Owners Tony and Kelli Almond, who also operate Almond's in Clayton, have put together a concise menu that offers few surprises aside from the brisket. Tacos are served in a hard corn or soft flour tortilla and topped with shredded cheese, lettuce and tomato. The available meats are brisket, ground beef and chicken. The brisket was fine, but the chicken tasted unseasoned — and I don't mean spices; I mean any seasoning whatsoever, including salt.

The same shortcoming bedeviled the meat that filled the pork tamales, but the masa was soft and sweet, and the tamales were topped with a tart, mildly spicy tomatillo salsa and a few slices of pickled jalapeño. The chicken inside an order of enchiladas had enough flavor to stand up to the cheese and "gravy" atop it. This gravy struck me as no more or less interesting as the red ranchero sauce that tops enchiladas at most area restaurants.

But like Chuy Arzola's before it, Latitude 26 isn't meant for those seeking to expand their palates. It's a comfort-food restaurant, a place for beers and chips and guac with friends. After all, it can't always be tacos al pastor.

Family friendly: Taqueria la Monarca proprietor Jose Coronel, with his mother, Irma Cross.
Family friendly: Taqueria la Monarca proprietor Jose Coronel, with his mother, Irma Cross.

Location Info


Taqueria La Monarca

8531 Olive Blvd.
University City, MO 63132

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: University City

Taqueria la Monarca
8531 Olive Boulevard, University City; 314-814-5864.
Hours: 9 a.m.-8:30 p.m. daily.
Amigo Joe's
5901 Southwest Avenue; 314-645-1995.
Hours: 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Mon.-Tue., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Wed.-Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun.
Latitude 26
6405 Clayton Avenue; 314-932-5600.
Hours: Lunch 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tue.-Fri. Dinner 5-10 p.m. Tue.-Fri. Open noon-10 p.m. Sat.

Or can it? Hmmm....

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