The Top 5 Mexican Restaurants in Los Angeles

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Courtesy of Red O
Courtesy of Red O

Here are Haute Living Los Angeles’ picks for the top 5 Mexican restaurants in the City of Angels. Here are the restaurants where you’ll find your tacos, nachos and hot tamales and so, so much more. Expect to find innovative dishes from the likes of Susan Feniger, Rick Bayless and  on our list. Without further ado, here are our top spots for those who like their Mexican food hot, hot…haute.

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1 Red O

You will love Rick Bayless' take on authentic Mexican with a lighter, California-style kick. From the “Bright Bites” selection of Ceviches and Tostaditas, to "Savory Snacks” such as Sopes, Queso Fundidos, Taquitos, and Tamales to the “Enchiladas & Tacos al Carbon” to the classic cornerstone offerings that are the cornerstones of Mexican cuisine, you can't go wrong at Red O. For purists, check out Bayless' “Mexico’s Celebrated Seven" menu section, of which includes his take on iconic dishes such as Pollo en Mole Poblano and Cochinita Pibil. Make sure to check out LA's sister location in Newport Beach.
8155 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046 (323) 655-5009

2 Border Grill

Susan Feniger is one of the most famous foodie names in LA thanks to her ambitious takes on exotic street food, which she brings to her downtown LA and Santa Monica outposts of Border Grill. The Food Network's "Too Hot Tamales" star creates a new standard for modern gourmet Mexican with flavorful fare based on the home cooking of Oaxaca and the Yucatan. Make sure to try the Plantain Empanadas - roasted plantains, organic black beans, poblano and aged cotija - as well as the delightful Quinoa Fritters with crunchy aztec grain, aged cotija cheese and aji amarillo aioli.
445 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90071 (213) 486-5171

3 Rivera

John Rivera Sedlar has been praised to the heavens for his hip downtown eatery Rivera as much as for the eatery's decor as for his haute cuisine. Located on the ground level of the Met Lofts building, the Osvaldo Maiozzi-designed space is a beautiful to look at given its sleek, modern style. The food, naturally, is just as impressive. The unique dishes you must try include the negra piquillos rellenos- stuffed Spanish peppers, chorizo, golden raisins and gruyere - as well as the caracoles, snails with jamon iberico, vinho verde and garlic petals.
1050 S. Flower St. #102, Los Angeles, CA 90015 (213) 749-1460

4 Mercado

Chef Jose Acevedo plays up his Mexican roots on Mercado's menu with excellent results. You simply must experience his signature dishes, such as the carnitas, hand-created from old family recipes using fresh, locally grown ingredients -- firsthand. On his menu you'll find a variety of small and large plates, salads and vegetables, paying respect to the healthy residents of seaside Santa Monica. The bar menu, which is 60 brands deep in designer tequila, isn't too shabby, either.
1416 4th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (310) 526-7121

5 La Costa Mission

Mexico comes to Malibu in the form of La Costa Mission. The 'Bu residents are as happy as hot tamales with this inviting eatery next door to the Old Courthouse building on P.C.H., thanks to its cozy fireplace, fresh margaritas, and delightful fare courtesy of executive chef Geno Bahena, who worked side by side with Rick Bayless in Chicago for over a decade. Our must trys: the La Costa Mission Ceviche Chichihuliti, crisp little tortillas piled with lime-marinated corbina, manzanillo olives, tomato, serrano peppers, avocago and cilantro, served with roasted tomatillo salsa, and the Cazuela de Albondigas, home-made tender meatballs (beef-chicken) in tomato-guajillo sauce served with Yukon potato cakes.
21337 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265 (310) 317-0110
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