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Pescado sarandeado at Madre on a ceramic plate.
Pescado sarandeado at Madre.
Jakob Layman

21 Essential Sit-Down Mexican Restaurants in LA

Grab a seat and some mezcal or an agua fresca

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Pescado sarandeado at Madre.
| Jakob Layman

Eating one’s way through Los Angeles’s expansive Mexican restaurant scene can be gratifying and overwhelming. Because the city hosts the largest concentration of Mexicans in the United States, there’s an endless number of places for tacos and tortas (and tortas ahogadas) and tamales — and that’s to say nothing of the birria, the barbacoa, the plant-based options, and all manner of Sinaloan and Oaxacan specialties, among others.

The city is bursting with incredible Mexican cuisine, from street food to upscale spots, so this map focuses on the sit-down, full-service restaurants throughout greater Los Angeles. These selections are traditional brick-and-mortar or ones nestled inside a residential backyard. Consider it a sampler of where to find excellent Mexican food in LA, while any of the previous links will ease the process of finding specific dishes or regions. Here are 21 respected places to sit and enjoy Mexican food in Los Angeles.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

Casablanca

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Nothing about Casablanca in Venice makes complete sense: Its location is across from a Whole Foods/Chevron complex and kitty-corner to La Cabana, another neighborhood Mexican American favorite. Its namesake theme and decor revolves around the influential 1942 movie set in Morocco, which makes it somewhat irresistible and definitely irreverent. Expect a roving tequila cart churning tableside margaritas, dexterous older women flipping tortillas on the dining room’s centerpiece comal, and a menu that focuses on grilled seafood dishes, one section dedicated fully to mammoth grilled calamari steaks, just because.

Sonoritas Prime Tacos

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West LA’s neighborhood taqueria has some of the finest grilled carne asada and other tacos in the city, all made on handmade flour or corn tortillas with a cozy outdoor patio. For those unable to venture to the Westside, Sonoritas also took over the former Broken Spanish space in Downtown LA.

Tacos from Sonoritas Prime in Los Angeles.
Tacos from Sonoritas Prime in Los Angeles.
Matthew Kang/Eater LA

Birrieria Apatzingan

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Classic Mexican antojitos and birria destination Apatzingan operates from the north side of Laurel Canyon Boulevard near the 118 and the 5 Freeways. Try the birria with Apatzingan’s large, floppy tortillas along with the weekend special: pozole and menudo.

A beige bowl of glistening red goat birria topped with cilantro and onion on a table outdoors.
Birria at Birrieria Apatzingan in Pacoima.
Matthew Kang/Eater LA

Madre Restaurant

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Los Angeles standout Madre has locations in Palms, West Hollywood, and Torrance, plus one headed to Santa Clarita on October 2. Each is a prime spot to secure Oaxacan cooking including memelas, moles, and tlayudas — and all served alongside one of the widest selections of mezcal in the country. Try not to miss brunch at Madre WeHo or Torrance.

Deep fried masa or memelas with toppings from Madre restaurant in Los Angles, California.
Memelas from Madre.
Jakob Layman

Comedor Tenchita

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Comedor Tenchita’s Mid-City backyard restaurant is usually packed, and that’s because the 76-year-old Doña Hortensia “Tenchita” Melchor prepares some of LA’s most unique Oaxacan food that varies weekly, but handmade tortillas piping hot from a comal are always on hand.

Traditional Oaxacan dishes are laid out on a colorful table at Comedor Tenchita.
Comedor Tenchita.
Wonho Frank Lee

Coni'Seafood

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This Inglewood restaurant is the master of shrimp in all preparations, whether fried, sauteed, cut into ceviche, or left whole for shockingly bright and spicy aguachile with a vibrant jalapeño puree. But the real star here is the pescado zarandeado, a whole snook coated in an umami-rich paste and shaken over coals, served either indoors or out on the covered patio.

A top down view of grilled fish, shrimp, and ceviche.
Coni’Seafood
Farley Elliott

Ka’Teen

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Chef Wes Avila’s assembly of LA, Mexican, and specifically Yucatánean flavors are on display at Ka’Teen with classics like cochinita pibil, big eye tuna aguachilie and scallop ceviche tostadas. Located in the Hollywood Vinyl District, diners can also savor craft Mexican beer, wines, or inventive cocktails.

A corner view of a bar outside at Ka’teen restaurant at night.
Ka’teen.
Wonho Frank Lee

Gish Bac

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Maria and David Ramos own one of the coziest dining rooms and most impressive Oaxacan restaurants in the city, serving stellar mole and excellent lamb barbacoa on the weekends. The latter makes Gish Bac an unmissable spot on California’s barbacoa trail, but be sure to order the horchata or jamaica to wash down the meal.

