate. For some of the best traditional tamales, check out Perea's Restaurant in the village of Corrales, just north of Albuquerque.