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Baldwin Hills’ Much-Heralded Restaurant Mexicano Closes Suddenly

Ownership is focusing on other projects now

The front of Mexicano restaurant in South Los Angeles
Zach Brooks
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

The lights are out at Baldwin Hills’ popular eatery Mexicano. The well-regarded mall restaurant off Crenshaw ceased service without warning earlier this month, scrubbing its online presence and walking away without so much as a goodbye.

While any LA restaurant closure is hard to hear, this story does come with a bit of a silver-lining: Mexicano’s owners are switching gears, focusing on a new Mexican wine bar right next to their well-established Bell restaurant La Casita Mexicano.

L.A. Taco was first to break the news after confirming the shutter with Mexicano’s legendary chefs/owners Jaime Martin del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu. The partners cited a handful of problems that led to the decision. Employee theft was a factor, they said, as well as financial pressure, along with continuous delays along Metro’s unfinished Crenshaw/LAX line, which diverts traffic along the busy corridor.

The revamped space opened at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza mall back in 2015, based largely off the strength of TV personality chefs Arvizu and del Campo. Their busy Bell restaurant La Casita Mexicana maintains a strong foothold in greater Los Angeles, and now the forthcoming wine bar should add to that legacy. Look for the small space, which replaces the former gift shop area, to open in October with a cantina menu, cocktails, and Mexican wines.

Mexicano’s shutter also means that Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza now has one less full-service restaurant. The bulk of the mall’s restaurants are fast food or fast casual, except for standalone restaurant Post & Beam, Kickin’ Crab, and Americana. The full-service Michelle’s Country Diner closed in 2018, but Hotville Chicken recently took over the space with an October opening date.

Mexicano. 3650 W Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Los Angeles.