Here we have the first projections of what Jimmy Shaw's Third Street Promenade location of Loteria Grill will look like. The late January opening will be the first of the chef-owner's 2012 expansion that finds him bringing a new quick-service cantina concept to Westlake Village in the same month and later, two counter-side Loterias at LAX.
The Westside branch is currently under construction in the old home of Gaucho Grill off Arizona, with is planned as a contemporary space from designer Richard Altuna that makrs a definite departure from the simple, rustic-looking grill that first gained Shaw accolades at The Original Farmers Market. The restaurant will also be much narrower than the open climes of Hollywood and Studio City's Loterias, while maximizing its relationship to the outside world.
The loteria card art will still have prominent placement in the restaurant, while Alebrije-style sculpture and figurines will also play a major part in the restaurant's look. A bar, take-out area, and small retail space will be found up front, while a retractable window will open up to the Promenade itself. Down a narrow passageway, the back of the restaurant finds a dining room with a second bar and a wall of windows letting in light and looking out onto a spread of ficus trees that the chef calls an "urban forest."
The new Valley location, meanwhile, will open in Rick Caruso's Promenade of Westlake Village, taking over a La Salsa location in a promising side of Mexican restaurant justice. The concept won't adhere to any existing formula, but a rep tells us it will be a cross between the restaurant versions of Loteria and the original location, with counter ordering and waiter service coming together in a style that will also offer a small sneak peak of what to expect at the two airport locations, which could come as soon as late 2012.
Shaw clearly has a very busy year ahead. Until the opening, he's closing 2011 out by offering a selection of tamales for the season, which can be ordered online and come in sweet varieties like pineapple and sweet corn and savory selections like mole poblano, carnitas in morita, rajas with tomatillo and panela cheese, and corn with roasted zucchini.