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Stylish Mexican Seafood Spot to Open in Elysian Valley from Downtown’s Cha Cha Chá Team

The ultra-hip team from the Arts District will open an ode to the Sea of Cortéz this fall, called Za Za Za

A colorful CGI look inside a coming restaurant with round tables and cactus.
A rendering of the upcoming Za Za Za
Lena Kohl
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.

The LA Cha Cha Chá team out of the Arts District has scored some new real estate in the Frogtown neighborhood (known formally as Elysian Valley) between Silver Lake, Atwater Village, and Glassell Park, with plans to drop in a seafood restaurant right along the Los Angeles River. It’s a big jump for the proprietors of one of the city’s most popular rooftop restaurants, and could have even bigger implications for Frogtown, which has seen significant change in recent years.

The incoming restaurant, dubbed Za Za Za, is the work of Cha Cha Chá’s Alejandro Marin, Jorge Salim, and Javier Hernandez Pons. The trio is branching out to 1993 Blake Avenue, just a block or so from Wax Paper and La Colombe, in the heart of a neighborhood that has become part of the Los Angeles gentrification conversation in recent years. The incoming restaurant will add a lot of energy to that corner of the community, pulling in rich marble and deep jewel tone accents under a bow truss ceiling with room for 130 total diners at a time. The curving bar alone can seat 20, while more than half of the remaining space will be offered as outdoor seating, just a block from the river. The attached renderings offer a peek inside.

As with the group’s first Los Angeles restaurant (the team has opened a variety of spaces across Mexico City), expect Za Za Za to offer a strong Mexican culinary perspective, albeit one buoyed by California flavors and Angeleno sensibilities. Za Za Za will serve as a marisceria, a spot for seafood and the smoky flavors that often accompany a charcoal-grilled meal along the Baja Peninsula. There will be big, spicy raw seafood preparations from the Sinaloa area along the Sea of Cortés, as well as meats and vegetables that reach across western Mexico and into California. Paco Moran, currently the executive chef of LA Cha Cha Chá, will run the kitchen of Za Za Za.

A curving deep green bar with golden tones shown from a rendering of a new restaurant.
A rendering of upcoming seats at, and near, the bar
A rendering of a dark room with red marble seats and a big, open window.
A peek through an indoor window towards the bar.
A look at a rendering for a new restaurant showing red and green tones and multiple rooms.
A few of the indoor dining options.

Expect an opening for Za Za Za by September of this year. Meanwhile, LA Cha Cha Chá and its attached drinking spot La Barra continue to serve as a hub for the Arts District. Located on 3rd Street, the restaurants abut a variety of other popular dining options from Death & Co. and Wurstkuche to the always busy Salt & Straw and nearby Camphor and Manuela.