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Queso fundido dish with melty cheese at Madre Restaurant in Los Angeles.
Queso fundido at Madre
Wonho Frank Lee

21 Essential Sit-Down Mexican Restaurants in LA

Grab a seat, and definitely a margarita

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Queso fundido at Madre
| Wonho Frank Lee

Trying to eat through Los Angeles’s dizzying Mexican restaurant scene can be overwhelming. Because the city hosts the largest concentration of Mexicans in America, and one of the largest in the North American continent, there’s essentially 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, plant-based options, and all manner of Sinaloan and Oaxacan specialties, among others.

Truly, the city is riddled with incredible Mexican cuisine, from street food to upscale spots, so this map will focus on sit-down brick-and-mortar restaurants around greater Los Angeles. Consider it a sampler of where to find some excellent Mexican food in LA, while any of the links listed prior will be helpful in finding specific dishes or regions.

ADDED: El Compadre, Leonor’s Mexican Vegetarian Restaurant, Lola’s Mexican Cuisine, Martin’s Cocina y Cantina

REMOVED: Bizarra Capital, Casa Vega, Socalo, Sonoratown

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
If you book a reservation through an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

1. Birrieria Apatzingan

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10040 Laurel Canyon Blvd
Pacoima, CA 91331
(818) 890-6265

Classic Mexican antojitos and birria destination Apatzingan lives in a crowded center with a convenience store and other businesses on a busy Pacoima intersection. Try the birria with Apatzingan’s large, floppy tortillas.

Birria at Birrieria Apatzingan in Pacoima.
Birria at Birrieria Apatzingan in Pacoima.
Matthew Kang/Eater LA

2. Leonor’s Mexican Vegetarian Restaurant

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12445 Moorpark St UNIT C
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 762-0660
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While Mexican plant-based restaurants continue to gain popularity, Leonor’s Restaurant opened back in 1988. With two SFV locations, the family-operated restaurant can prepare vegan or vegetarian dishes like the tacos, burritos, tostadas, or enchiladas.

3. El Compadre

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7408 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 874-7924
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Once seated in one of El Compadre’s red vinyl booth, order a flaming margarita and wait for the Mariachis who play nightly. With its colorful yet darkened room lit with 1970s-style sterno candles, El Compadre still holds court on this side of Sunset Boulevard after almost five decades and is, without question, thriving.

4. Madre

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801 N Fairfax Ave #101
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 850-8518
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Los Angeles standout Madre has locations in Palms, West Hollywood, and Torrance, each a prime example of Oaxacan cooking from memelas and moles to tlayudas — and all served alongside one of the widest selection of mezcal in the country.

Memelas from Madre
Memelas at Madre
Jakob Layman

5. Petty Cash Taqueria

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7360 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 933-5300
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Petty Cash is arguably the best place to score some pretty standout tacos, uni-laced guacamole, and agave-based cocktails in Fairfax. Especially cool digs with high ceilings make it a great place for large groups to gather at community tables.

Tables outside of Petty Cash Taqueria & Bar.
Petty Cash Taqueria.
Caroline Pardilla

6. Mírame

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419 N Canon Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 230-5035
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In 2020, chef Joshua Gil opened his modern Baja Mexican restaurant in the heart of Beverly Hills, with stellar cocktails and some of the most creative cooking in Los Angeles right now. Try the Baja fried snapper with blue corn tortillas.

Indoor outdoor seating at Mirame Beverly Hills.
Mírame in Beverly Hills
Rich Marchewka

7. Guelaguetza Restaurant

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3014 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(213) 427-0608
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There’s little debate that Koreatown’s Guelaguetza is the go-to when it comes to Oaxacan cuisine in Los Angeles. An Angeleno will find few better places to indulge in complex moles, two-foot-wide tlayudas, and piles of chapulines than the massive restaurant that, with its floral-wrapped tables, always manages to feel especially festive.

