Downtown LA hasn’t always been a dining hotspot, but thriving places like Bestia, Shibumi, Otium and recently Broken Spanish, are rapidly making it the place to be. At his brightly tiled restaurant, just steps from Staples Center, chef Ray Garcia effortlessly melds together authentic Mexican dishes with modern Californian sensibilities. The menu changes often, but expect to find dishes like an unabashedly spicy pollo prensado or a hearty lamb neck tamale with king oyster mushrooms and queso oaxaca. The tortillas, made on-site daily with heirloom mexican corn, are served with refried lentils or a dollop of whipped carnitas fat. Not ordering them would be a grave mistake. However, before you fill up on those piping hot tortillas remember to save room for the chicharrón. This thick slice of pork belly has been rubbed down generously with a blend of toasted chili de arbol, confited elephant garlic, and pink salt. Then it has been cooked sous-vide for 24 hours, allowed to tenderize for a few more days, and fried to a crisp right before arriving at your table. If you don’t fall in love at first bite, you are beyond help. By this point you will probably be stuffed, but a hazelnut dacquoise with canela pastry cream, mocha stout reduction, and cafe-canela ice cream might just be what the doctor ordered. Since this is a night of indulgence, don’t forget to imbibe in a few of the cocktails. They just might be some of the best in town, we just can’t quite recall.
Where? 1050 S Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90015
When? Sunday-Thursday 5:30-10PM, Friday-Saturday 5:30-11PM
How? (213) 749-1460 or OpenTable
Price: Small plates $4-28, Entrees $33-52
Best for: Dinner
This review was written by In The Loup contributor Ash Narayan, follow him on @anarayan97!