Essential T: Last-Minute Holiday Tamales at Loteria Grill

Tamales make great gifts and are a welcome addition to any festive spread

I never tire of talking about the variety of tamales we have to try during the holidays here in L.A., tamales from all over the Americas. But if you still haven’t grabbed a dozen or so for your holiday functions, Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill has a solution. The many regional tamales I’ve covered require some running around — it’s well worth it — but you can conveniently pick up Loteria Grill’s tamales in Hollywood, Santa Monica, Westlake Village, Studio City, and the Original Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax with the added convenience of being able to order online.

You can still get tamales in time for Christmas, and New Year’s Eve, of course — I highly recommend tamales on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day for a late breakfast with a fried egg on top, a personal favorite. Loteria Grill’s tamales come with salsa and reheating instructions to ensure that your tamales are perfectly moist. They can be ready for pickup 48 hours after ordering.

There are five different Loteria Grill tamales available for this year’s festivities. You can also order them through February (Shaw mentioned that he might extend that to March). Hey, us Mexicans have some more parties to put together after the New Year that involve, of course, tamales like Shaw’s carnitas in a spicy, smoky chile morita or the coveted rajas (chile strips) con queso in a tart salsa verde. For a sweeter taste this holiday season, order Shaw’s tamales de piña (pineapple). Either way, there is no greater gift than the gift of masa.

redarrow Loteria Grill, various locations. To order tamales online, visit