El Cholo, the LA Mexican Classic Joint
1121 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90006
El Cholo is the mother of Mexican food in Los Angeles. Since 1923, this absolutely massive restaurant in Koreatown (there’s also now a location downtown) has been serving classics that have become staples of this city’s cuisine. Their sonoran enchiladas (with a fried egg on top) are a must, but you can’t go wrong with the chimichangas, the green corn tamales, the guacamole, or anything else that hits the table. This isn’t cutting-edge Mexican, but it’s comfort food at its finest in a festive atmosphere you’ll never want to leave. Come with a big group and order way too many margarita pitchers. -Infatuation
El Coyote, the Best Historic Mexican Spot
7312 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
When it comes to old standbys, El Coyote is about as accurate as that term gets. Established in 1931, this restaurant is one of those few LA spots that have grown up with the city, generation by generation. A mainstay of Mexican food in Los Angeles, El Coyote opened its doors in 1931 and this family-owned eatery has been making sure that Angelenos get their fill of tacos, burritos and margaritas ever since. The kitschy decor includes Christmas lights that burn all year round, giant sombreros and stained glass windows; it's a perfect decor for the groups that gather to sip their house-made sangria and chow down on their famous shrimp fajitas and ostrich tacos. If tequila is your drink of choice, be sure to visit on Margarita Mondays and Tequila Tuesdays, where drink specials flow freely. - 10 Best
B.S. Taqueria, the Best Spot for Modern Mexican Cuisine
514 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Mexican street food goes freestyle at this colorful, counter-service eatery. Here, al pastor tacos might ditch pork for cauliflower and ceviche tostadas might pair lime-cured basa with pomegranate. Chef Ray Garcia's creative flair shines brightest in the dinner menu, with cult-status dishes such as a phenomenal clams and lardo taco and a tres lechescake worth every calorie. -Lonely Planet
Gracias Madre, the Best Mexican/Vegan Spot
8905 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Gracias Madre shows just how tasty – and chichi – organic, plant-based Mexican cooking can be. Sit on the gracious patio or in the cozy interior and feel good as you eat healthily: sweet-potato flautas, coconut 'bacon,' plantain 'quesadillas,' plus salads and bowls. We're consistently surprised at innovations like cashew 'cheese,' mushroom 'chorizo' and heart-of-palm 'crab cakes.' -Lonely Planet
Broken Spanish, the Best Upscale Mexican Cuisine
1050 S Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Broken Spanish takes things you’ve probably had before, like tamales and pork belly, and turns them into dishes you can only find at this restaurant. The tamale here is stuffed with lamb neck and king oyster mushrooms, and the pork belly is at least two inches tall and topped with something called elephant garlic mojo. But let’s talk more about that food for a second. It’s magic. You’re going to spend some money on it and you’re going to be entirely ok with it. Because as you slowly work your way through the menu, you begin to see the future. Maybe it’s your own, maybe it’s that of Mexican food as a whole, but it’s there. Reach out and grab it. Whether it’s the scallop crudo or the rabbit and liver stew dropped off at the table in a plastic bag, you realize something. The future is actually right now.
