BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANTS – LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
LA SERENATA DE GARIBALDI
1842 East 1st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90033
This is the original of José and Aurora Rodríguez’s three Serenata restaurants in Los Angeles. Located across the street from Garibaldi Square, the Los Angeles center for mariachis, the Serenata de Garibaldi offers inspired seafood and other dishes with original and delicate sauces. This is not your traditional tacos and burritos (in fact you won’t find tacos or burritos on the menu) but rather exquisite renderings of house specialities like the giant shrimp soup (a meal in itself), fish enchiladas in green chile sauce, shredded beef flautas or (highly recommended) the wide variety of seasonal fish dishes complimented with any one of several original sauces. :LATINOPIA RECOMMENDS you open with either the Mexican shrimp cocktail appetizer or the unusual quesadilla de pescado, a puffy rounded quesadilla stuffed with cheese and fish. For the entree, try one of the fish dishes or the Steak Tampiqueña.
LA TIA MOLE
4619 East César Chávez Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90022
You’ll find possibly the best mole in Los Angeles at this popular and moderately priced Eastside restaurant. Mole, a delicate sauce made of chile and chocolate and as many as 30 or more other ingredients, is a Mexican delicacy that has found a welcome home in the United States. La Tia offers traditonal Oaxacan black mole, as well as red, green and yellow moles and such exotic moles as velo de novia and passion fruit. You can have your moles served with traditonal dishes such as steak tampiqueno, cochinito pibil and enchiladas or served over an array of specialty dishes featuring halibut, duck, quail, frog legs, grilled chicken breast, steak medallions and veal. La Tia offers natural fruit drinks such as tamarindo and orchata. They do not sell alcoholic beverages but you may bring your own and they don’t charge a corkage fee. LATINOPIA RECOMMENDS the enmoladas tri-color, three cheese or chicken wrapped tortillas drenched in each of three different colored moles, red, green and white. This will give you a good sampling of the range of moles available at La Tia.
2126 César Chávez Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90033
This is the mother ship of the four La Parilla (The Grill) restaurants in the Los Angeles area. Located along busy Cesar Chavez Avenue, this popular family style restaurant is colorfully decorated with papel picado (Mexican paper cut-outs) and colorful lighting. The menu includes a wide variety of traditional Mexican dishes not often found in all Mexican restaurants such as nopallitos, chicharones en salsa verde, Paulette en Pipian, higado encebollado and filete Yucatan. LATINOPIA RECOMMENDS the pork ribs sauteed in chile sauce.
5300 East Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90022
This landmark East Los Angeles eatery was founded by The East Los Angeles Community Union (TELACU) in 1985. Since then it has become a regular meeting place for politicians, Hollywood celebrities, city officials as well as local residents. Named after Mexican painter Rufino Tamayo, the hacienda style restaurant includes larger than life original Tamayo paintings hanging from the outsized walls in the main dining room. The menu includes traditional Mexican dishes such as queso fundido, ceviche,
enchiladas, tacos and burritos. Specialities of the house include pollo mole poblano, bistec a la parilla estilo Guadalajara and Huachinango estilo Veracruz as well as desserts like arroz con leche and flan. The restaurant has a full bar. LATINOPIA RECOMMENDS the pollo mole poblano, half a chicken baked in mole sauce.
3447 North Verdugo Road
Glendale, CA 91208
This out-of -the-way little restaurant in Glendale, California, just outside the Los Angeles border, sports a surprisingly good menu of traditional Mexican fare. But La Cabañita also features dishes not often available at Mexican restaurants such as enchiladas de mole, entomatadas, enfrijoladas, tacos de placero (pork rind tacos), tacos de rajas con crema and chuletas en chile pasilla. The decor is festive and warm and the place is often packed with locals from the Northeast Los Angels area. La Cabañita has a full bar. LATINOPIA RECOMMENDS the excellent posole and the enchiladas de mole.