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Mar 24, 2001 01:24 AM

Mi Cocina-style Mexican

  • d

Does anyone know of an LA restaurant dedicated to the kind of seasonal, regional Mexican cooking I used to enjoy at Mi Cocina in the West Village?

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  1. Deborah--just a quick note to point out that we have many thousands of users. So rather than be "just another Deborah", if you'd include a last name or use a "handle" (anything to make your nametag distinctive), it'd allow everyone to get to know you and not confuse you with other Deborahs, past or future!

    of course, your nametag is your business, so if you'd prefer to be just plain old "Deborah", that's totally your perogative!


    5 Replies
    1. re: Jim Leff

      Hi Jim. I know nomenclature is an issue, but I'd started out as Deborah over a year ago now and have kept to it-- without yet coming across doppelganger Deborah posts. I'll try to be more idiosyncratic if you think it would be helpful.

      Pepper, thanks for the Alegria suggestion. I'm not suggesting that NY beats LA for frequency, variety or (a word I loathe) authenticity in Mexican food. There were things Mi Cocina could do that I haven't found here, though. Sometimes I need a casual Mexican place that's serious about the food, a cut above formica tables, and open after 8 pm. Sonora Cafe is ok but isn't quite it either. There may be lots of places that are but I don't know them.

      1. re: Deborah

        I've eaten in Mi Cocina and I'd say there are roughly thirty places in L. A. with superior Mexican food(as well there should be as this would still be Mexico if the gringosdidn't steal it.)Deborah, I'd start with La Serenata di Garibaldi (any of the three branches, but preferably the one in East Los) and go from there, Oaxacan places like Gueleguetza and Monte Alban, maybe. The Border Grill ain't bad either. But Sonora Cafe is like an upscale of Taco Bell, the worst Mexican food in town, or at least the most plastic.

        1. re: Roger Simon

          Thanks for the reminder about La Serenata, Roger. I do think it's pretty terrific but I've only been to the one on Pico and now I live downtown. I'd actually heard that the re-opened East LA (is it Boyle Hights?) La Serenata has departed from its original course and become a cliche; I'll look forward to trying it on your recommendation, however.

          1. re: Deborah

            Maybe I'm chiming in a little late, but don't forget El Chavo on E Sunset. The original (i think) El Cholo is pretty good on monday nights when the chef offers regional dishes.

            Notes on El Chavo coming after a planned next visit this thurs or fri.

            Peace and grub.

          2. re: Roger Simon

            Just a comment on Sonora Café: It's not really Mexican food. It's "southwestern". The food is good, using interesting ingredients and preparations, and the decor adds to the dining experience, but don't go if you're expecting an authentic Mexican meal. They do a great job at what they do, but if you want Mexican, choose one of the other places mentioned.

      2. As an emigree from Los Angeles to the West Village, I find it sort of incredible that you would be asking for Mexican food in L.A. that reminds you of home. (There are literally thousands of places in L.A. better than Mi Cocina, and every single one of them is half the price.)

        But for a vision of what Mi Cocina might be if it died and went to heaven, try Alegria on Sunset in Silver Lake, which plays the regional/seasonal cards but also happens to serve fairly incredible food: carnitas plates; enmoladas; Jalisco-style crab cakes; a very nice tampiquena. Sort of unbelievably cheap for the quality, which draws a great assortment of punky Silver Lake dudes and the Chicano boho elite.

        Otherwise, regional Mexican food here tends to come from a specific region. Which is a good thing.