• Mon. Jul 15th, 2024


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The Los Angeles Restaurant That Bought Hollywood on Mexican Meals

The Los Angeles Restaurant That Bought Hollywood on Mexican Meals

WHEN I WAS rising up in Stockton, Calif., within the Nineteen Seventies and ’80s, there have been solely two special-occasion eating places acceptable to my household. They have been each on the south aspect of the town, within the barrio. My Mexican-born abuelo preferred Mi Ranchito, and for my dad it was Arroyo’s Cafe. Irrespective of which one we went to, my order was at all times the identical: rib steak ranchero with rice, refried beans and leaves of undressed iceberg lettuce wilted by soupy salsa. I’d pinch torn items of machine-pressed flour tortillas across the slices of steak and blend in all the edges. It was a celebratory meal if there ever was one.

At this time, Mexican eating places could also be ubiquitous in California however, in these days, even Chicano eating places, the place conventional recipes have been tailored for American elements and palates, have been hardly ever discovered exterior of Latino enclaves.

One notable exception is Casa Vega, which opened in 1956 in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, an upscale, predominantly white neighborhood within the San Fernando Valley. The founder, Rafael “Ray” Vega was born in Nationwide Metropolis, Calif., and raised in Tijuana and Burbank, drew from his mom’s recipes, serving, amongst different home-style Mexican American dishes, plates of chile colorado, a savory beef stew, and mole rojo, roast hen in mole with its mix of dried chiles, peanut butter, plantains, raisins and different elements, viscous from floor tortilla chips. For a lot of within the neighborhood, Casa Vega was their gateway to Mexican flavors.

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