While we’re all about chasing after the elote man and tailgating taco trucks, sometimes you want something a little ~fancier.~ You know, tablecloths, candlelight, the whole thing. Luckily, Los Angeles is full of really great Mexican (and Mexican fusion) restaurants that are perfect for an elegant and beautiful sit-down dinner you won’t soon forget.
Chichen itza is to your belly what money is to Teresa, and once you’ve had a taste, nothing else will matter. The cochinita pibil, succulent pork marinated with achiote, spices, citrus, cooked in banana leaves and served with tortillas, is epic. Order what is perhaps the best horchata in Los Angeles and round out your nice night out by catching a show at the nearby Shrine Auditorium. But you’ll have to smuggle drinks in yourself, because Chichen Itza is a booze-free zone.
Chichen Itza – 3655 S Grand Ave #C6, Los Angeles
Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen
Happy New Year's Eve! For those joining us tonight to celebrate, our NYE Menu will feature our Ceviche Avocado Basil, Mole Amarillo, Carne Asada con Rajas, and more. Check out our Facebook page for full menu! For any last minute reservations, call 714-633-3038 for availability. Happy New Years! #newyearseve #featuredmenu #seasonal #holidays #gabbiscocktails #gabbis_kitchen #orangecounty
Gabbi Patrick is no ordinary cocinera. She learned to cook at her parents’ elbows and was managing two of their LA restaurants by age 17. Her creative innovations meet unchanged family recipes, like the smokey habanero salsa that’s been passed down in her family for four generations. Be sure to try Gabbi’s homemade tortillas with the Carnitas Norteñas — they’re worth journeying south on the 405 at rush hour, and that’s saying a lot. Make sure to share the experience with someone worth crossing a freeway for, too.
Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen – 141 South Glassell Avenue, Orange
Sonoritas Prime Tacos
There’s a reason LA Weekly named theses the #1 tacos on the Westside. The charcoal grilled filet mignon and ribeye tacos will light a fire in your soul. The vegetarian taco amazes, too. And freshly spit-roasted pork on homemade tortillas with pineapple? Someone, somewhere is going to request this as a last meal. If it’s physically possible (we’re not sure), don’t overfill on tacos — the red velvet churros will round out a perfect meal.
Sonoritas Prime Tacos – 2004 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles
CaCao has a wait, like, all the time, but it’s worth it. Trust. Their duck carnitas tacos and incredible homemade guac will have you melting right along with their spicy hot chocolate. You may have to wait a bit, especially when during its weekend hipster brunchness, but the complimentary rosemary water (and hipster watching) will keep you busy as you wait.
CaCao Mexicatessen– 1576 Colorado Blvd, Eagle Rock
#Repost @jennymichellely ・・・ ? // dreaming of this baby while im prepping for Gen Beauty at work. presenting the casa vega molcajete. sliced flank steak, chicken breast, tiger shrimp, green onion, queso fresco, grilled chile relleno. baked and served with special sauce, sour cream, and guac. @casavegarestaurant #casavega #peanutbutterjennytime #foodporn #mexicanfood
Killer deep-fried burritos + strong margaritas + romantic low lighting = timeless classic. It’s no wonder Sherman Oak’s Casa Vega has thrived for more than 50 years. Perhaps that’s why Brad Pitt, Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and the like can be found tucked away in one of Casa’s more private booths (perfect for movie stars and plebe dates alike).
Casa Vega – 13301 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks
Crunch on some chicken skin chicharrones sprinkled with lemon pepper to start, and move on to the formidable rice and bean bowl. Try as many varieties of tacos as you can. With everything from shrimp to garlic mushroom, you won’t be disappointed. Perhaps that’s because of the rich masa on which they all sit — B.S. makes chubby tortillas to order from GMO-free corn because, well, it’s LA. Go on Taco Tuesday and get way more than your money’s worth.
B.S. Taqueria – 514 W 7th St Los Angeles
Coni Seafood’s chef Sergio Peñuelas, whom Jonathan Gold dubbed a “samurai chef” knows his way around a fish fryer like nobody else in the city. Try the tart mango ceviche marinero and their more daring delicacies, like marlin tacos and a secret stash of sea snails(!). The diablo shrimp will push you to your bliss limit, and it’s the perfect food for a romantic night out. (Just take care not to spill sauce on you or your date).
Coni Seafood – W Imperial HwyInglewood, CA 90303
Where do you get your Mexican food fanciness? Tell us in the comments below and don’t forget to share on Facebook and Twitter!