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Rob Stark

The Best Restaurants, Cafes, and Attractions of Latin Los Angeles

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Bricia Lopez, one of Zagat's "30 Under 30" and recognized as one of the up-and-coming power players in the restaurant world, is a partner at Guelaguetza Restaurant, Los Angeles's temple for Oaxacan cuisine. She's a staunch proponent of Oaxacan culture and an integral figure in the gastronomic culture of LA. In 2015 her restaurant was awarded the coveted America's Classics award from the James Beard Foundation and the Los Angeles Times awarded her the Latinos de Hoy Cultural Ambassador Award. She also blogs at moleandmore.com and, after becoming a mother this year, launched Super Mamás Podcast alongside her sister, Paulina. In her busy schedule she finds time to check out LA's best food and culture that the city has to offer. Here are a few of her favorite spots.

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1. Guelaguetza Restaurant

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3014 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(213) 427-0608
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Founded by a husband-and-wife team more than 20 years ago, Guelaguetza continues to be the mecca of Oaxacan cuisine, serving LA’s best mole and micheladas. Now ran by the second generation (myself included), Guelaguetza offers much more than food: It is a cultural experience with Oaxacan street art displayed on the walls and live music playing from the stage every night of the week. If you haven’t eaten at Guelaguetza, you haven’t lived.
Rob Stark

2. Chichen Itza Restaurant

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3655 S Grand Ave #C6
Los Angeles, CA 90007
(213) 741-1075
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This counter-service eatery inside Mercado La Paloma serves up some of the best Mexican food Los Angeles has to offer. The specialty here is regional food from Yucatan, Mexico. Sundays are my personal favorite day to visit for their roasted suckling pig tortas and stew. Don’t forget to order some panuchos and an agua de chia to start off.
Rob Stark

3. La Monarca Bakery

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101 N Boyle Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90033
(323) 264-6600
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It’s hard to conceive that this beloved bakery, now boasting over a dozen locations, had its beginnings in Huntington Park. That isn’t to say that the business isn’t deserving, but every single location has such a unique, artisanal feel that it is almost impossible to believe that it's a chain. Favorites include their organic agave conchas, vanilla lattes, and Oaxacan-roast coffee.
Rob Stark

4. Grand Central Market

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317 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 624-2378
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There isn’t a place more mirroring of the transformation of Los Angeles than the Grand Central Market. It is a perfect juxtaposition of the old-school classic (and personal favorite) Villa Moreliana’s carnitas and relatively newcomer Wexlers Deli’s lox plate. This place offers a range of culture and history in one market.
Rob Stark

5. La Cita Bar

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336 S Hill St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 687-7111
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Enjoy “Mucho More” Saturday night parties and Sunday “Baile con Doble Poder” featuring cumbias and norteño music here. This low-key downtown bar has plenty of history reflected in its numerous nightly events. Make sure to visit their website and stay current of their events and happenings.
Rob Stark

6. El Floridita Cuban Restaurant

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1253 Vine St
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 871-8612
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First established in Havana as the “La Piña de Plata” in the early 1800s, El Floridita has become a staple in the salsa dancing community in Los Angeles. Drink your daiquiri, order tostones rellenos, and be blown away by the talent that walks through these doors. Bring your salsa A-game to the floor and spot celebrities like the Dodgers player Yasiel Puig, who’s a regular.
Rob Stark

7. LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes

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501 N Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 542-6200
Visit Website
More than a museum dedicated to story of Mexican Americans in Los Angeles, LA Plaza brings special programming to the community on a weekly basis. From their “Hecho con Amor” cooking classes to special screenings of movies like "Zoot Suit," LA Plaza’s programming is both culturally enriching and fun for the entire family.
Rob Stark

8. LA Librería

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4732 W Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90016
(310) 713-5852
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This magical midcity nook promotes the reading of children’s literature in Spanish, and specializes in imported books from fine publishing houses all over Latin America and Spain. Owned by two women, La Libreria offers curated literature for readers ages 1 to 15, with more than a few gems suitable for any age. Stay up-to-date with all of their events on their website.
Rob Stark

9. Alta Baja Market

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201 E 4th St
Santa Ana, CA 92701
(714) 783-2252
Visit Website
This deli and market celebrates the flavors of California, the American Southwest, and Mexico. The store will make any Pinterest-addict’s jaw drop as they walk through the aisles and experience all different textures, smells, and colors. Make sure to sign up for their cooking classes and on-site workshops.
Rob Stark