White plate holding a stacked torta sandwich with meats, lettuce, and sauce from Gish Bac.
A torta from Gish Bac.
Matthew Kang

El Cholo

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One of LA’s oldest Mexican restaurants turned 100 in 2023 and maintains a historic presence on Western Avenue just north of Pico. But there are six bustling SoCal locations serving margaritas, combination platters, and El Cholo’s signature green corn tamales.

The front facade for El Cholo in Los Angeles.
El Cholo.
Wonho Frank Lee

Guelaguetza Restaurant

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There’s little debate that Koreatown’s Guelaguetza is an essential Oaxacan stop in Los Angeles. This is the restaurant to indulge in complex moles, two-foot-wide tlayudas, and platters of crispy toasted chapulines. The room feels especially festive thanks to live music and brightly colored walls and the food remains top-tier.

Moles at Guelaguetza in LA’s Koreatown.
Moles at Guelaguetza in LA’s Koreatown.
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

Mírate

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Mírate settled into Los Feliz in 2022 with a more casual feel and fare in a stunning historic space. There are two bars — one specifically for mezcal — and chef Josh Gil’s multi-regional menu with Baja-style deep-fried fish or charred octopus tacos, albondigas, and tlayudas under a retractable roof. Try to get a table on the top floor for the best view.

Ceviche Project

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Situated on the western edge of Silver Lake, Ceviche Project chef and owner Octavio Olivas’ breezy sit-down restaurant sources excellent seafood while making some of LA’s most creative twists on ceviche including the kanpachi tostada or whatever Olivas creates with the catch of the day.

Razor clam ceviche on ice in a bowl, from Ceviche Project.
Razor clams from Ceviche Project.
Jakob N. Layman

Bar Amá

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Chef Josef Centeno’s longtime DTLA spot slightly skews Tex-Mex but is mostly Mexican with micheladas, guacamole, aguachile, tacos, and enchiladas.

Bar Ama restaurant interior in Downtown Los Angeles.
Bar Amá.
Bar Ama

In early 2023, Downtown’s LA Cha Cha Chá opened a sister restaurant in Frogtown one block away from the LA River. Chef Paco Moran utilizes mostly Mexican seafood to prepare Sinaloan-style shrimp, Baja scallops, and four types of Nayarit-style grilled zarandeado with excellent cocktails and a bustling outdoor patio.

Outdoor dining at Loreto.
Loreto patio.
Jakob Layman

Guerrilla Tacos

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Downtown staple Guerilla Tacos is an ideal spot to grab a table and order oysters with salsa, popcorn fish tacos with Thai flavors, a poke tostada, or the melon Kampachi crudo. There’s a well-lit patio, but the main dining area is also an ideal room to take in a meal.

Guerrilla Tacos stand in Downtown Los Angeles.
Guerrilla Tacos.
Wonho Frank Lee

Celebrated Mexican chef Enrique Olvera’s Arts District restaurant is a stunning space. It’s where lead chef Chuy Cervantes prepares pristine dishes like lobster al pastor, uni tostada, and a pineapple, coconut, and lime soft-serve. Try not to miss weekend brunch.

Tostadas by La Guerrerense served this past weekend at Damian.
Tostadas at Damian.
Matthew Kang

La Casita Mexicana

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A standard-bearer for Mexican cuisine in Los Angeles, La Casita Mexicana is as award-winning as it is delicious. Sure, the team there has gone on to open several other places since, but La Casita arguably remains the definitive destination for anyone looking to explore essential Mexican cooking in a colorful dining room.

Chilaquiles rojo from La Casita Mexicana in Bell, California.
Chilaquiles rojo from La Casita Mexicana
La Casita Mexicana

Aqui es Texcoco

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Tucked into the City of Commerce is the neighborhood favorite Aqui es Texcoco. With additional outlets in Tijuana and San Diego, this restaurant remains one of the stronger options for eating big weekend plates of smoky pit-roasted lamb in a casual dining room.

Aqui es Texcoco in Commerce, California.
Aqui es Texcoco in Commerce, California.
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

Rocio's Mexican Kitchen

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The Goddess of Mole aka Rocio Camacho earned the crown for a reason: her moles and recipes are truly some of the best in the entire country. Take a seat in Rocio’s Mexican Kitchen’s intimate dining room for the carne asada platter, tlayudas, and traditional chile en nogada. When the weather is ideal, there are a handful of outdoor tables as well.

