Only ten minutes from CSUN, Las Fuentes is a quaint Spanish eatery located on Reseda Boulevard and Vanowen Street.
Las Fuentes is surrounded by automotive shops, making this secret hideaway even more special. In business since 1982, Las Fuentes is the first Mexican restaurant that I have been to that I can truly say serves homemade food. Along with the amazing food, the prices and customer service is top notch.
When entering the restaurant, customers step up to the first stop to order and pay for their meals. To the right of the cashiers there is a detailed menu that takes up half the wall. Burritos, tacos, tostada, combination plates, desserts, and drinks are listed on two walls.
When we walked up we had no idea how much our food was going to cost after seeing a family of four’s meal came to $40.
Surprisingly my chicken tostada, my mother’s carnitas taco combination, chips and two small drinks only came to $16.46.
Next stop along the blue tiled counter is where we were given warm, crispy perfectly salted chips. Our sodas were pretty large, considereing we ordered the smallest size. The system at Las Fuentes is like many restaurants, with picking up your order when your number is called.
The last stop along the counter is the dessert case. Shelves upon shelves are filled with flan, chocolate cake and other delicious pastries. For convenience there is a separate register where patrons can buy dessert to avoid the first line. Another plus, is you don’t have to make the decision before you eat in case you still have room for dessert!
We were able to sit down, get our salsa from the salsa bar and enjoy our chips before our number was called. The wait was enough time to start on our chips, but not fill up on our appetizer like some do at other Mexican restaurants when chips are given before the meal.
When my mother came back from picking up the food, we were surprised to see that the food was served on actual ceramic plates instead of paper-lined baskets. Although our silverware was plastic, it hardly delayed us from digging into food that was wafting with delicious aromas.
My mother ordered a carnitas (pork) taco combination plate that came with rice and beans. It was surprising how much food she got for only $5.10. She said the pork was really good and tasted homemade, just as the restaurant boasts.
I dug into my $6.90 chicken tostada with a hungry stomach. It was stuffed to the max with refried beans, cheese, lettuce, sour cream, and guacamole. Large pieces of tender white meat chicken were delicious and the shell was nice and crispy. There was a very authentic taste to all the food that we were given.
The ambiance of Las Fuentes is a major part of the experience. Hand painted murals line the walls along with framed Diego Rivera prints. The ceiling is covered in vine foliage and twinkling lights hangs in the large front windows giving the entire restaurant the feeling of sitting on your own back porch.
The restaurant holds 119 people at capacity, and all but five tables were taken while we were there. For a Wednesday night it was busy and lively. In the small restaurant there is also two smaller rooms called “El Cuartito” and “Senor Sol” with only a few tables in each for those who want a more intimate setting.
Las Fuentes also serves alcoholic drinks such as imported Mexican beer favorites such as Tecate, Modelo and Dos Equis. They also serve blended wine margaritas if you are craving a fruity drink.
The only drawback to the restaurant is the parking. I strongly suggest carpooling. There is very little parking space since the restaurant is situated in an industrial park. However, the food and atmosphere definitely make up for dealing with the small parking lot and busy streets.