There have been a lot of pretty incredible restaurant openings during 2016. I’ve started to slowly become accustom to coming to terms with the fact that just when I think I’m finally getting a handle on everything “new”, five more places *just as beautiful and as delicious* will be opening up in no time too. The ever insatiable dining scene in LA continues to grow at an alarming pace and remains so competitive, it’s hard sometimes to distinguish between what seems worth the effort to check out and what is probably hyped up for hypes sake. Salazar in Frogtown is one such opening as of this year that had and still has people going bananas over; even the man, the myth, J. Gold himself has said quote, “Salazar is really enjoyable. At this point, I pretty much want to go there every night for the grilled pork chops, the carne asada tacos, and the best Palomas in the city.”
I personally take J.Gold’s opinions very seriously, but I’m also very serious about finding the true pulse within the LA dining scene – even if it’s not necessarily Gold worthy. When I’d heard people were waiting up to two hours to eat at Salazar on the weekends, a part of me cringed, but a bigger part of me was curious to find out why anyone would ever do such a thing. So, I did what any smart diner does, and I showed up at Salazar at 5:30 on a Wednesday and was surprised to find I could be sat immediately. Realistically during the week it seems like you’re pretty safe to snag a table up until the sun goes down, that seems to be when it gets pretty busy.
The first of many things I feel head over heels in love with about Salazar was #1 their website. If you haven’t been to salazarla.com, do yourself a favor, turn up your volume and prepare to be amazed. The second was easily the layout/design of the space; it feels like something you’d see in Austin Texas with the kind of “desert gas station” feel, the retro color scheme, and the completely open air seating. Lastly and most importantly… Salazar doesn’t know how to make a bad cocktail or a bad dish. I know this because I’ve now had several items of what they have to offer from both categories. If driving 1.5 hours…. twice in one week… to dine at Salazar… isn’t enough to prove to you that this place is worth the hype then call me crazy. Salazar is, as of right now, probably my favorite restaurant to open this year. I didn’t exactly want my new favorite restaurant to be that is everyone else favorite new restaurant too, but hey, when it’s good, it’s good!
Favorite Beverage | “High Desert Cooler” : white rum, gin, aperol, banana, vanilla, coconut, and condensed milk. *Warning though* This drink is so pretty, so yummy, and tastes like pure non-alcoholic heaven – you could easily have 8 and then realize you’ve gone too far. (see photo above!) Their house margaritas are to die for as well.
Must Order | TACOS. ALL OF THEM. 2 OF EACH KIND. (Carne Asada, Pollo Asado, Al Pastor, Seasonal Vegetable.) They have what appears to be a small army hand making tortillas (corn and flour), so trust me when I say you’re getting the freshest tastiest tortillas in LA. Outside of the tacos don’t miss out on the Guacamole, the Grilled Cesar Salad (it’s one of the best ones I’ve had in a long time), or the Skirt Steak. It’s also a wise decision to get the refried beans with pork belly in addition to the Papas con Chorizo (it’s basically like mashed potatoes with delicious sausage mixed in). It might sound like a lot but trust me, if you’re sharing you can do it – definitely order more tacos than you think though they’re relatively small!
Perfect Spot For | dinner // brunch // fun cocktails // something new // tacos // al fresco dining // a place to eat before a Dodger game // impressing an out-of-towner // a date
Fun Fact | This isn’t so much “fun” as it is informative, but it’s worth noting that there is no official parking for Salazar – be prepared to search for street parking! You should be able to find spots right on Fletcher though.
BONUS Fact | They don’t take reservations, so show up early if you can!
SALAZAR // 2490 Fletcher Dr Los Angeles, CA – 90039
Tuesday – Thursday: 5:30 pm – 12 am
Friday: 5:30 pm – 1 am
Saturday: 10a am – 1 am
Sunday: 10 am – 1o pm