clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Melrose’s New Cantina Serves Taquitos, Margaritas, and Saloon Door Photoshoots

Durango Cantina offers taquitos, cocktails, and a laid-back approach to a night out on one of LA’s most famous streets

If you buy something from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

A trio of stand-up taquitos served in a clay pot with designs, on a slate table at a restaurant at daytime.
Taquitos at Durango Cantina.
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.

Melrose has a hip new hangout to know about. Durango Cantina has hit the famous Los Angeles street offering cocktails, a rustic-chic look, and Mexican food from a prominent chef and big hospitality group.

Durango Cantina opened last Friday, April 28 at 7661 Melrose Avenue, with food from chef Alex Currasco. The former Bee Taqueria lead, who earned that restaurant a Michelin Guide Bib Goumand with his West Adams taco omakases, is now on Melrose cooking foods specifically from the north-central state of Durango in Mexico, between Sinaloa and Moneterrey. Currasco also spent time at Osteria Mozza and Scratch Bar, and worked with Ricardo Zarate at Once in Las Vegas.

There are staples on the new Durango Cantina like guacamole and chips, a fundido, and albondigas to share, as well as a full array of taquitos, flautas, salads, and cocteles and aguachiles. Mains include a six-hour braised lamb shank in the style of a Durango wedding feast, chipotle-glazed beef ribs, grilled carne asada, and more. There’s even a full slate of cocktails, from classic margaritas and palomas to mezcal negronis and rotating one-off drinks like the Valentina with tequila, coconut, cinnamon, mint, and lime. The opening menu is below.

A man in a grey beanie leans over to spoon sauce onto a roasted lamb shank in a commercial kitchen.
Chef Alex Currasco.
An overhead look at a roasted lamb shank on a clay plate with greens at a commercial kitchen.
Lamb shank.

The new Durango Cantina is the work of the busy Boulevard Hospitality Group, one of greater LA’s biggest nightlife and restaurant consortiums. The group is perhaps best known for Yamashiro in Hollywood and the nearby TCL Chinese Theatre, though they also own and oversee spaces like Sugar Factory, sports bar 3rd Base, Downtown’s serene Japanese restaurant Kodo, and Orange County projects like the reborn Royal Hawaiian. Spencer Kushner of Boulevard Hospitality Group oversaw the design of Durango Cantina, pulling in lots of light wood, Mexican clay dishes, cactus, and desert-rustic artwork, though the highlight of the place will certainly be the swinging worn saloon doors at the entrance.

Durango Cantina is now open at 7661 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046, serving dinner from 4 p.m. to late, Tuesday through Sunday (closed Mondays). On Saturday and Sunday, the restaurant opens at 11 a.m.

A hand squeezes a bit of lime into a margarita at a daytime restaurant, up close.
A tall pint of labeled paloma with lime wedge at a daytime restaurant.
A vertical image of a daytime restaurant with bleached pillows, sanded wood, and cactus.
Cactus and rustic wood touches.
A fried taco with side of sauce on a clay plate at a daytime restaurant.
A taco at the ready.
An overhead shot of two beef ribs poking out of a saucy clay bowl at Durango Cantina.
Bone-in beef ribs.
A woman leans back in a cowboy hat as part of a painting at a small new daytime cantina.
Burnished wooden saloon doors hang in front of a daytime restaurant.
Saloon doors out front.

Durango Cantina

7661 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046 Visit Website