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La Huasteca

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3150 E. Imperial Hwy., Ste. 100 Los Angeles, CA 90262 310-537-8800
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Top Ten Mexican Restaurants: No. 3, November 2010

Inside Plaza Mexico, the elaborate Spanish colonial mall in central Lynwood, topless Indians peer from the murals of La Huasteca. Rocio Camacho cooks in a multitude of styles, including dishes that pay lip service to indigenous Mexico. But stick to the classics. Camacho's zucchini blossom empanadas—a creamy compression of the herbal in the thinnest of crisp skins—are hands down the best in L.A. The sauce of the mancha manteles (aka “tablecloth stainer”) is so subtly intricate, with layers of heat and spice building on each other, that it seems drawn from a civilization's memory bank. Camacho even lends remarkable nuance to flan, that most Spanish of desserts, by perfuming it with chile ancho.

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Mexican