Listen closely and you'll hear L.A.'s culinary cognoscenti hiss and moan about the great hordes of ho-hum local Mexican restaurants that basically churn out the same basura. Among the notable names turning against that tide is Ricardo Diaz, whose inspired and attentive takes on Mexican cooking are found at the owner's Bizarra Captial in Whittier and Cook's Tortas and Dorado's Ceviche Bar, both in Monterrey Park. Opening Guisado's in Boyle Heights in 2010, Diaz partnered with longtime real estate agent Armando De La Torre to debut a taqueria that would really catch L.A.'s attention, showcasing thick, handmade tortillas precisely engineered (with Midwestern, not Mexican, corn) to play perfect support for the restaurant's titular slow-cooked stews and braises; spicy, heady flavor-grenades that put competitors' ubiquitous skirt steak asada and pork butt pastor in their proper places, garnering awards and distinctions along the way.
This week, a second link was established in Guisado's chain, as a small red storefront opened in the former home of Echo Park's La Esquinita, building on plans to also introduce the concept to Downtown. The big news, besides the fact that there's a patio and potentially a beer and wine license in the works, is that Diaz has completely split with Guisado's, leaving the business completely in the hands of De La Torre.
So far, the menu is completely the same as the one in Boyle Heights, though the restaurant is staying open an hour later, closing at 9:00 P.M. on weekdays, 10:00 P.M. come weekends.
In any case, we waded through the irony brigade today, along with just about everyone else, to catch a glimpse of what this brand-new Guisado's looks like. Come take a peek in our slideshow.
Guisado's, 1261 W. Sunset Blvd. Echo Park; 213-250-7600.
Earlier: Watch Roy Choi and Eddie Huang Share Tacos at Guisado's [GS]