There’s one realm of Mexican food we don’t often get to experience: the home kitchen. A seafood cóctel is terrific, but it’s not something you go to Grandma’s for. Chef Ray Garcia draws inspiration from domestic braises. His tender rabbit with bacon and nopales speaks to hours in the oven, but even a freewheeling tangle of purslane-dusted chanterelles radiates hominess when heaped on griddled masa. Garcia opened B.S. Taqueria in the same six-month span as Broken Spanish, essentially taking on the twin heritage of calle and casa at once. Broken Spanish beats the taco joint by a head. The charred eggplant enchiladas are crafted from heirloom corn tortillas, and the “Abuelita” hot chocolate is made with high-grade cacao. These deluxe ingredients heighten what’s already compelling: a chef fluent in the language of modern cooking who celebrates the family table.
The Vibe: High-end Mexico City meats Boyle Heights backyard meets downtown—with a mezcal sipper on the side.
The Crowd: The diners vary depending on what’s happening at the Staples Center (who eats more pig ears, Beliebers or Clips Nation?), but you can usually count on a few serious chef groupies in the mix. Be on the lookout for tables full of folks snapping pictures of the whole lamb’s head—that’s them.
The Must-Have Dishes: Where to start? The chicharron, lamb neck tamal, oxtail quesadilla, pork-topped camote, and a whole lamb’s head if you’re up for it.
The Drinks: Barman Michael Lay mixes a slate of innovative, agave-focused cocktails including a few scorpion bowl-style shareable libations. There’s a nice list of spice-friendly wines from around the world, too.
Getting a Table: This place should be much, much more crowded. Come before everyone else figures out how incredible it is.
Insider Tip: The tortillas are made from imported heirloom corn and they’re amazing. Order extra. You’ll want them with everything. – LBS
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