While researching new places to eat, I stumbled across Mi Ranchito Veracruz. It's a newish restaurant located in North Hollywood. The neighborhood has a quiet, industrial feel. This would be an area in the San Fernando Valley I wouldn't visit unless I had a purpose of being there.
Chef/Owner Roberto hails from Veracruz, Mexico. Chef doesn't have any formal training, but has experience working front-of-house at Michelin-rated Providence (the best restaurant in Los Angeles and one LA's very few true fine dining restaurants). He also mentioned that he worked for Nancy Silverton at Mozza as a mixologist.
I personally don't believe that someone needs culinary training in school in the top kitchens to cook great tasting food. Despite not having any formal culinary training, his food exemplifies cooking with love.
We ordered the banana-leaf-wrapped tamales, chilaquiles de mole, tacos de cochinita pibil, and fried plantains. Chef mentioned the regional differences in making tamales in Mexico. In the north, they use corn husks and in the south, they use banana leaves based on the availability of banana leaves.
I ordered the horchata. Their horchata tasted a little watered down and very light in flavor. It was similar to the horchata I tasted at Tlayuda LA.
Mi Ranchito doesn't have a wait staff. You will have to order at the counter and the chef himself might bring the dishes out to you.
This is Mexican regional cuisine and hospitality at one of its very finest in Los Angeles.
Chef Roberto came by our table to chat and even offered us some chocolate. You can tell that he cares for his customers and the flavors in his food.
I recommend a visit to try his Veracruz-style tamales, tacos, and chilaquiles. It's some of the best I've tried in LA. This could be my most favorite preparations of cochinita pibil.
There's parking on the street or in the parking lot in the back. Enter through the front or the back.
Recommended dishes: Tacos de cochinita pibil, Veracuzan-style chicken tamales, mole chilaquiles, churros.
I love exploring Los Angeles like a tourist. I have as much fun in my hometown as I do traveling to another country. I hope my adventures inspire you to eat well and travel often.
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