Guerrilla Tacos, Best Place for Grab & Go Tacos
2000 E 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90021
This old-school, family-run Sherman Oaks staple is a classic hub for homey plates of Mexican fare (e.g. cheesy enchiladas, burritos and tacos) and margarita-fueled happy hours. The classic room (tufted red leather booths, brick walls, colorful paintings and twinkle lights lining the dining room and bar) is nice and dark, making it perfect for Valley celeb spotting. - Infatuation
Taqueria Los Anaya, the Best Spot for Authentic Mexican
4651 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016
Brothers Juan, Manuel, and Gerardo Anaya came to the US by way of Mexico to build a better future and start their own family business. The dream was realized in 2012 with the opening of Taqueria Los Anaya, which specializes in fresh, flavorful, and authentic Mexican food. There are so many great dishes here it's hard to suggest one, but the breakfast chilaquiles is superb! -On the Grid
Paco's Tacos Cantina, the Best Hidden Gem
6212 W Manchester Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Paco's serves faithful Mexican food for people who are tired of Americanized versions of Mexican food found at typical chain restaurants. This place is kid friendly and the restaurant gives out crayons and stuff to color on. If there is a birthday, the staff will provide the birthday boy or girl with a sombrero and an enthusiastic version of "Happy Birthday." All of these extra touches go a long way to make Paco's Tacos a fun restaurant for almost everyone. A "must have" is at least one order of the hand-made tortillas. There is huge enclosed circular area in the middle of the restaurant where the "Tortilla Lady" prepares the tortillas on a large grill. -Westland Traveler
El Chato Taco Truck, the Best Mexican Food Truck
5300 Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
El Chato, on the corner of Olympic and La Brea, is renown for its confluence of preparation and execution, where perfect pastor marinade meets the expert hands of those manning the plancha. Their smoky chipotle is a dream, the sort of thick, hearty, heat-filled concoction that — if bottled — would make people forget the name sriracha. And when the al pastor and all that salsa combine under the drape of melted mozzarella cheese inside a crispy-at-the-edges quesadilla, there is no better late night flavor to be had from a taco truck in all of Los Angeles. - LA Weekly
Casa Vega, the Best Margarita Spot
13301 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
This old-school, family-run Sherman Oaks staple is a classic hub for homey plates of Mexican fare (e.g. cheesy enchiladas, burritos and tacos) and margarita-fueled happy hours. The classic room (tufted red leather booths, brick walls, colorful paintings and twinkle lights lining the dining room and bar) is nice and dark, making it perfect for Valley celeb spotting. - Zagat
Photos by Nadira Fatah
6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Los Angeles tourists and residents enjoy visiting the shopping complex known as The Grove. With several retail shops, restaurants and entertainment opportunities- it makes sense why people would ignore the second half of the large location. Past Zara, but near the Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant-the Original Farmers Market is placed behind the glitz and glamour of The Grove. As a constant visitor of the mega outdoor mall, I am guilty of avoiding the hidden Farmers Market. I may have utilized the market as an easier form of parking or a pickup/drop up zone; however, I never actually spent time in the area. I decided to add this as an activity for my Los Angeles bucket list and in March I finally completed this long-awaited task.
The 600,000 square foot location is half Grove and half Farmers Market. One street separates the two different areas. What many people don’t know is that the Grove is technically on the Market’s land. In July 1934, the Los Angeles landmark opened for business and has been pushing on since then. Author Fairmont Gilmore and his partner purchased the land. Ten years later they decided to split the two into its own separate areas. At the time, Gilmore’s land provided a space for nearby farmers to sell their produce to local residents. It also provided oil visitor's cars thanks to their Gilmore gas station. Celebs such as Mickey Rooney, Johnny Carson, Marilyn Monroe, and Elvis Presley visited the area’s early installment of the local restaurants. In 1990, the area had a huge expansion and added extra space for vendors, restaurants, and attractions. This expansion proved to be successful by making it a local retailer's heaven. The market is similar to a bazaar or even the fame LA alleys. Tucked and tightened are over 50 booths selling various items such as food, and toys. I was immediately overwhelmed but excited to see where this market could take me.
Walking towards the “Third & Fairfax” location, I did not know what kind of crowd to expect. Unfortunately, I visited the market on the most popular day of the year: St. Patrick’s Day. Crowds of people surrounded the tight area all while partying with their green beer to the cultural music playing in the background. One of the area’s highlights is its attention to cultural celebrations. Time and time again, this area has been awarded for their various holiday festivals including Christmas, Fourth of July and even Cinco De Mayo. The area’s attention to cultural development might be due to the surrounded vendors from various races. Each vendor at attendance supplied food from all backgrounds. Italian, Sweeden, African, and Asian (just to name a few). With this cultural enhancement, this place is a paradise for a foodie. To the left there’s pizza and to the right, there is a New Orleans inspired cafe. Cornered by all of these amazing treats, I was not too sure what to eat. It was so chaotic, I was not even sure what to necessarily write about for the longest. (I considered having a review on several of the merchants but, I decided to save that for a future post.)
