Monday, June 12, 2006

Farmer's Market guide: Loteria Grill

Some people are disappointed in Loteria Grill because they go expecting the best Mexican food in all of L.A., or they think it's slow, or expensive. Well, it can be pricey if you get something like the Chiles en Nogada special for $14.95, and it can be a bit slow because it's popular and crowded. But I like Loteria for several reasons -- they have interesting vegetarian tacos like mushroom and zucchini; they have the best housemade drinks like jamaica and tamarindo; and everything is freshly made and generally pretty good. I had the plate above, with a cochinita pibil taco, a mushroom taco, a side of cactus salad and a tamarindo drink, all for under $10, which I don't think is that bad, price-wise. The cochinita didn't have as much flavor as Yuca's or Chichen Itza, but everything else was good. At the Chowhound tasting, we tried the carne asada nachos, which I never would have thought to order, but they were seriously tasty. They also have several brunch dishes available including chilequiles. Loteria may not be perfect, but it has defintely elevated the expectations for Mexican food, especially in the Fairfax area where there's not much Mexican available anyway.
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9 comments:

Robert Konigsberg said...

The one thing I miss about Loteria and living in Mid Wilshire is their Huevos Mexicanas. Maybe that's available everywhere, but I just love it.

briana said...

I *heart* their cochinita pibil tacos. Grab a glas of wine at the bar across the way and the evening is golden.

spinachshark said...

Having the names of authentic Mexican dishes on your menu doesn't make you authentic. This place misses the mark re: nearly every welcoming element of a great LA mexican place, from the smallish tacos, to the pay-as-you-go chips and salsa. Meats are tasty, as are the mushrooms with epazote. However, if you think a trip to Mexican food wonderland requires going to a mall and spending $15-20, as is required by the non-Latin owned Loteria, you are living the small taco lifestyle indeed.

Anonymous said...

Who said Loteria is not Latin-owned?

Anonymous said...

lol, authentic? Me as a guy who lived for 16 years in Mexico City with real Mexican cookers(Family and Restaurant Owners)is disappointed with Every restaurant I have visit in California. If you want the real deal, do what I do, drive to Tijuana and visit, La Cantina de los Remedios or Ochoas. At Ochoas I recomed the chilaquiles verdes bien picosos if you had a hangover. By the way nachos in Mexico are considered an american dish. Mushroom tacos? Go for mushrooms quesadillas instead.
If you want to taste "cochinita pibil the closes flavor to the real thing you can get, is at "Mercado de la Paloma" in L.A.. If you want to eat quesadillas de huitlacoche,de flor, huaraches, gorditas, sopes,tortas, champurrados, pambasos, hojaldras, tamales, taste the blue tortillas, drink pulque,agua miel,tepaches etc come to my house if not try "El Eden" by the 605 and imperial.

Anonymous said...

I've been able to meet the owner..He is in not latino looking. looks a little more of European descent.

All in all he is American, like the rest of us. Loteria is the Number 1 rated Mexican Food in Los Angeles according to Zagat. I must say that I really enjoyed eveything that I've tasted from Loteria. Too Bad for me that I do not enjoy the claustrophobia/cluster f^*k malls. So I rarely get to enjoy Loteria's food.

Anonymous said...

jimmy's mexican...from mexico city....and authentic or not, it's the most wonderful food....i dream about the mushrooms and the chilaquiles....the only thing that bugged me was when one of the servers wanted to charge me for extra lettuce. lettuce? really? please.

Anonymous said...

Loteria Grill is opening a new restaurant with a FULL BAR in Hollywood this Summer. http://www.loteriagrill.com

GoingToTheMovies said...

I've been wanting to try this place. I think I will probably go ahead and try it out but just not make it a regular place