Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Oct 31, 2005 07:38 PM

Sonoran Mexican Food

  • c

I'm from AZ and I have yet to find any Mexican restaurants that have the Sonoran style that I love. Has anyone found a place in LA?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The name may be more authentic than the food, but Sonora Cafe at 180 S. La Brea is quite a nice restaurant with some pretty good food. Linked their menu for your review.


    1. After a phenomenal weekend in Phoenix with one of the best meals I've had in the western US at a New Mexican restaurant called Richardson's, I've got to re-ignite this thread.

      I've shown my inexperience knowing the difference between Sonoran, New Mexican, and Tex Mex, so I won't make the same mistake twice (although I now know I'm looking more for the former and less for Tex-Mex), but I've got to find something close in LA!

      Scouring the LA boards for New Mexican or Sonoran, it looks like I'm largely out of luck with the possible exception of Sonora Cafe (although the owner connection to El Cholo may be a non-starter for me), Anita's, or Santa Fe Station in some place called Lakewood:)

      So am I out of luck, or is someone out there holding out on us?

      And if I'm out of luck, I'll take some Tex-Mex recos. Thanks all.

      Sonora Cafe
      180 S La Brea, Los Angeles, CA 90036

      Santa Fe Station
      4101 Lakewood Blvd, Lakewood, CA 90712

      Anita's Restaurant
      4307 S Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90037

      5 Replies
      1. re: ElJeffe

        ElJeffe.Sonora Cafe is southwestern, and mediocre at that.I feel your pain!

        I went to Dick's Hideaway in Phoenix a couple of times and had great meals there.Dick's shares a kitchen,owner, and menu with Richardson's, it's right around the corner with no sign.There is nothing like them here, especially the Santa Fe cuisine which is their specialty.

        There are no Sonoran restaurants here in LA period, which is lamentable since Sonoran cuisine is a favorite of mine.I go to Sonora every three months or so and absolutely love it!

        I haven't tried Anita's of Santa Fe station, but would highly recommend the Tex-Mex Don Rogelio's in Lennox. It is simple homestyle Tex-Mex and I think will do the trick.The cocido is outstanding.

        Don Rogelio's
        10618 S Inglewood Ave, Lennox CA

        1. re: streetgourmetla

          "There are no Sonoran restaurants here in LA period, which is lamentable since Sonoran cuisine is a favorite of mine.I go to Sonora every three months or so and absolutely love it!"

          FYI... I have a feeling that when people ask for Sonoran... it doesn't mean what you might think it is. It is usually mentioned by people from Arizona, and represents a very narrow range of Sonoran border cuisine. My research has not yielded any restaurants in Arizona, New Mexico or Texas that specialize in the more interesting dishes of Sonora's "interior".

          1. re: Eat_Nopal

            True.I was in Phoenix a week ago and saw mostly Southwestern.I think when people try Sonoran in AZ they are getting Southwestern food.Also, many locals in Arizona refer to a type of an obviously southwestern menu as Mexican food.I think Tucson gets more inspiration from Sonora yet remains a Southwestern style.

        2. re: ElJeffe

          I went to Santa Fe Station for what was very good NM cuisine a week before they closed - permanently, as in not enough love for NM chow in L.A. so ya'al missed the boat! The owner did tell me that he owned another place about a block away called Dale's Diner or Cafe or something but I haven't eaten there.

          1. re: ElJeffe

            The last time I was there, it was called Richardson's Cuisine of New Mexico, and as a major fan of NM style cooking, I was all over the place. Fine stuff and it's a shame there's nothing even close in LA. I once asked Jonathan Gold for a suggestion for New Mexico type eats in LA, and the best he could come up with was Super Rica in Santa Barbara, which is pretty far off the mark. My shame is that I never got to Abiquiu, Mark Sedlar's place here, while it was around. I guess no one has filled that gap since then, but if there's anything new to report, I'd love to hear it.

          2. (sigh) Looks like my best option is to jump on the freeway for another weekend in Phoenix. Thanks for the info everyone!

            1. The closest i've found to AZ mexican (the best!) is El Chollo on Western, south of Olympic. Otherwise, I've been searching to no avail. no one makes Enchilada sauce like AZ Sonoran Mex. good luck!

              1. The original comment has been removed