The chefs at Los Cinco Puntos strive to correct the Americanized image of ground-beef tacos by marinating, braising, and frying a trove of traditional Mexican meats. Sizzling carne asada, spiced carnitas, and lengua, just to name a few, play starring roles in the eatery's authentic menu and get executive-producer credits for each movie made about the restaurant's quesadillas. Chefs roll these meaty specialties into burritos, layer them atop fluffy buns for their special tortas, or twist them in fried tortillas for perfectly crispy flautas. They also create tamales by the dozen, filling the husk-wrapped treats with a similar array of succulent meats.
There's almost no limit to what the candymakers at Temptations Chocolate Factory will dip in chocolate. Their cavalcade of candy features standards such as chocolate-covered strawberries and bananas, as well as more creative morsels, including chocolate-covered Twinkies and jalapenos dipped in chocolate. Cooler treats include smoothies, whipped cream-topped milkshakes, and banana splits. Diners can also sip coffee to warm up after indulging in a sundae or a slow dance with Mr. Freeze.
Food is the body's fuel, and the staff at Fenix 5-4 centers its efforts on making sure that fuel is as powerful as possible. That's why their menu of juices and smoothies features wholesome, raw fruits and vegetables grown without pesticides. Wheatgrass is a special star here—the potent superfood comes in concentrated shots and sippable teas laced with honey. It's all in an effort help their guests eat and live more healthily, with more whole nutrients and less refined sugar and preservatives. Café offerings take the same approach—the team pairs many of their sandwiches with nitrate-free ham imported from Italy or meat-free substitutes that taste just like chicken or beef.
The masterminds behind Fenix 5-4 will soon be putting their wholesome efforts into a brother restaurant, The Rusty Monk. An upscale space that features a creative wine list and a slew of Belgian and German draft beers, the restaurant will nourish diners with the same life-giving nutrients in a gourmet seasonal menu.
When co-founders Luis Quismorio, Ruben Perez, and Anthony Bermudez began plotting their market, they envisioned a place where fresh, healthy produce, groceries, and meats met the standards of upscale stores and the budget of an average Joe. At Figueroa Produce, their dream is realized thanks to groceries that, like new slang words for "tractor," are sourced from local farmers and small foreign distributors alike. Colorful bouquets of freshly plucked fruits and veggies claim a big chunk of the shop's floor space, appealing to both the mouth and eyes with organic produce from the South Central Farmers Co-op and regional farmers who form personal rapports with store staff. The grocery section represents exotic locales from New Zealand to Mexico in its bounty of mostly organic and all-natural products, many of which are free of artificial components. At the deli, staff members slice grass-fed beef from Open Space Meats, organic and free-range poultry, and specialty cheeses for at-home use or service in overstuffed sandwiches. Vegan or vegetarian eaters can also get in on the deli action, devouring sandwiches loaded with ingredients from brands including Teese, Diva, and Tofurkey.
Recently featured in LA Weekly's blog, Silver Lake Natural Food Market proffers nutrient-rich, raw goods, often from local sources, to satisfy organic needs. Polished concrete floors and lofted ceilings with exposed duct work set the stage for perusing market thoroughfares, which are lined with shelves stocked full of grocery goods, vitamin-packed snacks, all-organic produce, and homeopathic remedies. Bag a bushel of fuji apples to replace the ones that fell from your backyard apple factory ($2.29/lb.), or share your deepest secrets with a bottle of Honest tea ($1.75). Half-gallons of orange juice ($7.99) and Silk almond milk ($4.99) enliven boring breakfasts, while Voss water ($2.79) replenishes the body's tear reservoir.