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

8. LA Cha Cha Chá

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812 E 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 548-8487
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Mexico City restaurant Terraza Cha Cha Chá opened this rooftop destination in Arts District and the response has been tremendous since opening in 2021. With chef Paco Moran helming the kitchen, the modern Mexican fare features tacos, tostadas, composed seafood dishes, and a view that can please a crowd. They’re now open for brunch as well, meaning all-day weekend options for the Arts District.

Cha Cha Cha’s indoor dining area in Downtown Los Angeles
Cha Cha Chá in Arts District.
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

9. Sonoritas Prime Tacos

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2004 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 444-9100
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This simple taqueria has some of the finest grilled carne asada and other tacos in the city, all made on handmade flour or corn tortillas. Sonoritas also took over the former Broken Spanish space in Downtown LA for an ideal pre-Staples Center dinner.

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

10. Bar Hermanito

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2024 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(424) 465-9029
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Bar Hermanito is one of the most surprising — and satisfying — dining choices you can make on Sawtelle. The menu takes inspiration from the neighborhood’s Japantown culture and history, with dishes like yellowtail tostada with umeboshi (Japanese pickles). The best reasons to come to Hermanito, though, are its tacos, smooth cocktails, and westside-cool patio atmosphere: more common choices like al pastor, shrimp, and quesabirria tacos are complemented by a Peking duck platter (not available every day — so consider yourself lucky if you come in and it’s on the menu).

11. Gish Bac

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4163 W Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90018
(323) 737-5050

Maria and David Ramos have one of the most impressive Oaxacan restaurants in the city, serving everything from stellar mole to excellent lamb barbacoa on the weekends. The latter makes Gish Bac an unmissable spot on California’s barbacoa trail.

Barbacoa from Gish Bac
Barbacoa from Gish Bac.
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

12. Damian

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2132 E 7th Pl
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Celebrated Mexican chef Enrique Olvera has an outpost of his more casual restaurant Atla from New York City, with pristine takes on upscale Mexican favorites like fish ceviche tostadas and octopus huarache to duck al pastor. The Arts District restaurant also has a new brunch menu to pore over on weekends.

Fish tartare, avocado, furikake at Damian in Los Angeles on a plate with a slice of lime.
Fish tartare tostada at Damian
Araceli Paz

13. Mercado

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1416 4th St
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 526-7121
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Part of a growing collection of Mercado restaurants, this Santa Monica outlet prepares quality fare for the whole neighborhood. From straightforward guacamole to kale salads to a proper chile relleno, there’s something for everyone to enjoy here; the “dos gringas” tacos, featuring melted oaxaca cheese and tender al pastor, hit every time.

14. Aqui es Texcoco

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5850 S Eastern Ave
Commerce, CA 90040
(323) 725-1429
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This is the place for lamb barbacoa, tucked into a space out in Commerce. With additional outlets in Tijuana and San Diego, Aqui es Texcoco remains one of the stronger options for eating big weekend plates of pit-roasted lamb.

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

15. La Casita Mexicana

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4030 Gage Ave
Bell, CA 90201
(323) 773-1898
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A standard-bearer for sit-down Mexican cuisine, La Casita is as award-winning as it is delicious. Sure, the team there has gone on the open several other places since, but this remains the real destination for anyone looking to explore what Mexican cooking can be.

La Casita Mexicana’s dining room in Bell, California.
La Casita Mexicana’s dining room in Bell, California.
La Casita Mexicana

16. Martin's Cocina y Cantina

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162 N La Brea Ave
Inglewood, CA 90301
(310) 774-4053
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The Martin family opened its first restaurant in 2009. Five restaurants later, they emerged with Martin’s Cocina y Cantina, a departure from the other Fiesta Martin locations throughout South LA. It’s a bright, modern addition to this prominent Inglewood street with incredible cocktails, good food, and if necessary, a bar with wide TVs to watch local sports teams.

