A Kosher Mexican restaurant run by a Mexican-Japanese chef? Only in L.A., kids. Mexikosher opened early this month on Pico's Kosher corridor for burritos, tacos, and even birria that adhere to kosher standards. Chef Katsuji Tanabe is in the kitchen, a Mexico-raised, half-Japanese veteran of the line at Bastide, a former sous at Mastro's, and until recently, the exec chef at Shiloh's steakhouse, where he quickly introduced a Kosher bacon cheeseburger and bacon-wrapped scallops that passed inspections. Now he's combining his Kosher cooking skills with the Mexican recipes he grew up on. What's the result?
Across from Shilo's, MexiKosher is housed in a space that supposedly features stone mined from The Western Wall (mining The Western Wall doesn't sound too kosher itself). Tanabe is a partner and co-owner here and plans to introduce new menus each week, along with L.A.'s first Kosher paleta cart. Apparently, the 99-Cent Chef wasn't up for the gig.
There are no carnitas, naturally, but there is a form of "carnitas" made out of brisket braised in duck fat. That already sounds better than most carnitas in L.A.!
Tanabe also has fourteen handmade salsas, will have a different daily special, and isn't afraid to take on kosher birria, chimichangas, steak milanesa, and Baja fish tacos, in addition to tacos and burritos with beef, fish, and chicken. Healthy-leaning Mexican food, with some notable exceptions (Homegirl, Alegria), often lets us down. But MexiKosher is too interesting a concept to pass up, anyway you try to dodge it. It may not be the first Mexican Kosher concept in L.A., but at least it's one we won't have to chase down to sample a little "chosen chorizo." Check out the menu online.
Mexikosher, 8832 W. Pico Blvd. Los ANgeles. 310-271-0900.