This week in L.A. restaurants: Tacos and a tiendita at Alma, Eataly invites coastal fare
Alma Cocina de Mexico
A restaurant from a prolific Mexico City hospitality group is now open within the Grove. Alma Cocina de Mexico is the first United States foray from Grupo Hunan, which operates more than two dozen concepts, and is the planned beginning of multiple restaurants in Southern California. At Alma, the ground floor is dedicated to a casual taqueria serving barbacoa and al pastor, as well as a tiendita — selling imported goods, bottles of mezcal and tequila, jarred moles and fresh tortillas — and a cocktail bar led by Ryan Hooks (formerly of Bottega Louie and SBE). The 2,650-square-foot upstairs dining room is set to open in late May and will offer dishes such as abalone sopecitos, filets with chile-pepper au jus, and albóndigas de res. Alma Cocina de Mexico takes over the space previously inhabited by 189 by Dominique Ansel and Curtis Stone’s Picnic Society and is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the taqueria and noon to 10 p.m. in the tiendita. The upstairs restaurant will be open from 5 to 10 p.m.
189 The Grove Drive, Suite H-10, Los Angeles, alma.mx
A casual Pan-Asian restaurant from a familiar face is now open in Long Beach. Sesame Dinette, an offshoot of Chinatown corner store Sesame, is the latest project from owner Linda Sivrican — and leading the kitchen is Sivrican’s mom, Judy Mai Nguyen. Sivrican took over Mai Nguyen’s former restaurant space, and together they’re serving primarily Vietnamese noodle bowls, rice porridges, soups, banh mi and summer rolls. As is the case at Sesame, the Dinette features pantry items and other goods from AAPI makers; the new restaurant also acts as a space for AAPI pop-ups to showcase and sell their work. Currently Indian-inspired food concept Kala is running a residency with a coffee bar, snacks and pastries from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday. Sesame Dinette serves lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday.
1750 Pacific Ave., Unit B, Long Beach, (562) 337-8064, sesamedinette.com
Chef Ronnie Muñoz opened his first restaurants in March; on May 5, the former Ronnie’s Kickin’ chef is set to launch the latest in a string of adjacent restaurants in Hollywood. Wood-fired Mexican restaurant Todos Santos will open alongside the already operating Besties Burgers and Ronnie’s Kitchen + Cocktails, serving Baja- and L.A.-inspired tacos, raw-bar items and mains in the former Mission Cantina space. Duck in fig mole; prawns with carrot jus; whole fish zarandeado; octopus al pastor; and papas bravas with peanut salsa macha are all on the opening menu. Todos Santos will offer indoor and outdoor seating, a cocktail bar and a fire pit. The restaurant will be open daily from 5 to 10 p.m.
5946 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, instagram.com/todossantosla
Capri at Eataly
A pop-up restaurant inspired by the Amalfi Coast has taken over some of Eataly’s main-floor dining room. Capri, decorated with hanging branches, lemons and colorful plates, is expected to run for at least one year and serve southern Italian dishes such as seafood pasta scialatielli allo scoglio, baked branzino and tableside mozzarella from a caprese cart. The beverage program riffs on Amalfi’s beach-cocktail culture, including options such as glasses of Prosecco featuring seasonal-fruit popsicles. In a nod to the region’s pasticcerie, a range of Italian desserts — like lemon custard cakes and a classic babà al rum — also are available. Capri is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. All regular Eataly food stalls remain in operation.
10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 310-8000, eataly.com/us_en/stores/los-angeles/capri
Spicy Green Book
Spicy Green Book, a website that spotlights Black-owned businesses, is throwing an outdoor food market on June 11. The event will feature roughly 30 vendors, restaurants and food trucks from noon to 8 p.m. in the Kinecta bank parking lot, and marks the second annual food market for the online database. This year’s lineup includes Emeye’s Ethiopian Kitchen, Throwdown Soulfood, Lia’s Lumpia, Keith’s Kettle Corn and others. The event is free to attend, with food and beverage available for purchase.
1440 Rosecrans Ave., Manhattan Beach, spicygreenbook.org
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