17. Rocio's Mexican Kitchen

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7891 Garfield Ave
Bell Gardens, CA 90201
(562) 659-7800

Rocio Camacho goes by the moniker of the Goddess of Mole for a reason: the moles and other cooking here are truly some of the best in the entire country. Also come for the tacos de cazuela, bright, citrusy cochinita pibil crowned with pickled red onion, and Oaxacan-style caldo de pollo, a warming chicken soup.

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

18. Tamales Elena Y Antojitos

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8101 Garfield Ave
Bell Gardens, CA 90201
(562) 674-3043
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In May, Tamales Elena y Antojitos sent shockwaves in the SoCal restaurant community by announcing that it would close permanently, only to reveal days later that the Bell Gardens restaurant would re-open on June 3 to keep selling tamales, guisados, and pozoles for the foreseeable future. The tiled outdoor patio has bright umbrellas to fight the sun.

Patio at Tamales Elena y Antojitos.
Patio at Tamales Elena y Antojitos.
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

19. Coni'Seafood

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3544 W Imperial Hwy
Inglewood, CA 90303
(310) 672-2339
Visit Website

This Inglewood restaurant is the master of shrimp in all preparations — fried, sautéed, cut into ceviche marinero, or left whole for shockingly bright and spicy aguachile with a vibrant jalapeño puree. But the real star here is the pescado zarandeado, whole snook coated in an umami-rich paste and shaken over coals with an indoor space and cozy patio.

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

20. Ortega 120

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1814 S Pacific Coast Hwy
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
(310) 792-4120
Visit Website

The South Bay loves Ortega 120, the long-running restaurant serving everything from short rib and truffle cheese nachos to queso fundido, or the handmade tortillas. The space itself is fun and funky, with a charmingly casual vibe.

21. Lola's Mexican Cuisine

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2030 E 4th St
Long Beach, CA 90814
(562) 343-5506
Visit Website

Long Beach’s longstanding Lola’s Mexican Cuisine has one of the more beautiful parklets in all of Southern California, complete with a shade structure and coat of bright paint. Go for the tacos dorados, aguas frescas, margaritas, and don’t miss the romantic back patio.

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1. Birrieria Apatzingan

10040 Laurel Canyon Blvd, Pacoima, CA 91331
Birria at Birrieria Apatzingan in Pacoima.
Birria at Birrieria Apatzingan in Pacoima.
Matthew Kang/Eater LA

Classic Mexican antojitos and birria destination Apatzingan lives in a crowded center with a convenience store and other businesses on a busy Pacoima intersection. Try the birria with Apatzingan’s large, floppy tortillas.

10040 Laurel Canyon Blvd
Pacoima, CA 91331

2. Leonor’s Mexican Vegetarian Restaurant

12445 Moorpark St UNIT C, Studio City, CA 91604

While Mexican plant-based restaurants continue to gain popularity, Leonor’s Restaurant opened back in 1988. With two SFV locations, the family-operated restaurant can prepare vegan or vegetarian dishes like the tacos, burritos, tostadas, or enchiladas.

12445 Moorpark St UNIT C
Studio City, CA 91604

3. El Compadre

7408 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Once seated in one of El Compadre’s red vinyl booth, order a flaming margarita and wait for the Mariachis who play nightly. With its colorful yet darkened room lit with 1970s-style sterno candles, El Compadre still holds court on this side of Sunset Boulevard after almost five decades and is, without question, thriving.

7408 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90046

4. Madre

801 N Fairfax Ave #101, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Memelas from Madre
Memelas at Madre
Jakob Layman

Los Angeles standout Madre has locations in Palms, West Hollywood, and Torrance, each a prime example of Oaxacan cooking from memelas and moles to tlayudas — and all served alongside one of the widest selection of mezcal in the country.

801 N Fairfax Ave #101
Los Angeles, CA 90046

5. Petty Cash Taqueria

7360 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tables outside of Petty Cash Taqueria & Bar.
Petty Cash Taqueria.
Caroline Pardilla

Petty Cash is arguably the best place to score some pretty standout tacos, uni-laced guacamole, and agave-based cocktails in Fairfax. Especially cool digs with high ceilings make it a great place for large groups to gather at community tables.

