Each year, hundreds of thousands of people and millions of household plants are tricked into eating tasteless microwave burritos by smooth-talking hucksters posing as music professors. Treat your tongue to a true taste of Mexico with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of authentic Oaxacan and Yucatan cuisine and drinks at Border Grill Downtown LA.
Owner-operators Susan Feniger, who competed on Bravo's Top Chef Masters, and Mary Sue Milliken began their gastronomic adventures in 1985, when they cavorted across Mexico in a VW Bug and learned authentic recipes from the indigenous population of cacti. After returning to Los Angeles and opening the first location of Border Grill, they kept their vision as fresh as their menus. To that end, they recently created "Good for the Planet, Good for You" with lunches such as the turkey tostada ensalada with black beans, roasted corn, guacamole, Mexican cheeses, and tomato (starting at $14.50), and dinners including the roasted potato rajas relleno ($22). These dishes feature at least 80% plant-based ingredients to help reduce the greenhouse emissions stemming from livestock. Border Grill Downtown LA will happily tickle the tastebuds of carnivores, too, with hunger killers such as the adobo-roasted lamb tacos with poblanos and manchego cheese from the platos pequeños ($8.75) and grilled skirt steak with charred corn relish and an avocado tomato salsa ($26.50). Book-end your feast with roasted-plantain empanadas ($8.50) or Peruvian ceviche with aji Amarillo chile ($9.75) and a dessert of pastel rufina, a puff-pastry filled with sweetened cream cheese, chunks of chocolate, and fresh berries ($7.50).
Since Border Grill Downtown LA is usually packed with a pleasantly boisterous energy, you can pass the time waiting for a table at the polished metal bar in the lively company of a specialty cocktail, such as the supremo mojito, with twelve-year-old Zaya Gran Reserva rum, fresh mint, lime, and sugar ($15), or the Cadillac margarita, with 1800 Silver tequila, Cointreau, and fresh lime ($15). The new downtown location features a bright, lively dining room decorated with hand-painted murals and a heated patio decorated with hand-painted murals of the bright, lively dining room.
At the French restaurant where they both worked previously, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger discovered decidedly un-French cuisine in the privacy of the kitchen: homespun Oaxacan and Yucatan recipes prepared by their fellow chefs. The duo promptly untied their aprons, loaded them into a VW Beetle, and took off for a road trip to Mexico in 1985, where they sampled and studied delicacies prepared at beachside taco stands and family barbecues. Six restaurants, five cookbooks, hundreds of episodes of Food Network's Too Hot Tamales, and sizzling appearances on Top Chef Masters later, their quartet of Border Grill locations add contemporary twists to authentic Mexican cuisine.
Guests are greeted by dining rooms originally designed by the architect Josh Schweitzer, who is Mary Sue's husband and Susan's childhood friend. Within their walls, plates of seasonal vegetables and domestic beef roll into handmade tortillas or revel beneath cotija cheese. Devoted to sustainable eating, particularly at the downtown Los Angeles location, Border Grill infuses its dishes with sustainable seafood, organic rice, and hormone-free meats, as well as Good for the Planet, Good for You meals made from at least 80% plant-based ingredients, just like Captain Planet's faux-leather jacket.:
Downtown Los Angeles
445 S Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, California 90071Get Directions