Vista L.A.: Latin American food, music in LA

LOS ANGELES L.A. Food Blogger

Vista L.A. caught up with professional musician turned food blogger Bill Esparza. He seeks the best Latin cuisine in L.A. and beyond. Esparza dished about one of his favorite local restaurants - A Taste of Brazil [Watch video].

Peruvian cuisine in Los Angeles

El Recoto, located in Gardena and Cerritos, specializes in authentic Peruvian cuisine. The traditional dishes and flavors are a fusion of cultures, including Asian, Spanish, African and Incan.

Argentinean cuisine in Los Angeles

Named after the year of the Argentinean Revolution, 1810 is one of a growing number of South American restaurants emerging on L.A.'s culinary scene.

Caribbean cuisine in Los Angeles

You might want to wait until the sun goes down for a classic Caribbean-Latino experience in L.A. La Descarga, a discreet bar and music venue in East Hollywood will transport you to 1950s Cuba, complete with vintage rums, live salsa music and Latin jazz and your choice of fine cigars. Make sure to make a reservation and dress to impress if you want to get in.

Mexican cuisine in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is among the best cities for Mexican food anywhere in the world. Vista L.A. visited La Casita Mexicana, one of L.A.'s finest Mexican restaurants serving a truly authentic taste of Mexico.

Vista L.A. also caught up with Mas Malo executive chef Robert Luna, who's turning up the heat in downtown Los Angeles. Chef Luna's childhood memories are the inspiration behind Mas Malo's menu. Every dish on the menu has a story - like the "Ground Beef and Pickle Taco," which was Chef Luna's version of a cheeseburger as a kid growing up in Boyle Heights. The delicious and unique menu is part of what appeals to its guests, but the historic 1920s venue also makes it a special place that draws a diverse crowd.

Hottest Latin bars in Los Angeles

Vista L.A. visited two popular hangouts with their own Latino flavor. Las Perlas in downtown L.A. is the first bar of its kind in L.A. serving the smoky taste of Mescal from the Southern region of Mexico. In East Los Angeles, we visited Eastside Luv. This Boyle Heights hangout is decked out in red velvet, Mexican movie posters and Chicano art, making it a cultural treasure worth discovering.

Salvadoran cuisine in Los Angeles

If you're looking for traditional Salvadoran cuisine, head over to the popular family-owned restaurant, Jaragua. From pupusas and fried plantains to El Salvador's national drink horchata, Jaragua is known for its authentic recipes and as a place where guests can feel at home.

Latin alternative music venues

U.S. Latinos are creating their own subcultures in L.A. Vista L.A. stopped by La Cita to learn more about the Latin Alternative music scene. We spoke to Ricky Garay, founder of "Mucho Music," and photographer Sandra Jara creator of the website, "La Madre is Watching," for more insight into this culture.

The Hully Gully in the city of Downey is home to another Latino scene revolving around 80s British Rock music. We spoke to Julian Ricardo, lead singer of The Smiths and Morrissey cover band Strangeways about this local Latino phenomenon.

Vista L.A. also checked out El Baron Nightclub in Culver City. It's a popular spot for salsa and cumbia dancing.

See the complete list of all of the places featured on this week's episode.

[Original air date: May 8, 2011]

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