The first place I tried was the local bar in the back. Yes, this already mecca of a location sells alcohol! E.B’s Beer & Wine is probably the widest out of all the shops to fill in those thirsty customers who need a good drink and great place to watch the weekend games. After enjoying a pint, I went to get my next item of choice, an ice cream cone. I purchased a cone from Local Ice, a place that offers your favorite frozen treats all developed organically. I can honestly say that this is one of the best ice creams that I’ve had in a long time. The rich cold vanilla cone soothed the hot day at the market. Finishing the cone, I decided to check out the groceries section of the market. Here I am with the Farm Boy produce placed in the outer aisles. The fruit looked delicious and healthy. This location has piles of fruit from apples to surprisingly dragon fruit. It even offered customers the opportunity to browse through their favorite items and create their own smoothie from scratch starting ($4). The produce was magnificent in taste and size, making it worth the affordable rate. Beyond the food, the area also offered various shops provided by DIY designers. These crafty shops currently are selling jewelry, candles, toys and home decor. The best part is that all these items were created locally by the vendors. When you’re finished eating your way through the market, you can also stop by to handle your everyday errands. Space has its own shoe repair shop, key making station, postal service, and barbershop.
Overall, this location was amazing and provided everything anyone could ever need for the day. Due to its large size however, I was not able to touch on every single thing the market had to offer. In the near future, I will be doing several posts reviewing all of the merchants and restaurants in the location. For now, if you would like to find out more about the different merchants check out their website.
Small Farms, Sustainable Practices
Souvenir Shopping Haven
-Park at The Grove's parking structure, The Original Farmers Market garage does not offer validation.
-Go early and keep the season in mind.
-Check the Farmer's Market website for special events like summer concerts and family activities.
- Come with cash. This place is not really card user friendly.
MON- FRI: 9AM-9PM
Happy International Waffles Day!
1. Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles
The Los Angeles staple definitely earned its spot on the list as one of the best waffle joints in Los Angeles. The brunch spot which offers the pairing of chicken and waffles is a local favorite when visiting California. In 1975, the first Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles opened and since then has been growing to several areas including: Hollywood, Inglewood, Pasadena, Long Beach and Anaheim. The soul food chain has become a tourist spot and everyone's favorite item is the "Obama Special" (3 wings and a waffle).
Awkwardly placed in the "La Tijera" Triangle, this Los Angeles diner is a scene stealer for both Angelos and tourists. On the way to LAX, passerby can't help but to notice the 50's style diner. Panns is a popular brunch spot that is famous for their delicious waffles. This place is an amazing Los Angeles brunch spot thanks to its tasty Belgian waffles and all-you-can drink mimosa.
3. The Waffle
The Waffle is located on Sunset Blvd. and has been open for business since 2008. This place is known for its bold, retro yet timeless decor. We also can't forget it is obviously known for its amazing waffles. The area is pet friendly and welcoming! They have various choices of waffle flavors including red velvet, blueberry lemon waffle, tres leches waffle and surprisingly waffle fries.
4. Bru Wiffles
I've actually never tried this place yet but, based off of this review by Infatuation LA I;m definitely adding it onto the Indigo Stop list! "This breakfast-only fried chicken and waffles joint lives up to the hype - the fried chicken is always perfectly juicy, the waffles are fluffy, and you can easily stretch the giant serving into two meals. There are other options on the menu, but we can’t comment on them, because there is no point in ordering anything but the waffles. "
5. Serving Spoon
Inglewood is also home to this "urban eatery'. In 1983, this family owned restaurant opened for business and built a black-own amazing restaurant. The Serving Spoon features waffles in several pairings including chicken, eggs and bacon, Fun advice order The Cookie and receive a waffle with butter and a quintet of fried chicken wing drumettes. Customers also have the opportunity to add a little flavor to their waffles by adding cinnamon dust.
