At the recently completed Taste of Mexico, held at LA Plaza in the heart of Los Angeles, more than 30 chefs and restaurants were showing off their culinary creations.
Here, in no particular order are my favorites, or to put it another way, restaurants you should check out if you are looking for the traditional tastes of Mexico!
Loteria Grill… Chef Jimmy Shaw hit a home run with his afternoon tortas. These wonderful Mexican sandwiches were made from the perfect bread from which all great tortas come. Crusty on the outside and fluffy and delicate on the inside, he even made sure the outside crust was grilled. perfectly done!
Frida Mexican Cuisine… Chef Vicente del Rio always seems to get tacos right and this year was no exception. Carnitas cooked to perfection and served with a host of different salsas.
Coni’Seafood… If you like seafood you need to visit Chef Sergio Peñuelas. he served up some great octopus ceviche tostadas and many consider his restaurant to be one of the best in the LA basin.
Mexicali Tacos… A clear crowd favorite, these tacos from Esdras Ochoa were made from strips of grilled to perfection New York Steak. Watching them serve, I was amazed at how many people said these were some of the best tacos they’d ever had.
La Monarca… Chef Ricardo Cervantes is a wizard of beautiful pan dulce and desserts. He also has a cold brewed cafe de olla that I thought was perfect for a warm afternoon.
The MicheMobil… What a party favor. From Fernando Lopez of Gualaguetza Restaurante, this little converted VW Bus comes complete with everything needed to make the perfect michelada. Add in the music deck, the DJ and the massive party TV screen and what’s not to like?
And then here’s a couple of wild cards… not restaurants, but single items you should make an effort to try.
Avocados of Mexico… Yes, I know it is a trade group, but they had an avocado mousse that was phenomenal. Smooth and creamy and topped with bits of chocolate, this was something special. Now go Google it and get busy making one of the best desserts you’ll ever have.
Ancho Chile Liqueur… This one is pure libation. You want something outside the box to serve your amigos when they come over for dinner? Try this. Made from an original 1920’s recipe from Puebla, this blend has just the right amount of kick and sweetness. Imagine using this in a bananas foster… I can’t wait.