10. NorthGate Markets

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425 S Soto St
Los Angeles, CA 90033
(323) 262-0595
Visit Website
If you ever wondered where to get fresh Latino ingredients for that recipe you’ve always wanted to try but never had the courage to actually make, this store is for you. Ask any Latino in LA, whether from Mexico or Central America, and I bet their store of choice is NorthGate market. Here you can find everything from crema Salvadoreña, ingredients for your choco-banano, and all kinds of Mexican herbs and spices like papalo, hierba santa, and epazote.
Rob Stark
This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

1. Guelaguetza Restaurant

3014 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006
Rob Stark
Founded by a husband-and-wife team more than 20 years ago, Guelaguetza continues to be the mecca of Oaxacan cuisine, serving LA’s best mole and micheladas. Now ran by the second generation (myself included), Guelaguetza offers much more than food: It is a cultural experience with Oaxacan street art displayed on the walls and live music playing from the stage every night of the week. If you haven’t eaten at Guelaguetza, you haven’t lived.
3014 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006

2. Chichen Itza Restaurant

3655 S Grand Ave #C6, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Rob Stark
This counter-service eatery inside Mercado La Paloma serves up some of the best Mexican food Los Angeles has to offer. The specialty here is regional food from Yucatan, Mexico. Sundays are my personal favorite day to visit for their roasted suckling pig tortas and stew. Don’t forget to order some panuchos and an agua de chia to start off.
3655 S Grand Ave #C6
Los Angeles, CA 90007

3. La Monarca Bakery

101 N Boyle Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90033
Rob Stark
It’s hard to conceive that this beloved bakery, now boasting over a dozen locations, had its beginnings in Huntington Park. That isn’t to say that the business isn’t deserving, but every single location has such a unique, artisanal feel that it is almost impossible to believe that it's a chain. Favorites include their organic agave conchas, vanilla lattes, and Oaxacan-roast coffee.
101 N Boyle Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90033

4. Grand Central Market

317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Rob Stark
There isn’t a place more mirroring of the transformation of Los Angeles than the Grand Central Market. It is a perfect juxtaposition of the old-school classic (and personal favorite) Villa Moreliana’s carnitas and relatively newcomer Wexlers Deli’s lox plate. This place offers a range of culture and history in one market.
317 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013

5. La Cita Bar

336 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Rob Stark
Enjoy “Mucho More” Saturday night parties and Sunday “Baile con Doble Poder” featuring cumbias and norteño music here. This low-key downtown bar has plenty of history reflected in its numerous nightly events. Make sure to visit their website and stay current of their events and happenings.
336 S Hill St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

6. El Floridita Cuban Restaurant

1253 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Rob Stark
First established in Havana as the “La Piña de Plata” in the early 1800s, El Floridita has become a staple in the salsa dancing community in Los Angeles. Drink your daiquiri, order tostones rellenos, and be blown away by the talent that walks through these doors. Bring your salsa A-game to the floor and spot celebrities like the Dodgers player Yasiel Puig, who’s a regular.
1253 Vine St
Los Angeles, CA 90038

7. LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes

501 N Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Rob Stark
More than a museum dedicated to story of Mexican Americans in Los Angeles, LA Plaza brings special programming to the community on a weekly basis. From their “Hecho con Amor” cooking classes to special screenings of movies like "Zoot Suit," LA Plaza’s programming is both culturally enriching and fun for the entire family.
501 N Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

8. LA Librería

4732 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016
Rob Stark
This magical midcity nook promotes the reading of children’s literature in Spanish, and specializes in imported books from fine publishing houses all over Latin America and Spain. Owned by two women, La Libreria offers curated literature for readers ages 1 to 15, with more than a few gems suitable for any age. Stay up-to-date with all of their events on their website.
4732 W Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90016

9. Alta Baja Market

201 E 4th St, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Rob Stark
This deli and market celebrates the flavors of California, the American Southwest, and Mexico. The store will make any Pinterest-addict’s jaw drop as they walk through the aisles and experience all different textures, smells, and colors. Make sure to sign up for their cooking classes and on-site workshops.
201 E 4th St
Santa Ana, CA 92701

10. NorthGate Markets

425 S Soto St, Los Angeles, CA 90033
Rob Stark
If you ever wondered where to get fresh Latino ingredients for that recipe you’ve always wanted to try but never had the courage to actually make, this store is for you. Ask any Latino in LA, whether from Mexico or Central America, and I bet their store of choice is NorthGate market. Here you can find everything from crema Salvadoreña, ingredients for your choco-banano, and all kinds of Mexican herbs and spices like papalo, hierba santa, and epazote.
425 S Soto St
Los Angeles, CA 90033

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