Chef Jimmy Shaw has closed his first-ever location of Loteria Grill at the Original Farmers Market off Fairfax, ending a 16-year run for the seminal Mexican restaurant. The market stand had been in operation since 2002 selling stewed meats on hearty handmade tortillas.
Eater first heard of the sudden shutter late on Friday night, though a phone call put through to the Hollywood location confirmed the final evening of service was last Tuesday. Eater also reached out to owner Jimmy Shaw for comment on the closure.
When Shaw first founded Loteria in 2002, the Mexican food restaurant landscape looked drastically different than it does today. At the time Shaw was considered to be among the best chefs making authentic Mexican food at scale anywhere in the city, well before other common names like Guisados, Tacos Leo, and Kogi BBQ’s food truck revolution. Shaw translated that success into a variety of other locations, including Studio City, Downtown, and Hollywood. One by one they’ve all since closed with the exception of Hollywood, which is still up and keeping busy.
The loss of Loteria Grill is big for the Original Farmers Market as well. The restaurant was considered an anchor for the old school marketplace next door to The Grove, but in recent months some of its most storied tenants have fallen by the wayside. That includes 80-year-old Gill’s Ice Cream and 16-year-old Greek restaurant Ulysses Voyage. Reps for the market say they have plans to grow their restaurant base with new incoming tenants, and that they “wish Jimmy well in his future endeavors.”