765 Wall St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Hidden between both the floral and fashion districts of Los Angeles, sits a quaint yellow diner that contrasts the bustling city. Home-style cooking, comfort food, and friendly staff: Poppy+Rose Los Angeles has it all. At first glance, the café stands out with its unique styling and charm. Don't let the location frighten you! Beyond the heavy traffic and thousands of fabrics and foliage, Poppy+Rose is certainly worth the journey. Downtown is a premier location for all creatives to get inspired by the art of the city. Streets are filled with polka dots, furs, and colorful fabrics. All that creativity eventually becomes overwhelming, and then the hunger develops. The street food including hot dogs and snacks do not necessarily complete my all-around creative adventure, especially because those locations are outdoors and do not provide sitting or working locations. The Wall Street's original location was occupied by a Mexican restaurant until the husband and wife Ryan and Diana Lamon collaborated with Michael Reed to open the café.
When I heard about the Downtown café, my first thought was: whew traffic. Battling Downtown traffic is for the brave! Especially determining where to park and how to beat both ongoing upcoming traffic. Visiting the cafe on a Thursday morning was surprisingly the perfect time. I was able to step right into the open café and find a spot at the large tables. I was surrounded by students or others equipped with their laptops and coffees. This place is the ideal location to get work done with its wide space, lit room, and chill atmosphere. Even the workers had the same quality charm as the location itself. They were friendly, yet non-invasive. However, they still found a way to build a relationship with almost every person that visited. The building itself resembled a Downtown loft. The décor was my favorite! Each wooden table had a basket set with a unique shaped glass of water, condiments, and silverware. Topping the basket, is the daily flower given by the neighborhood flower shops. The simple tables were out shined by yellow steel chairs matching the color of the building. Finding a way to combine modern simplicity yet a rural edge, makes this location an instagrammable charm.
Providing both breakfast and lunch, Poppy+Rose charms me as one of those great Los Angeles brunch locations. I've had my fair share of great brunches. So much that I even claim my own expertise as a chicken and waffles connoisseur. Rumor of the café is that the "Chicken and Waffles" meal is one of the favorites. Only I could be the judge of that, so I decided to order it. I also taste-tested a bagel in order to cure my early hunger. The menu looked overall delicious. Homestyle comfort food with a combination of modern flux is what this café is known for. You can have your hand with casual breakfast meals such as eggs, breakfast sandwiches, and burritos. Lunch dishes are also a thing here. Other crowd favorites are sandwiches, burgers and even salads. Another fan favorite is the coffee options, that influences the visit for any occasion. When my order came I was impressed by the portion size of the meal, not too much but very fulfilling. Granted there is never anything wrong with a large plate, this meal left me leaving with a to-go order. The waffle was really tasty. Even good enough to be eaten by itself. The complimenting syrup could've been a tad bit sweeter, but the waffle was a complete stand alone. Now I know what everyone is thinking of, the chicken. It is very difficult for upscale joints to take on the home favorite. Not everyone can season a chicken, the way your grandma or mom can. However, this place was almost close. The seasoning on this chicken was surprisingly delicious. It was neither dry or too salty and paired well with the sweet waffle. The chicken could've had a tad bit more crispiness and even adding an option of what piece of chicken to choose can up the meal a little more. Overall the plate was delicious and kept me full for almost the full day.
Great coffee joint
Chicken & Waffles
-Be aware of the parking locations within the area. This is Downtown and parking does cost.
- $2 parking validation offered with a minimum $15 Purchase;
Parking is available MON-SAT until 4PM
Parking on the street is FREE every Sunday
-Come at a suitable time! This place gets crowded real quick and does not really have much of a waiting location.
So if you are going just to hang out or even to have a big meal with friends, I prefer to come a little in the later of
the noon, because majority of the crowds come in around morning.
- Try something new every time! This place has a lot of offers and will bring you coming back. I encourage you to
try all the menu's favorites.