Why go: It won’t satisfy the cravings of a native Los Angeleño or a homesick Texan, but this scruffy roadhouse gets closer to the authentic regional Mexican ideal than any restaurant in the area, from the house-made corn tortillas and chili-flecked guacamole to the zesty soups and stews.
What to get: Chilaquiles, a hangover-curing casserole that alternates corn tortillas with spoonfuls of red or green sauce—order it with a fried egg on top; chorizo, salty beef, and tongue tacos in two-ply corn tortillas with radish and a wedge of lime; a surprisingly light rendition of chile relleno; chicken mole, its sweet, complex sauce transforming the sometimes stringy meat; the pork-and-hominy stew called posole, festooned with cilantro and avocado.
Best for: A rollicking night out in a jukebox-loud atmosphere that calls to mind a dive along the Mexican border.
Insider tip: Skip dessert and head down the street to the tiny outpost of La Flor de Puebla, a Mexican bakery that produces, among other treats, wondrously light sugar doughnuts filled with cream.
Open daily except Tuesday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
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