New Chef at Cocina Condesa

Chef Eddie Garcia is inspired by Aztec dance and culture.

Studio City's Cocina Condesa Mexican "street food" gastropub has only been open since June, but it's already got a new executive chef. Former exec chef M. Elena Vega has returned to work with another chef from her native Mexico. (The Sauce could not get an email response from Elena on the details of exactly where she went and whom she's working for, and nobody at the restaurant seems to know the specifics, but we wish her well.) Eddie Garcia is the new chef.

Chef Eddie has worked with Malo's in Silver Lake and City Tavern in Culver City, among other area establishments. He's studied with influential local chefs including Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger of Border Grill. He has also served as executive chef at Sweeney's Ale House in Encino and Sherman Oaks' The Woodman.  

Eddie tells The Sauce that he plans changes to the menu, though so far he's only made recipe and presentation changes to the Elena's existing menu items. The soft-spoken chef says he's inspired by the flavors and traditions of his Aztec ancestry, especially Aztec dance—a strong part of his family heritage. Like many Valley chefs, Eddie seeks local and seasonal ingredients ("We are in harmony with the season, not fighting against it"), but also connects his cooking to the ceremonies and beliefs of the Aztec people.

Eddie has a special plan to unveil his signature cooking style for this year's Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday widely celebrated in our area. On November 2, Cocina Condesa will offer a traditional four-course dinner including the traditional Mexican soup-stew birria. Also expect live dancing.

11616 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818-579-4264

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