Chef Rocio Camacho stands inside her colorful Mexican restaurant, wearing a white shirt.
Chef Rocio Camacho stands inside her colorful Mexican restaurant.
Bill Esparza

Playa Amor Mexican Cocina

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Make a day of it when dining at Playa Amor Mexican Cocina. Open since 2016, this Long Beach restaurant is a block away from the Long Beach Marina with Mexican dishes that bear a slight twist. Try the ceviches, Mexican clam chowder with roasted pasilla chiles, a mole tot poutine, and a mayan hummus made with pumpkin seed

Campo é Carbón

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Ulysses Gálvez co-owners Adriana Alvarez and chef Ulysses Gálvez formed the idea of a backyard restaurant after a 2019 trip to Baja California’s Valle de Guadalupe wine country. The result is a popular monthly feast in a lush La Puente backyard. The menu changes regularly, but expect plenty of seafood over a wood fire, cocktails, and excellent table service. Try to nab a table early by signing up on their email list.

A backyard dinner at Campo é Carbón in La Puente, California
Campo é Carbón.
Adriana Alvarez

Casablanca

Nothing about Casablanca in Venice makes complete sense: Its location is across from a Whole Foods/Chevron complex and kitty-corner to La Cabana, another neighborhood Mexican American favorite. Its namesake theme and decor revolves around the influential 1942 movie set in Morocco, which makes it somewhat irresistible and definitely irreverent. Expect a roving tequila cart churning tableside margaritas, dexterous older women flipping tortillas on the dining room’s centerpiece comal, and a menu that focuses on grilled seafood dishes, one section dedicated fully to mammoth grilled calamari steaks, just because.

Sonoritas Prime Tacos

West LA’s neighborhood taqueria has some of the finest grilled carne asada and other tacos in the city, all made on handmade flour or corn tortillas with a cozy outdoor patio. For those unable to venture to the Westside, Sonoritas also took over the former Broken Spanish space in Downtown LA.

Tacos from Sonoritas Prime in Los Angeles.
Tacos from Sonoritas Prime in Los Angeles.
Matthew Kang/Eater LA

Birrieria Apatzingan

Classic Mexican antojitos and birria destination Apatzingan operates from the north side of Laurel Canyon Boulevard near the 118 and the 5 Freeways. Try the birria with Apatzingan’s large, floppy tortillas along with the weekend special: pozole and menudo.

A beige bowl of glistening red goat birria topped with cilantro and onion on a table outdoors.
Birria at Birrieria Apatzingan in Pacoima.
Matthew Kang/Eater LA

Madre Restaurant

Los Angeles standout Madre has locations in Palms, West Hollywood, and Torrance, plus one headed to Santa Clarita on October 2. Each is a prime spot to secure Oaxacan cooking including memelas, moles, and tlayudas — and all served alongside one of the widest selections of mezcal in the country. Try not to miss brunch at Madre WeHo or Torrance.

Deep fried masa or memelas with toppings from Madre restaurant in Los Angles, California.
Memelas from Madre.
Jakob Layman

Comedor Tenchita

Comedor Tenchita’s Mid-City backyard restaurant is usually packed, and that’s because the 76-year-old Doña Hortensia “Tenchita” Melchor prepares some of LA’s most unique Oaxacan food that varies weekly, but handmade tortillas piping hot from a comal are always on hand.

Traditional Oaxacan dishes are laid out on a colorful table at Comedor Tenchita.
Comedor Tenchita.
Wonho Frank Lee

Coni'Seafood

This Inglewood restaurant is the master of shrimp in all preparations, whether fried, sauteed, cut into ceviche, or left whole for shockingly bright and spicy aguachile with a vibrant jalapeño puree. But the real star here is the pescado zarandeado, a whole snook coated in an umami-rich paste and shaken over coals, served either indoors or out on the covered patio.

A top down view of grilled fish, shrimp, and ceviche.
Coni’Seafood
Farley Elliott

Ka’Teen

Chef Wes Avila’s assembly of LA, Mexican, and specifically Yucatánean flavors are on display at Ka’Teen with classics like cochinita pibil, big eye tuna aguachilie and scallop ceviche tostadas. Located in the Hollywood Vinyl District, diners can also savor craft Mexican beer, wines, or inventive cocktails.

A corner view of a bar outside at Ka’teen restaurant at night.
Ka’teen.
Wonho Frank Lee

Gish Bac

Maria and David Ramos own one of the coziest dining rooms and most impressive Oaxacan restaurants in the city, serving stellar mole and excellent lamb barbacoa on the weekends. The latter makes Gish Bac an unmissable spot on California’s barbacoa trail, but be sure to order the horchata or jamaica to wash down the meal.

