Tamales are a traditional Mesoamerican dish made of masa or cornmeal dough, filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables then steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf. Tamales can be filled with slow-braised meats like beef or pork, or sometimes hot, stretchy cheese. There are almost as many ways to enjoy a tamale as there are tacos in Los Angeles! Tamales are always enjoyed in Los Angeles around the Christmas holidays but can be enjoyed anytime of year.
At the Pier Tamales cart you can choose from chicken, beef, pork, or cheese fillings. Many people choose to eat tamales with a side of salsa and hot sauce. Pier Tamales has both red and green salsas to choose from.
You can also buy esquites from the Pier Tamale Cart. Esquites is a bowl of hot, seasoned corn kernels eaten all over mesoamerica. Sometimes called elote en vaso (corn in a glass) in Mexico, the grains of corn are first boiled in salted water, then sautéed in butter with onions, chopped chilies, and salt. It is served hot in small cups and topped with varying combinations of lime juice, chili powder or hot sauce, salt, and mayonnaise. The word esquites comes from the Nahuatl word ízquitl, which means “toasted corn”. This sweet and salty treat is not only tasty, but nutritious!
Pier Tamales is open daily and located on the Santa Monica Pier boardwalk, across from Marlene’s Beachcomber.
Photo courtesy of @ladypercivale.
Looking for more food options on the Pier? We have so much more to offer on-the-go and dine in.