7360 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036

6. Mírame

419 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Indoor outdoor seating at Mirame Beverly Hills.
Mírame in Beverly Hills
Rich Marchewka

In 2020, chef Joshua Gil opened his modern Baja Mexican restaurant in the heart of Beverly Hills, with stellar cocktails and some of the most creative cooking in Los Angeles right now. Try the Baja fried snapper with blue corn tortillas.

419 N Canon Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

7. Guelaguetza Restaurant

3014 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006
Moles at Guelaguetza in LA’s Koreatown.
Moles at Guelaguetza in LA’s Koreatown.
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

There’s little debate that Koreatown’s Guelaguetza is the go-to when it comes to Oaxacan cuisine in Los Angeles. An Angeleno will find few better places to indulge in complex moles, two-foot-wide tlayudas, and piles of chapulines than the massive restaurant that, with its floral-wrapped tables, always manages to feel especially festive.

3014 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006

8. LA Cha Cha Chá

812 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Cha Cha Cha’s indoor dining area in Downtown Los Angeles
Cha Cha Chá in Arts District.
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

Mexico City restaurant Terraza Cha Cha Chá opened this rooftop destination in Arts District and the response has been tremendous since opening in 2021. With chef Paco Moran helming the kitchen, the modern Mexican fare features tacos, tostadas, composed seafood dishes, and a view that can please a crowd. They’re now open for brunch as well, meaning all-day weekend options for the Arts District.

812 E 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

9. Sonoritas Prime Tacos

2004 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Tacos from Sonoritas Prime in Los Angeles.
Tacos from Sonoritas Prime in Los Angeles.
Matthew Kang/Eater LA

This simple taqueria has some of the finest grilled carne asada and other tacos in the city, all made on handmade flour or corn tortillas. Sonoritas also took over the former Broken Spanish space in Downtown LA for an ideal pre-Staples Center dinner.

2004 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

10. Bar Hermanito

2024 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Bar Hermanito is one of the most surprising — and satisfying — dining choices you can make on Sawtelle. The menu takes inspiration from the neighborhood’s Japantown culture and history, with dishes like yellowtail tostada with umeboshi (Japanese pickles). The best reasons to come to Hermanito, though, are its tacos, smooth cocktails, and westside-cool patio atmosphere: more common choices like al pastor, shrimp, and quesabirria tacos are complemented by a Peking duck platter (not available every day — so consider yourself lucky if you come in and it’s on the menu).

2024 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

11. Gish Bac

4163 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018
Barbacoa from Gish Bac
Barbacoa from Gish Bac.
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

Maria and David Ramos have one of the most impressive Oaxacan restaurants in the city, serving everything from stellar mole to excellent lamb barbacoa on the weekends. The latter makes Gish Bac an unmissable spot on California’s barbacoa trail.

4163 W Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90018

12. Damian

2132 E 7th Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90021
Fish tartare, avocado, furikake at Damian in Los Angeles on a plate with a slice of lime.
Fish tartare tostada at Damian
Araceli Paz

Celebrated Mexican chef Enrique Olvera has an outpost of his more casual restaurant Atla from New York City, with pristine takes on upscale Mexican favorites like fish ceviche tostadas and octopus huarache to duck al pastor. The Arts District restaurant also has a new brunch menu to pore over on weekends.

2132 E 7th Pl
Los Angeles, CA 90021

13. Mercado

1416 4th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Part of a growing collection of Mercado restaurants, this Santa Monica outlet prepares quality fare for the whole neighborhood. From straightforward guacamole to kale salads to a proper chile relleno, there’s something for everyone to enjoy here; the “dos gringas” tacos, featuring melted oaxaca cheese and tender al pastor, hit every time.

