Just when you thought Los Angeles’ vastly diverse Mexican food scene might be hitting its peak, here comes Sonoratown. The upcoming option hopes to transplant diners to the far reaches of Northern Mexico by way of freshly grilled carne asada tacos and flour tortillas — and all from a smallish storefront on 8th Street in Downtown.
Sonoratown takes over the defunct Toto’s, which was a casual Mexican operation for daytime folks in the neighborhood. Newcomers Jennifer Feltham and Teodoro Diaz-Rodriguez hope to change that, though, transforming the restaurant into a lunch and dinner destination space for highly sought-after Sonoran-style tacos. They're even trying to finalize permitting to get an outdoor-style grill for use indoors.
Sonora, for those not in the know, is Mexico’s unofficial home of carne asada grilling and flour tortillas. Out in the warm expanses of the state, mesquite grows plentiful and is used as the de facto fuel for outdoor grilling, while the flour tortillas are often stretched thin by hand. They’re called sobaqueras, and end up exceptionally wide and blistered thanks to their thinness and time spent over heat.
While places like Loqui in Culver City and Mexicali Taco in Chinatown both seek to recreate this unique carne asada experience, Sonoratown is leading the way with those sobaqueras and techniques. In fact, they’ve brought in the owner of Sonora’s own Asadero Campas taco spot to help lock in the recipes at the beginning, which shows they certainly mean business.
As if that weren’t enough, Sonoratown also has plans to partner with Humberto Raygoza, LA’s so-called Chori-Man, to bring his family recipe chorizo to the restaurant as well. The move should allow Raygoza to expand his operation and even hopefully host some Downtown pop-ups on site in the near future as well.
Expect Sonoratown to soft open soon in Downtown. Oh, and as for that name? Turns out it’s what locals used to call Chinatown back in the mid-1800’s, when the neighborhood was initially home to immigrants from Northern Mexico.
208 E. 8th St.
Los Angeles, CA