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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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Guelaguetza Restaurant

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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

Chichen Itza Restaurant

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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

La Monarca Bakery

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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

Grand Central Market

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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

La Cita Bar

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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

El Floridita Cuban Restaurant

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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

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes

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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

LA Librería

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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

Alta Baja Market

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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

NorthGate Markets

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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.

Guelaguetza Restaurant

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.
Rob Stark

Chichen Itza Restaurant

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.
Rob Stark

La Monarca Bakery

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.
Rob Stark

Grand Central Market

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.
Rob Stark

La Cita Bar

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.
Rob Stark

El Floridita Cuban Restaurant

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.
Rob Stark

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes

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.
Rob Stark

LA Librería

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.
Rob Stark

Alta Baja Market

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.
Rob Stark

NorthGate Markets

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.
Rob Stark

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