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A New Boyle Heights Restaurant Aims for Ancient Pre-Mexican Flavors

Plus Besha Rodell’s new gig, and a bad time at a food court

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A restaurant exterior in Boyle Heights
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Taking it all the way back

Many feel concerned for the continued churn of Boyle Heights restaurant and real estate, but there is one incoming eatery sure to raise everyone’s eyebrows: Milpa Grille. As LA Weekly notes, the inbound restaurant is relying on traditional Mesoamerican dishes and cooking techniques to stand way out from the rest.

Menu-wise, expect simple, homey flavors that rely on corn, squash, and beans. There will be elote, for example, but not a lot of other dishes that are instantly recognizable as traditionally Mexican — mostly because the traditions and menu items are aiming for a time “much, much older than Mexico itself,” say owners Dan Morales and Dan Torres.

Besha’s new gig

Longtime LA Weekly food critic Besha Rodell is back in her native Australia, and has landed a prime new gig to go along with the move. She’s officially in as the NY Times dining critic for all of Australia, covering hot new restaurants but also out-of-the-way players and interesting backstories.

Spooky times

No plans for Halloween? Consider Las Perlas, which is doing a variety of drinks specials to ring in the evening, along with live music and tons of costumes.

Food court woes

A food court area inside the Westfield Culver City is being examined by management as the possible site of a rodent contamination issue. That’s according to KTLA, who say several days ago a woman filed a complaint alleging that rat droppings had fallen from the ceiling onto her meal.

No more Great Maple

While the overall trend for new mini-chain Great Maple is to expand, it seems the Del Amo mall location in Torrance has shuttered unexpectedly — and may not have given notice to its employees. The chainlet just opened a Pasadena location.

Wolfgang x Daniel Humm

Eleven Madison Park’s Daniel Humm will rock a dinner with none other than Wolfgang Puck on November 15 at the Hotel Bel-Air. The tony event isn’t cheap at $295 a head, but it does offer West Coast diners a chance to schmooze with the chef/owner from the current world’s best restaurant.

Sweetfin to Smorgasburg

Downtown weekend block party Smorgasburg is letting in local restaurant chain Sweetfin for a limited run. According to Instagram, Sweetfin will use their stand as a sort of test kitchen for new ideas, while diners can enjoy more poke, more places, than ever before.