Opening their first restaurant in 1994, the culinarily-inclined Abarca family carries on their nearly two-decade tradition of using fresh ingredients to craft classic Mexican cuisine at Tortas Mexico. Their stringent devotion to freshness surfaces in their decision to eschew lard, preservatives, and artificial additives in everything they prepare. They even go so far as to make their own salsas and guacamole from scratch every day. Fueled by this do-it-yourself mindset, they create their signature dish, the eponymous torta, by grilling together an inventive melange of ingredients—such as ham, pineapple, and cheeses—before nestling the the whole shebang between slices of authentic Mexican-style flatbread. In addition to these grilled sandwiches, they cook up traditional favorites such as burritos, enchiladas, and shrimp that can come with a variety of sauces. To accompany the South-of-the-border staples, they serve freshly squeezed juices, as well as more decadent options such as real-fruit smoothies and glasses of rich horchata.
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.
Following a philosophy of health and sustainability, Sharky's stocks eco-conscious stomachs with a menu of organic Mexican fare such as sizzling fajitas, jam-packed burritos, and fresh salads. Chefs cook up cuts of California-grown mesquite grilled-chicken breast ($6.99 for a half plate; $9.99 for a full plate) and grilled organic tofu and vegetables ($6.99 for a half plate; $9.99 for a full plate) before patrons' eyes in the open kitchen's stone ovens, mesquite-fired grill top, or volcano-powered microwaves. Juicy cuts of wild salmon leap onto beds of nori and cabbage in a low-fat wild salmon lite burrito ($7.99), and a stacked chicken enchilada tastefully melds tomatillo sauce, four cheeses and chicken in a delightful, savory package of Latin-infused flavor ($7.99).
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.
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.
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.