I started going to Alamo Cafe over 30 years ago when the business was just north of 410 on San Pedro. I went there a LOT. My girlfriend even worked there. I spent a lot of time eating my way through the menu. It was decent Mexican food (what we call Tex-Mex), the chicken fried steak was solid, and the tortillas were great. My, how things have changed.
The sprawling location several miles North of the original was appalling on almost every level. The crowd was dressed extremely casually—I’m taking sweat pants and flip-flops. The room was dirty, humid, and had a fetid smell. Many let their children run feral between tables and in walkways. The room was so loud I had to ask my daughter, seated next to me, to repeat herself often (I have good hearing). Over five tables remained un-bused for quite a while, and lastly the food was incredibly sub-standard—the beans were too thin, the rice was sticky, the chicken fried steak seemed straight out of the freezer, the salsa tasted canned, and the skinny margaritas were a mix or pre-made. The server was fine—doing what he could given the circumstance.
I guess a tourist might like the kitschy decor, but my family will not be returning. It’s a shame to have lost what was once such a good, local choice.