Since they opened La Casita Mexicana, chefs Ramiro Arvizu and Jaime Martin del Campo have defied the odds and remained uncompromising in their commitment to the cuisine of their home state, Jalisco, and the bold flavors of central and southern Mexico. When they opened in Bell, CA back in 1998 it was hard to convince the Mexican-American community that their traditional dishes were true Mexican cuisine in a neighborhood more familiar with combo plates, carne asada tacos, and lots of melted yellow cheese. Today, the rest of Los Angeles has finally caught up to the pair of warm, jovial caballeros (gentlemen), still they’ve resisted the temptation to move closer to their broader audience and decided instead to stick with the city that’s embraced them.
The project to open Mexicano and Flautas at the Baldwin Hills Shopping Center also came as a surprise, but “Baldwin Hills deserves to have good Mexican food, too, right?”, said Arvizu. Arvizu and Martin del Campo are celebrity chefs, with Top Chef Estrellas and on Spanish language television where they’re beloved for their segments on how to make chiles en nogada, classical moles, or mouthwatering chilaquiles. It’s still the cuisine of the cenadurias (supper houses) and fondas (small traditional restaurants) that will always fascinate Arvizu and Martin del Campo.
Mexicano continues another chapter in traditional Mexican gastronomy filled with the tantalizing prose of tamales filled with the regional sauces, stews, marinades and moles of Mexico. The restaurant will be serving tamales made to order, a special innovation at Mexicano where you can try a tamal of a Yucatan-style pibil (marinade) or a Pueblan mole—there are around a dozen large tamales that will be served as main dishes. You can enjoy the virtues of adobo (marinade) here in the form of roasted fish al pastor for making your own tasty tacos or a sizzling cast iron pan flush with spicy shrimp. Arvizu and Martin del Campo’s tamale concept will open in December right in the middle of tamale season, and what could be more Mexicano that that?
Mexicano, 3650 W Martin Luther King Jr. Bl., Baldwin Hills