Loteria Grill Hollywood. Better than the Farmers Market at the Grove
First of all I would like to thank those of you who posted in response to my question in Hollywood for dinner for either mexican or burgers.
My friend from nyc and I went to Loteria Hollywood to expecting to experience a solid Mexican food experience. We parked in the "public" parking lot on Cherokee which was $8 and walked around the corner of Geisha House to get to there. The interior design is very post modern industrial and a very well lit dining room. This almost the antithesis to the stand at the Farmers Market at the Grove. An open kitchen is inviting, and the decor is very light, fresh, and simple.
We looked at the menu which I thought was straightforward with sopes, tacos, tostadas, and burritos. We placed an order of the queso fundido to start and some guacamole. The tortillas that came over with the fundido were nice and hand made, and we placed the molten queso fundido with a little salsa in them. The carmelization of the cheese made the sweetness come out, and the piquant salsa exuded nice hot spicyness. The guacamole was solid OG stuff you find south of the border and in the hispanic neighborhoods here in la. Creamy, runny, and having that matte green color with chunks of tomato. We decided to order the Taco sampler in which we could choose 12 different types of tacos which were mini-sized. We elected to choose the cochinita pibil, carne deshebrada, chicharon en salsa verde, carnitas en salsa morita, chicken in pipian rojo and chicken mole poblano. My dining companion enjoyed this dish immensely and so did I because we were able to try all the different types of tacos and flavors. We really enjoyed the cochinita pibil, and carne deshebrada. We finished our meal off with one full cochinita pibil taco, and called it an evening. We had 2 soft drinks and the bill came to $50 for two.
I have had better cochinita pibil at Chichen Itza and Yuca's but in terms of nightlife and scene this is sort of equivalent to the Mexican version of Chosun Galbee. I recommend bringing people here who are out of town and want some ambience with their meal.
Anyone have any advice re: crowds at the Hollywood location. OpenTable is showing basically no availability on Friday night - but I'm still having a hard time accepting that I would need reservations at Loteria.
Thoughts? Do I need a reservation? Should I just go to the Farmers Market?