Some new competition for Pinches Tacos has emerged on Culver City’s Washington Boulevard, as an adorable new Mexican restaurant named EK Valley opened its vibrant doors this month in the former home of Xotik Kitchen. Ek Valley, named we’re wildly guessing, in the same vein as the Yucatan’s Mayan ruins, “Ek Balam” (in which Ek means black), claims to specialize in Oaxacan and Southern Mexcan cuisine, but rings loudly with dishes from the former more than the latter. Plates of mole negro, cecina, barbacoa, and tasajo abound, while tlayudas and red mole tamales also make the cut. Already, local office drones seem to be flocking here over lunch, while we’re excited to try a chilacayote with the massive, $6.50 baked beef barbacoa taco, as we could always use a centrally located Gish Bac substitute come workdays.
Catch Ek Valley’s two-dollar tacos and tamales steamed in avocado leaves at 6121 Washington Blvd. Culver City.
Update: Barbara Hansen says it stands for “Epy’s Kitchen” after owner Epy Garcia.