The building used to be one of those old Taco Bells*. The Taco Bell closed and a new Taco Bell opened up right next door, and Melody's opened in the old Taco Bell space that is no longer a Taco Bell. This means it's architecturally interesting.
Melody's added a covered patio, about a hundred porcelain "smiling sunburst" wall medallions and several metric tons of vibrant paint. The result is a satisfying folk-art haven.
The menu is standard and complete: soft- or hard-shell tacos, quesadillas, burritos, tortas, some albondigas or consome de pollo, and various combination plates of it all. Their specialty is machaca and carnitas. The tacos have far more carnitas on them than is usually considered fair, slightly hard to the tooth but the magnificence of pork has not been cooked out. The burritos mojados come smothered in cheese and ranchera sauce. That and some made-from-scratch horchata makes Reseda Blvd. a little less oppressively hot. I haven't tried their milkshakes, the only remaining vestige of their past (Melody's is part of the Las Fuentes family (on Vanowen) and was originally more of a burger joint).
There's a parking lot in back that sort of melts with Taco Bell's, a local school, and a car wash.
The website is fairly heinous, but hey, it's Melody's recipes that keep me coming in.
* You know... the old-school Taco Bells, like tiny Mexican Catholic churches, with arched stone windows. Back then they had thin shredded cheddar cheese, Bellbeefers, and those little rectangular tubs of hot sauce that you could tilt back like a shot glass and pound down your throat on a dare. All those Taco Bells are gone, having morphed into Chinese or Thai joints.
( Categories: Cuisines (by Region), Mexican, The Valley )
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