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Spot Check: Smoked Carnitas On Crenshaw, Fresh Corn Tortillas In Mar Vista, and Plant-Based West African On Melrose

Quiadaiyn, Mar Vista's acclaimed Oaxacan restaurant, is now in the tortilla game, making fresh tortillas in its own production facility, nixtamalized daily from 100% maize, and sold under the name Maria's Tortillas.

11:01 AM PDT on July 27, 2023

Smoked carnitas tacos on flour tortillas, from Up ‘N Smoke on Crenshaw

Spot Check! Welcome to L.A. TACO's latest column, where we bring you the latest and most exciting openings, pop-ups, and food events around all of Los Angeles to check out.  

Ubuntu opens August 1 on Melrose for plant-based cooking inspired by West African recipes. The restaurant comes from 2022 James Beard Award nominee Ravi DeRossi with Virginia-raised chef Shenarri “Greens” Freeman, of DeRossi's Cadence in New York. Dishes include palm bisque, curry jollof arancini, fonio grits with oyster mushrooms, charred okra salad with pigeon peas and passion fruit vinaigrette, and Lion's Mane pie with chile habanero. The beverage program is run by Colin Asare-Appiah, author of Black Mixcellence: A Comprehensive Guide To Black Mixology, and the wine list claims to feature the largest number of Black-owned vinters in L.A., including House of Brown and Kumusha.

7469 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90046. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 10 - “Melrose/Gardner.”

Rosemary and Thyme is now open in Mid-City from Lisa Rotondi, founder of Organic Kids L.A. The menu is packed with fresh sandwiches, mostly served on Black Forest baguettes and sourdough, like a house-made chorizo and mozzarella melt, the "Curson Italian" with aged prosciutto, salami, pesto, and burrata, and a sandwich with crispy Mary's chicken, jalapenos, pickles, and slaw on toasted brioche. There's also sourdough pizza and Straus soft serve ice cream.

5662 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90019. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 217 - “Fairfax/Pico.”

Smoked brisket on a flour tortilla at Up 'N Smoke

Up 'N Smoke, the smoked carnitas and brisket concept from Tacos El Unico, now has a second location on Crenshaw in Hyde Park to sell its tacos, taquitos, and fries filled and/or topped with slow-cooked pork and beef.

6650 Crenshaw Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90043. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 40 and 210 - “Crenshaw/67th” or Metro K Line - "Fairview Heights Station."

Quiadaiyn, Mar Vista's acclaimed Oaxacan restaurant, is now also in the tortilla game, making fresh tortillas in its own production facility, nixtamalized daily from 100% maize, and sold under the name Maria's Tortillas. You can buy them at the restaurant to start.

PZK BBQ opened late last fall in Koreatown, an all-you-can-eat experience with over 30 meat and vegetable options comprising two coursed menus, such as wine thick pork belly, "X-Girlfriend" marinated chuck flap, various bulgogis, baby octopus, and beef belly. Course A is $24.99, while the all-encompassing Course B is $29.99.

7311 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90036. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 14 - “Beverly/Poinsettia.”

Bar Nuda, the non-alcoholic, Mexican-inspired bar experience from Morris Ellis and Pablo Murillo, now has a Thursday night residency switching between both locations of De Buena Planta. Tonight's takeover will be held at De Buena Planta in Silver Lake, going from 6-10pm, followed by next week's takeover in Venice. The pop-up will switch locations each week through August 17, highlighting zero-proof spirits companies as Optimist, Three Spirit, Ritual Zero Proof, and All the Bitter, among others.ere.

For elegant, special occasion dining, The Georgian Room is now open at Santa Monica's historic Georgian Hotel, with an old Hollywood glamour paying tribute to past customers like Clark Gable, Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, and Judy Garland. David Almany, who worked under Nancy Silverton for nearly ten years, is deftly captaining a menu inspired by Tuscan and classic U.S. steakhouses alike, with dishes like petrale sole with mussels escabeche, a letter perfect Tijuana-style Caesar salad, grilled Iberico pork chops and dry-aged New York steaks, and pastas like sweet corn capellacci with Maine lobster. Purveyors include Pat La Frieda and an exclusive caviar collaboration with Thomas Keller's Regiis Ova.

1415 Ocean Ave. Santa Monica, CA 90401. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 4 and 33 - “Broadway/Ocean” or Metro E Line - "Downtown Santa Monica Station."

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