EAST LOS ANGELES — They came from around the corner and the Inland Empire, with some of them waiting nearly an hour this afternoon to purchase their favorite pork, cheese or chicken favorites at Tamales Liliana’s. At one point a line of nearly 50 customers, white order slips in hand, stretched from the glass front doors, down a walkway and under a canopy before nearly reaching the sidewalk in front of the Cesar Chavez Avenue shop. Want to avoid the long line? Liliana’s closes at 10 p.m. but will reopen at 2 a.m. for tamale-loving night owls who want to make their holiday purchases.
Romy Medina of Liliana’s said the East L.A. store expects to sell between 2,500 to 3,500 tamales at $1.50 each during the holiday rush. “There will be enough tamales,” she said to those worried about going tamale-less this Christmas. The best seller is the pork and red sauce tamale followed by the raja (pepper strips) and cheese.
Phone orders are no longer being accepted, so if you want tamales you will have to line up. A woman named Ana didn’t mind standing in line after driving in from Beaumont to buy four dozen tamales. She was bracing herself for the long trip home.
“I’m going to eat one on the way home. I will probably get a ticket. But it’s worth the ticket.”
Update on Dec. 24: L.A. TV and radio crews showed up at Liliana’s for some early morning tamale coverage:
— Pete Demetriou (@knxpete) December 24, 2015
It's tamale time in East Los Angeles! People have been lining up on Cesar Chavez Avenue since 2 AM. pic.twitter.com/4XpcPH33Jo
— CBS Los Angeles (@CBSLA) December 24, 2015
— Rick Montanez (@RickNBCLA) December 24, 2015
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