Early this morning, the James Beard Foundation announced its annual round of Classics awards, which go to longtime establishments who've made a culinary mark in their communities. Longtime Koreatown restaurant Guelaguetza took home one of the five prizes for its soulful Oaxacan fare housed in an expansive eatery along Olympic Blvd.
Founded in 1994 by Fernando Lopez, the all day eatery has expanded its focus in recent years by opening a mezcal bar. The place is now under the every day direction of Lopez' three children, Bricia, Fernando Jr. and Paulina.
For years, Guelaguetza was the most prominent Oaxacan restaurant in Los Angeles, though several other notable Oaxacan spots have surfaced across the city over the years. Specialties include massive pizza-like tlayudas, crunchy grasshopper tacos (chapulines), and of course, that glorious mole.