White plate holding a stacked torta sandwich with meats, lettuce, and sauce from Gish Bac.
A torta from Gish Bac.
Matthew Kang

El Cholo

One of LA’s oldest Mexican restaurants turned 100 in 2023 and maintains a historic presence on Western Avenue just north of Pico. But there are six bustling SoCal locations serving margaritas, combination platters, and El Cholo’s signature green corn tamales.

The front facade for El Cholo in Los Angeles.
El Cholo.
Wonho Frank Lee

Guelaguetza Restaurant

There’s little debate that Koreatown’s Guelaguetza is an essential Oaxacan stop in Los Angeles. This is the restaurant to indulge in complex moles, two-foot-wide tlayudas, and platters of crispy toasted chapulines. The room feels especially festive thanks to live music and brightly colored walls and the food remains top-tier.

Moles at Guelaguetza in LA’s Koreatown.
Moles at Guelaguetza in LA’s Koreatown.
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

Mírate

Mírate settled into Los Feliz in 2022 with a more casual feel and fare in a stunning historic space. There are two bars — one specifically for mezcal — and chef Josh Gil’s multi-regional menu with Baja-style deep-fried fish or charred octopus tacos, albondigas, and tlayudas under a retractable roof. Try to get a table on the top floor for the best view.

Ceviche Project

Situated on the western edge of Silver Lake, Ceviche Project chef and owner Octavio Olivas’ breezy sit-down restaurant sources excellent seafood while making some of LA’s most creative twists on ceviche including the kanpachi tostada or whatever Olivas creates with the catch of the day.

Razor clam ceviche on ice in a bowl, from Ceviche Project.
Razor clams from Ceviche Project.
Jakob N. Layman

Bar Amá

Chef Josef Centeno’s longtime DTLA spot slightly skews Tex-Mex but is mostly Mexican with micheladas, guacamole, aguachile, tacos, and enchiladas.

Bar Ama restaurant interior in Downtown Los Angeles.
Bar Amá.
Bar Ama

Loreto

In early 2023, Downtown’s LA Cha Cha Chá opened a sister restaurant in Frogtown one block away from the LA River. Chef Paco Moran utilizes mostly Mexican seafood to prepare Sinaloan-style shrimp, Baja scallops, and four types of Nayarit-style grilled zarandeado with excellent cocktails and a bustling outdoor patio.

Outdoor dining at Loreto.
Loreto patio.
Jakob Layman

Guerrilla Tacos

Downtown staple Guerilla Tacos is an ideal spot to grab a table and order oysters with salsa, popcorn fish tacos with Thai flavors, a poke tostada, or the melon Kampachi crudo. There’s a well-lit patio, but the main dining area is also an ideal room to take in a meal.

Guerrilla Tacos stand in Downtown Los Angeles.
Guerrilla Tacos.
Wonho Frank Lee

Related Maps

Damian

Celebrated Mexican chef Enrique Olvera’s Arts District restaurant is a stunning space. It’s where lead chef Chuy Cervantes prepares pristine dishes like lobster al pastor, uni tostada, and a pineapple, coconut, and lime soft-serve. Try not to miss weekend brunch.

Tostadas by La Guerrerense served this past weekend at Damian.
Tostadas at Damian.
Matthew Kang

La Casita Mexicana

A standard-bearer for Mexican cuisine in Los Angeles, La Casita Mexicana is as award-winning as it is delicious. Sure, the team there has gone on to open several other places since, but La Casita arguably remains the definitive destination for anyone looking to explore essential Mexican cooking in a colorful dining room.

Chilaquiles rojo from La Casita Mexicana in Bell, California.
Chilaquiles rojo from La Casita Mexicana
La Casita Mexicana

Aqui es Texcoco

Tucked into the City of Commerce is the neighborhood favorite Aqui es Texcoco. With additional outlets in Tijuana and San Diego, this restaurant remains one of the stronger options for eating big weekend plates of smoky pit-roasted lamb in a casual dining room.

Aqui es Texcoco in Commerce, California.
Aqui es Texcoco in Commerce, California.
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

Rocio's Mexican Kitchen

The Goddess of Mole aka Rocio Camacho earned the crown for a reason: her moles and recipes are truly some of the best in the entire country. Take a seat in Rocio’s Mexican Kitchen’s intimate dining room for the carne asada platter, tlayudas, and traditional chile en nogada. When the weather is ideal, there are a handful of outdoor tables as well.