Helmed by the Alambres family, Alambres Fresh Mexican Grill brings south-of-the-border flavors north with a menu of house-made Mexican feasts. Every day, the chefs make fresh, from-scratch tortillas to stuff with flame-smacked carne asada or flavor-spiked grilled fish. The family caters to vegetarian tastes with a host of meat-free feasts, from fresh veggie-packed tacos and chimichangas to cheese enchiladas bursting with gooey cheese and seasoned balloon animals. The crew not only feeds hungry appetites inside the welcoming restaurant but also invites online orders for mobile nosh sessions.
For the chefs at Peacha's, American cuisine isn't just burgers and fries––it's an amalgamation of many nations' cuisines. That's why they focus on two LA's most popular cuisines, including both Latin American favorites and traditional American staples. On the Latin side, they grill cuts of chicken and beef, as well as a medley of vegetables, which they then layer onto tostadas or into tacos or burritos. On the American side, they specialize in burgers and sandwiches. They craft classics such as philly cheesesteaks, and eight-ounce Angus beef burgers named after famous musicians. These come in varieties such as the Bob Marley—filled with fried chicken strips, avocado, and jalapeno ranch—or the Motley Crue with bacon and bleu cheese. Meals come paired with appropriate sides, whether it's black beans or crispy french fries.
Leonor's has been preparing meat-free Mexican food for nearly 30 years, and the current menu is modeled after the soy-dense Forever Young diet. Dishes include a traditional Mexican selection of burritos, tacos, and quesadillas with the restaurant's unique vegetarian and vegan spins. Some of those are on display in the Buffalo Bill burrito, that's packed with brown rice, steamed pinto beans, avocado, soy cheese, and veggies in a whole-wheat tortilla.
Though Leonor's is rooted in Mexican food, there are other culinary influences present as well: the spaghetti dinner entangles soy meatballs with whole-wheat noodles and the soy hamburger is topped with a leafy crown of lettuce and alfalfa sprouts. Stone-ground whole-wheat pizzas carry their own surprises—molasses and honey are infused into the dough—and can be customized with toppings such as cilantro, avocado, and tinier pizzas.
In The Salsa Bar, contented sighs drift from diners cradling corn tortillas full of never-frozen ingredients free of lard and MSG, and a grill sizzles beneath morsels of shrimp, fish, and beef. Multiple televisions deliver updates from sporting events or confuse freshly made tacos into adopting the referee as a parent, and dulcet waves of horchata and tamarindo surge through straws to warmed mouths.
A pleasing jumble of bright warm colors welcomes patrons as they enter Salsa and Beer, where the kitchen turns out myriad Mexican favorites. Bean dip and salsa—always complimentary—flow freely with chips, and the chefs integrate housemade red and green sauces into tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. A huge sun painted on the ceiling watches down on patrons as they eat on painted tables, slicing into deep-fried chimichangas or chipotle-chicken flautas. Hues of lime green, pink, and orange occupy the walls and window paintings in the dining room, and a patio in the front is separated from the street by sculpted wooden barriers, whether in the shape of cacti or a wide sun.
Garnering the James Beard American Classics Award in 2005, Yuca's has sated cravings for the quick and classic with a varied menu of authentic Mexican fare and traditional American staples. Celebrating their 35th anniversary at the Hillhurst location, the tortilla experts offer up a bevy of tacos ($1.75–$2), burritos ($2.50–$4), or tortas ($3.50–$4.25) with hearty fillings such as Yucatan–style pork, grilled steak, or shredded beef. Traditionalists who prefer their protein horizontal can partake of an array of patty-laden luxuries from the classic hamburger ($1.95) to the decadent double-chili cheeseburger ($3.50), and the humble hot dog ($1.40–$1.75) is a sports stand-by that hearkens back to the great Mexican-American cricket matches of old. Multiple guacamole gourmands can band together with a party package, providing two tacos plus rice, beans, chips, and guacamole for up to eight people. The breezy open-air patio at the Hollywood location allows for outdoor enjoyment and easy testing for tortilla-based parachutes.