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A Long-Awaited Mexican Restaurant Gets Ready to Serve Franklin Village

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La Villita Cantina warms up the neighborhood next month

Tile work being done at La Villita Cantina
La Villita Cantina [official]
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.

There’s more casual Mexican food coming to Los Angeles soon, with the arrival of La Villita Cantina next month to one very well-known corner in Hollywood. The strip mall restaurant property has been completely overhauled to resemble a rustic town square somewhere in Mexico, from stone walls and exposed wood beams to colorful tile and cement pavers underfoot.

La Villita Cantina takes up residence inside the former home of Victor’s Square deli in Franklin Village. For 25 years that restaurant stood as a celebration of Jewish deli cuisine under owner Bill Gotti, but a changing neighborhood and the end of a decades-long lease meant it was time to move on. Enter serial restaurateur Greg Morris, the man behind next-door restaurant/marketplace The Oaks Gourmet and casual pub Franklin & Co. He’s known for partnering up with Jeremy Fraye to remake the dining options in the neighborhood, but had a previous life running The Spanish Kitchen for years over on La Cienega as well.

The plan for La Villita Cantina, some two-and-a-half years in the making, is to create a casual neighborhood restaurant for evening big-plate Mexican fare, weekend brunch, and margaritas. There’s a television for keeping an eye on the game, a lounge-y area for chatting with friends, and big brown booths to sink into for a meal with family.

As for timing, the space is nearly complete now, offering high ceilings and low light. The hope is to open in early May for a quiet night of drinks with neighbors, followed by a full reveal later next month. More on the timing of La Villita Cantina as it comes.

La Villita Cantina
1917 N. Bronson Ave.
Los Angeles, CA