California natives Ralph and Rina Camarillo took their first trip to New York City in 1979. They were there to see Zoot Suit, the first Chicano musical to open on Broadway, and the trip led to a celebration of the couple's own Mexican-American heritage. They started dreaming about opening a restaurant in New York City, which quickly became the whole family’s ambition. Together with their daughter, Gina, son-in-law, Marco, and son, Lennard, they opened Florencia 13 on Cinco de Mayo 2005.
Californian hospitality and a low-rider-style atmosphere welcome guests to a menu inspired by the owners' roots, with family recipes named for California locations. After a complimentary basket of chips and salsa, diners can dig into Echo Park enchiladas, Silverlake wet burritos covered with a tomatillo sauce, and San Gabriel chile relleno stuffed with ground top sirloin, California raisins, and blanched almonds. The Village Voice called the chiles rellenos "a credit to the fryer's art" and praised the "humongous oven-roasted enchilada," and proffered a word of advice for diners hoping to catch a breeze from the opposite coast: "Drop in around 6 any evening, and you'll overhear homesick Angelenos." Shecky's NYC Nightlife found "killer drinks like the East LA and flaming margarita" at the bustling bar, ready to quench the heat of spicy sauces or gossip.