4749 Coldwater Canyon Ave.
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 762-7771

When I was discharged from the hospital after cardiac bypass surgery in July 2008, the doctors, dieticians and nurses told me I should no longer eat in Mexican restaurants. I was going to be on a low fat, low cholesterol, low sodium diet and Mexican restaurants were off limits.

I love Mexican food and there were several Mexican restaurants Jennifer and I enjoyed. But a quadruple bypass was more than enough to get my attention. Mexican restaurants were out.

So, I decided to learn more about cooking Mexican and I was doing very well. Jennifer and I were eating my homemade Mexican meals regularly. It was low fat, low cholesterol, low sodium and it was delicious.

Then I discovered Hugo’s Tacos. It’s owned by the people who own Hugo’s Restaurant, a place dedicated to healthy cooking, so I decided to investigate.

What I found is a small stand, hard by a Ventura Freeway on ramp that serves relatively healthy Mexican food that is tasty, generously proportioned and modestly priced. It may not be perfect by the standards of a dietician but it’s certainly good enough to fit into my diet. Maybe not every day or even every week, but certainly often.

The web site says, “Our recipes come from a collection of taste memories that cross the border into Mexico and back again, recipes never fully written down before, but passed from family member to family member with each generation adding their own imprint.”

The menu offers tacos, burritos, torta ahogada, tostadas, nacho grandes, quesadillas and tamales. Each is available with chicken, steak, fish, carnitas, al pastor, zucchini/corn/string beans, or soy chorizo/potato and zucchini. And there are seven degrees of fire in salsas ranging from pico de gallo to salsa arbolo.

Much of the business is take out, but there are a few tables at the side of the stand for those who want to eat there. Access and egress can be tight because of freeway on ramp traffic. But it’s well worth the few inconveniences for the quality of what you will eat.

There is another Hugo’s Tacos location in Atwater Village. I haven’t been to it, but it offers the same menu.

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