Lotería Grill Hollywood

Top Ten Mexican Restaurants: No. 5, November 2010

You’ve had black beans, rice, and tacos, but none where the beans taste this intense, the rice is accented with hierbabuena (a type of mint), and the tacos bear a comforting mix of squashes and corn kernels. 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. Shaw started in the Farmers Market, then expanded into a space with high ceilings and minimalist flair on Hollywood Boulevard. A duplicate in Studio City would follow. To him speed is as important as flavor; the chicharrón de queso, big sheets of crisped cheese, arrive within minutes. Tacos with mushrooms in an earthyhuitlacoche sauce have a meaty depth; the ones with stewed pork rinds in chile verde have a primal power.