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Phoenix’s Best New Restaurant Pops Up in LA With Fiery Sonoran Dishes This Week

Plus, new restaurants along the water, and an absolute restaurant legend dies at 99 good years

A long shot of corn on the cob with sour cream on a dark plate.
Fire-kissed elote from Bacanora.
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.

Prominent Phoenix restaurant Bacanora is popping up in Los Angeles at Burgers 99 this Friday, August 12. The highly acclaimed restaurant from James Beard nominated chef Rene Andrade is a Sonoran specialist that offers lots of live fire options, so expect flour tortillas, plenty of smoke, and — if the Burgers 99 guys have anything to say about it — a ton of drinks and fun.

Fans will know Andrade’s Bacanora from its many glowing reviews and national attention, including a spot on Esquire’s list of best new restaurants in America for 2021. Tickets are $100 per person.

A big loss for greater LA

Owner Salvador Avila of Southern California’s famed Avila’s El Ranchito has died, reports the Los Angeles Times. Avila spent decades overseeing a booming restaurant empire that now counts more than a dozen locations, all still owned by family. He will be missed.

Tuesday specials at Piccalilli

Culver City’s Piccalilli is launching a new Tuesday farmer’s market specials series, relying on ingredients from the nearby market in downtown Culver City. Expect summer tomato takes and other fun stuff on a rotating basis from the casual Cal-Asian restaurant every Tuesday night through the end of summer.

Food meets art in Pasadena

A food-focused group exhibition at Pasadena’s Armory Center for the Arts runs now through Sunday, December 4 (Fridays through Sundays only), with a focus on “our intimate and communal relationships with food and investigates the many ways these connections were severed or challenged during the 2020 to 2021 lockdown.” Admission is free.

Grilling on the sand

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel is hosting its next Culinary Cookout on the Coast on Friday, August 26, with food from postmaster Daniel Castillo of nearby Heritage Barbecue. Upcoming events include a September Pacific Northwest clambake, a brews and bites event in October with OC’s own the Bruery, and more. Attendees can book a stay at the resort, score tickets, and stay on property for breakfast and other meals.

And two new waterside openings

A vegan-friendly new restaurant hits the Venice Beach boardwalk this week. Pachamama out of San Diego is setting up at 1425 Ocean Front Walk as of August 12, keeping hours from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a menu of tacos, bowls, and more from Argentine-born owner Vick Vannucci. A portion of proceeds will go to Kiss the Ground, a non-profit supporting healthy soil, and honeybee rescue company Bee Leaf USA.

There’s a new pop-up restaurant at the end of the Huntington Beach Pier too, which formerly housed a Ruby’s diner. Bud & Gene’s is named for two famous early surfers and lifeguards from the area, and will serve everything from whole grilled fish to platters of fish and chips, oysters, shrimp cocktail, and more. The restaurant is the latest opening from chef Jason Witzl of Long Beach restaurants like Ellie’s and Ginger’s. Wetzl is a Southern California native and grew up cooking in restaurants like Water Grill, Campanile, and MB Post. Hours for the pop-up are daily from 11 a.m. until late evening for takeout, with hours inside running from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.

A close-up shot of a double cheeseburger with side fries in a takeout container at daytime.
A burger and fries to go from Bud & Gene’s.
Kimberly Motos