5 Things You Should Order From Loteria Grill in Studio City

We’ll admit it, the two-story strip mall at Laurel Canyon and Ventura, as known as Laurel Promenade, doesn’t first come to mind when thinking about dining.  First, it’s a dominating structure at one of the busiest intersections in the valley.  Second, the seemingly sparse parking is, well, daunting.  This week, however, we decided to venture […]

We’ll admit it, the two-story strip mall at Laurel Canyon and Ventura, as known as Laurel Promenade, doesn’t first come to mind when thinking about dining.  First, it’s a dominating structure at one of the busiest intersections in the valley.  Second, the seemingly sparse parking is, well, daunting.  This week, however, we decided to venture into the unknown only to discover that there is sufficient parking (a subterranean parking lot, what a concept!) and the space is home to Loteria Grill—a homegrown Mexican restaurant showcasing regional cooking by Mexico City-native, Chef Jimmy Shaw.  Kicking back with cold glasses of hibiscus agua fresca on the restaurant’s breezy balcony, we immersed ourselves into the vibrant flavors and spices of Mexico.  And we couldn’t get enough.  Did you ever wish for a Mexican grandma that would cook rich, authentic dishes from her homeland?  Chef Jimmy Shaw may not be that grandma, but he sure cooks like he is. 

  1. CEVICHE DE LA CASA

When was the last time you had chunks of red snapper, quenched with citrus and chile-spiked tomato sauce, served on a round of crisped tortilla?  What is that?  Never?  You’ve sure been missing out so you might want to fix that, right now. 

  1. CHILAQUILES VERDES and CHIPTOLE

Even if it’s not Sunday brunch hour, and even if you didn’t have one too many cocktails the night before, this dish is exactly what you’re looking for when you want it all.  Layers of homemade tortilla crisps are coated in cheese, crème, and onions and cilantro, and then dressed in a sauce of your liking.  We go halfsies with verdes and rojos but you can opt for the mole poblano or chipotle sauces. 

  1. CHICHARRON DE QUESO

Sure, any Mexican meal can start off with chips and salsa, but here you can begin with an extraordinary tent of griddled cheese, crisped and dusted in cilantro.  Garnished with guacamole and salsa verde, we’re warning you—it’s wildly addictive.    

  1. DE MOLE LAS ENCHILADAS

You’ve had enchiladas countless times, but you haven’t had these enchiladas—neat tortilla rolls resting under a blanket of chocolate-colored mole.  A forkful of rice, beans, and enchiladas in a single bite transforms the whole dish.  You’ll wonder why you haven’t been eating it this way your whole life.       

  1. PROBADITAS

If you’re like us, you’re going to agonize over whether you want tacos topped with potaotes or pork, chorizo or chicken.  Agonize no longer and order the probaditas which features twelve miniature tacos, including shreds of chicken doused in mole and diced cactus touched with a dollop of queso fresco, a mild white cheese. 

Loteria Grill, 12050 Ventura Blvd. Studio City, CA 91604.  (818) 508-5300.
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