1416 4th St
Santa Monica, CA 90401

14. Aqui es Texcoco

5850 S Eastern Ave, Commerce, CA 90040
Aqui es Texcoco in Commerce, California.
Aqui es Texcoco in Commerce, California.
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

This is the place for lamb barbacoa, tucked into a space out in Commerce. With additional outlets in Tijuana and San Diego, Aqui es Texcoco remains one of the stronger options for eating big weekend plates of pit-roasted lamb.

5850 S Eastern Ave
Commerce, CA 90040

15. La Casita Mexicana

4030 Gage Ave, Bell, CA 90201
La Casita Mexicana’s dining room in Bell, California.
La Casita Mexicana’s dining room in Bell, California.
La Casita Mexicana

A standard-bearer for sit-down Mexican cuisine, La Casita is as award-winning as it is delicious. Sure, the team there has gone on the open several other places since, but this remains the real destination for anyone looking to explore what Mexican cooking can be.

4030 Gage Ave
Bell, CA 90201

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16. Martin's Cocina y Cantina

162 N La Brea Ave, Inglewood, CA 90301

The Martin family opened its first restaurant in 2009. Five restaurants later, they emerged with Martin’s Cocina y Cantina, a departure from the other Fiesta Martin locations throughout South LA. It’s a bright, modern addition to this prominent Inglewood street with incredible cocktails, good food, and if necessary, a bar with wide TVs to watch local sports teams.

162 N La Brea Ave
Inglewood, CA 90301

17. Rocio's Mexican Kitchen

7891 Garfield Ave, Bell Gardens, CA 90201
Chef Rocio Camacho stands inside her colorful Mexican restaurant, wearing a white shirt.
Chef Rocio Camacho stands inside her colorful Mexican restaurant.
Bill Esparza

Rocio Camacho goes by the moniker of the Goddess of Mole for a reason: the moles and other cooking here are truly some of the best in the entire country. Also come for the tacos de cazuela, bright, citrusy cochinita pibil crowned with pickled red onion, and Oaxacan-style caldo de pollo, a warming chicken soup.

7891 Garfield Ave
Bell Gardens, CA 90201

18. Tamales Elena Y Antojitos

8101 Garfield Ave, Bell Gardens, CA 90201
Patio at Tamales Elena y Antojitos.
Patio at Tamales Elena y Antojitos.
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

In May, Tamales Elena y Antojitos sent shockwaves in the SoCal restaurant community by announcing that it would close permanently, only to reveal days later that the Bell Gardens restaurant would re-open on June 3 to keep selling tamales, guisados, and pozoles for the foreseeable future. The tiled outdoor patio has bright umbrellas to fight the sun.

8101 Garfield Ave
Bell Gardens, CA 90201

19. Coni'Seafood

3544 W Imperial Hwy, Inglewood, CA 90303
A top down view of grilled fish, shrimp, and ceviche.
Coni’Seafood
Farley Elliott

This Inglewood restaurant is the master of shrimp in all preparations — fried, sautéed, cut into ceviche marinero, or left whole for shockingly bright and spicy aguachile with a vibrant jalapeño puree. But the real star here is the pescado zarandeado, whole snook coated in an umami-rich paste and shaken over coals with an indoor space and cozy patio.

3544 W Imperial Hwy
Inglewood, CA 90303

20. Ortega 120

1814 S Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

The South Bay loves Ortega 120, the long-running restaurant serving everything from short rib and truffle cheese nachos to queso fundido, or the handmade tortillas. The space itself is fun and funky, with a charmingly casual vibe.

1814 S Pacific Coast Hwy
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

21. Lola's Mexican Cuisine

2030 E 4th St, Long Beach, CA 90814

Long Beach’s longstanding Lola’s Mexican Cuisine has one of the more beautiful parklets in all of Southern California, complete with a shade structure and coat of bright paint. Go for the tacos dorados, aguas frescas, margaritas, and don’t miss the romantic back patio.

2030 E 4th St
Long Beach, CA 90814

Related Maps