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Guisados

EatLA-1768

WHY It’s everything a modern taquería should be in Los Angeles—adaptive and inventive yet traditional and classic. WHAT Guisados was born from the minds behind Cook’s Tortas, and here they channel the creativity of Cook’s into homey stews and braises swaddled in sturdy, rough-hewn tortillas. The menu is forever changing, but keep an eye peeled [...]

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CaCao Mexicatessen

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WHY Warmth, a strong sense of neighborhood and a serious approach to food—and, more importantly, to Mexican chocolate in all its forms. WHAT The name was a poor choice—everyone stumbles over it—but everything else about this richly colorful café/deli/market succeeds. You order at the counter to eat in the café or out on the patio, [...]

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Yxta Cocina Mexicana

EatLA-1332

WHY For 40 years, Jesse Gomez’s family has been turning out ‘careful-the-plate-is-hot’ Mexican food at El Arco Iris, an old-school hub of Highland Park life. Now Gomez has created a new-school, loft-like place serving regional Mexican dishes, as well as twenty-some tequilas and what may well be the best margarita Downtown. WHAT This is not [...]

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Border Grill

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WHY Designer margaritas and superb appetizers from California-cuisine pioneers. WHAT Chef/owners Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken are foodie rock stars whose first, shoebox-size restaurant City morphed into the original Border Grill. Today, TV’s ‘Two Hot Tamales’ have an empire that includes two other Border Grills (Downtown and Vegas) and Feniger’s Street. This is where [...]

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Chichen Itza

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WHY Seductive dishes from the Yucat‡n: robust, citrus-spiked soups; panuchos with shredded turkey, tomato, pickled red onion and avocado; cochinita pibil; and wonderful tamales, including the colado, with chicken and achiote. WHAT Terrific Yucat‡n cooking is served at this order-at-the-counter café in the nonprofit Mercado la Paloma, also home to Mo-Chica. The flavors are rich, [...]

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Tacos Por Favor

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WHY Tender birria (baby goat), generous carne asada and carnitas tacos, acclaimed chorizo-cheese tacos and restorative menudo on weekends. Watch out for the fiery salsas. WHAT This friendly, capacious taqueria manages to be both healthful (fresh tomatoes, lean meats, no lard) and authentic. WHO At lunch, a long line of people from nearby low-key entertainment-industry [...]

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Cactus Taqueria

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WHY Birria (goat), chorizo, al pastor and delicious camaron (fried shrimp), all served as tacos and paired with a good salsa and marinated-veggie bar. WHAT Your basic taco joint, except the choices are better than the norm; you can eat at a picnic table outside or take your tacos back to work. WHO Cops, Hollywood eccentrics [...]

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Tacos La Fonda

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WHY Tortillas made fresh on the truck, juicy carne asada and excellent salsas, especially the smoky, spicy roja. WHAT Some of the best tacos in the Valley are handed through the window of this truck, which takes up residence in the car wash parking lot in the evenings. WHO The usual assortment of taco-truck people: [...]

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Teresita’s

EatLA-680

WHY Wonderful, traditional Mexican cooking: goat stew on weekends and always-good daily specials, like albondigas on Monday, pork ribs in chile negro sauce on Wednesdays and pozole on Fridays. WHAT This East L.A. landmark family restaurant serves simple, very good home cooking. Weekend breakfasts are worth rolling out of bed for. WHO Politicians and police [...]

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Lotería Grill

EatLA-693

WHY Tacos stuffed with chicken mole, mushrooms, cactus or squash, huevos rancheros for brunch and stunning aguas frescas made from fresh fruits or jamaica flowers. WHAT This little stand turns out some of the best Mexican food for miles around with a creative Mexico City—style flair. For more of a sit-down meal with the same [...]

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