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Mexican food

Babita Mexicuisine

1823 S. San Gabriel Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 91776

Nestled in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it suburban storefront, San Gabriel’s Babita Mexicuisine finds the gracious middle ground with such daintily presented dishes as green cilantro margarita sorbet and tequila-soaked salmon sopes.

Website: http://www.babita-mexicuisine.com

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Birrieria Apatzingan

10040 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 91331

818-890-6265

You’re in the northern San Fernando Valley, savoring the food of Apatzingán, a city in the state of Michoacán.

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Birrieria Flor del Rio

3201 East 4th Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90063

(323) 268-0319

Central Mexico has a weekend tradition of slow-roasting goat to make birria, a soulful stew with a wallop of dried chiles that will cure whatever ails you. This East L.A. dive is the city’s premier purveyor of the cumin-laced dish

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Cenaduria Gumacus

8646 State Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90280

(323) 566-5522

Most of L.A.’s Sinaloan restaurants are seafood centric, but this homey joint is dedicated to the meatier side of that state’s cuisine.

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Día de Campo

1238 Hermosa Ave., Los Angeles, CA, 90254

310-379-1829

We can now say we’re jellyfish fans.

Website: http://diadecampohb.com/

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Flor de Yucatan

1800 South Hoover Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90006

(213) 748-6090

The cuisine of the Yucatán is expressed simply at this old-line bakery and storefront near USC. Grab a plastic seat on the patio and dig into cochinita pibil (pork slow roasted in banana leaves) or papadzules (hard-boiled egg tacos). Every weekend is a tamale fest—get ’em while they’re hot.

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Gish Bac

4163 West Washington Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90018

(323) 737-5050

L.A. has the third-largest number of Oaxacan restaurants in the world—holy mole! At this Mid City find from David Padilla and Maria Ramos, the mole negro boasts a blend of more than 30 ingredients.

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Gracias Madre

8905 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA, 90069

323-978-2170

Young celebrities are fond of this San Francisco import, a vegan cantina that offers sweet potato flautas and mushroom mole enchiladas.

Website: http://graciasmadreweho.com/

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Guelaguetza

3014 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90006

213-427-0608

An authentic Oaxacan restaurant located in a former Korean banquet hall makes for a happy jumble.

Website: http://www.guelaguetzarestaurante.com/

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Guisados

2100 East Cesar E Chavez Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90033

(323) 264-7201

In partnership with Armando De La Torre, Ricardo Diaz is building a Mexican American restaurant empire in East L.A. At Guisados his one-of-a-kind tacos are made with braised meats and homestyle stews

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La Casita Mexicana

4030 E. Gage Ave., Los Angeles, CA, 90201

323-773-1898

This narrow Bell kitchen where Ramiro Arvizu and Jaime Martin Del Campo work the stoves represents the refined logic behind traditional Mexican cooking.

Website: http://www.casitamex.com/

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La Huasteca

3150 E. Imperial Hwy., Ste. 100, Los Angeles, CA, 90262

310-537-8800

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…

Website: http://lahuasteca.com/

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La Taquiza

3009 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA, 90007

213-741-9795

Hard by USC’s frat houses, the Figueroa Street hangout attracts a mishmash of pistol-packing cops, ID-wielding office workers, and everything-but-the-bong students for lunch.

Website: http://lataquizausc.com/

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Las 7 Regiones de Oaxaca

2648 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90006

213-385-7458

Oaxacan cuisine is the new black in what we could start calling “Oaxacalifornia,” and that’s largely due to the Mexican state’s unparalleled mole negro.

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Lotería Grill Hollywood

6627 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90028

323-465-2500

Jimmy Shaw honors authenticity while updating Mexican food for a city in which the radio pulses with ranchera music and Ralphs carries Virgen de Guadalupe candles.

Website: http://loteriagrill.com/

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Mar Azul Truck

4700 N. Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA, 90042

Don’t bother asking Felipe Cejudo what’s in the squirt bottles at his undersea-themed truck. His proprietary creams, secret sauces, and coleslaw enhance sweet and tangy shrimp cocktails and Mexico City-style seafood dishes, including a cool octopus tostada.

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Mariscos Chente

3544 W. Imperial Hwy., Los Angeles, CA, 90303

310-672-2339

Sprawled along the Pacific, the Mexican state of Nayarit is known for its pristine seafood. Lots of restaurants in L.A. produce a decent version, but none with the rigor and gusto of Mariscos Chente.

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