Westlake mariachi restaurant legend La Fonda seems to have returned from the depths, bringing back their incredible brand of live band dinner shows on weekends after a nearly ten-year hiatus. Backed by two time Grammy award-winning mariachi ensemble Los Camperos, the longtime Mexican hotspot was for many years a staple in the city before closing in 2007.
The LA Times was on hand for the final weekend of shows at the Wilshire Boulevard address, citing at the time a legal battle between owner Natividad Cano and the building’s owners who sought to evict the restaurant. With no end to the skirmish in sight, Cano was forced to close but had hopes of returning elsewhere. Now years later it seems La Fonda hasn’t gone anywhere at all, quietly returning to their same home after nearly a decade away. But now the music is back, and that’s good news for just about everyone.
La Fonda opened in 1969, and is credited by some as the first place to bring live mariachi shows to a dinner theater environment here in the States. Beyond the shows, the restaurant serves up a variety of Mexican dinner dishes, from enchiladas to chile relleno to carne asada. There are margaritas and beers as well, of course, giving the place a rowdy but familial vibe that continues on well into the night.
The return of La Fonda could not be more perfectly timed, as the greater Westlake area is in the early stages of a massive resurgence. Just steps away from La Fonda is the historic Park Plaza, which has been in the renovation game for more than a year, with plans to return as a nightlife destination in its own right.
Not far away is hip new dive spot Crawford’s, and as early as last year new coffee shops started moving in, which is almost always a harbinger of a changing neighborhood. La Fonda runs weekend mariachi shows with Los Camperos every Thursday through Saturday, with three shows at 7:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m., and 11:30 p.m., as well as a handful of earlier shows on Sunday evenings.
La Fonda de Los Camperos
Los Angeles, CA