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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Houston
Food
Feel
Price
7.4
7.0
$10
Latin American
Casual restaurant

Hours
Tue–Fri 11:00am–9:00pm
Sat–Sun 9:00am–10:00pm

Bar Beer
Credit cards Visa, MC
Reservations Not accepted

Northwest Houston
16282 Loch Katrine Ln.
Houston, TX
(281) 550-3467
Los Guanacos
Salvadoran homestyle cooking that’s worth the drive

You’ll likely have to drive a fair distance to Los Guanacos, but trust us, it’s worth it. (A warning: we have trouble pinning them down about hours of operation, so call before you go and ask “¿Cuándo se cierra?”) The word “guanaco” is slang for a person from El Salvador, and this humble little place is all about Salvadoran street foods, namely pupusas, tamales, and pasteles. Its Northwest shack is clean and respectable, and the food’s totally cheap, which is good, considering the gas money it takes to get out here. The spacious dining room is often packed with regulars.

Pupusas, a mainstay of Salvadoran cuisine, are good here; the small discs of hand-patted masa (corn flour) are stuffed with a choice of cheese, chicharrones (fried pork skins), or loroco (a green, mild flower indigenous to the area). They’re fluffy, and surprisingly, not greasy. Curtido—pickled cabbage and carrots—is an essential condiment that adds a much-needed crunch of salty acidity. Tamales are good, too. Not to be confused with the denser Mexican version, the Salvadoran tamal is made from a light, fluffy masa. Simple elote, chicken, or poblano are good filling options. Ask for Salvadoran crema; it’s thick and somewhat like sour cream, and completes whichever little pocket of masa joy you choose.

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