There’s no shortage of great guacamole in Los Angeles, a city blessed to contain some of the best Mexican food on the planet, in a state that grows a fair percentage of the world’s avocados. This most perfect snack (and the most-consumed item on Super Bowl Day) has ancient roots, as avocados have been cultivated in Central America for thousands of years and there’s record of the fruit being smashed together with other ingredients in a molcajete by the Aztecs. People might disagree about what other ingredients are necessary - onions? Garlic? Tomatoes? Lemon? - but everyone knows that at its base, guacamole is one of the world’s best dishes. Here are five restaurants in L.A. County doing excellent renditions of it.
East L.A. has a storied and complicated history that started well before Spanish settlement from Gaspar de Portolà in the 1700s. The area is now a center for Latino culture in L.A., particularly for Mexican Americans. Discover five of the best dishes in this vibrant community that lives between Boyle Heights and Montebello/Monterey Park.
Just like the taco, which takes many different forms, the torta covers a range of Mexican sandwich styles. As with all sandwiches, breads and fillings vary, but tortas adhere to uniquely Mexican traditions. Some of L.A.’s best versions are based on tortas from states like Jalisco, Oaxaca, and Puebla, plus Mexico City (aka Distrito Federal). Discover 10 of the best, most satisfying tortas in Los Angeles, listed in alphabetical order.
Learning about the history of Día de los Muertos at Self Help Graphics and Art? Enjoying art by Glendale native James hd Brown at USC’s Fisher Museum? Perhaps you’re immersing yourself in Adrián Villar Rojas’s Theater of Disappearance at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. Try the following restaurants on for size.
Founded by Chef Pascal Dropsy in 1994, Corn Maiden serves and sells nearly 30 varieties of lard-free, handmade tamales with no preservatives at farmers markets across L.A. County—from Pacific Palisades to Pasadena. Traditional ingredients combine with the more exotic, such as smoked Gouda, wild mushrooms, spaghetti squash, and red port wine. Dessert tamales include one with Belgian chocolate, raspberries and caramelized walnuts. Tamales wrapped in cornhusks are available in two sizes, run $19 to $28.50 a dozen, and can be kept for six months in the freezer.
For a list of products and farmers market locations, visit cornmaidenfoods.com. Call Alex at 310-560-0949 to order tamales for pick up at your local market.
Guacamole originated centuries ago during the Aztec Empire, when people first called this creation ahuacamolli, named for the Nahuatl words ahuacatl (avocado) and mulli (sauce). The first written record of this glorious avocado dip, which is traditionally crafted in a molcajete, was in 1518 in Europe. Incredibly, the core recipe has stayed pretty similar for the past 500 years, with tomatoes, onions, chiles and cilantro often still forming the backbone, though now you may find flourishes like lobster, bacon and fruit. Learn about 11 of our favorite places to enjoy guacamole in L.A. County.
Whether you’re a starving student or have some more resources to spare on your meals, the South L.A. neighborhoods surrounding the University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Banc of California Stadium offer some interesting dining options. Learn about some of our favorite area restaurants, most of which are within walking distance of the USC campus and Exposition Park.
By now, it should be clear that Koreatown features the most compelling collection of Korean restaurants outside of the motherland. However, people may not know that restaurateurs carrying flags for other cuisines are flocking to the neighborhood. Learn about some of the best non-Korean dining options in Koreatown.
Discover Los Angeles
Generations of immigrants from around the world have come to Los Angeles from overseas and throughout the Americas to pursue their dreams. L.A. is truly a global metropolis because of its rich diversity. Locals and visitors alike can experience a virtual United Nations of cuisines without ever leaving the City of Angels. Leave your passport at home and start your culinary journey around the world in 21 Los Angeles dishes.