MONROVIA, Calif. (KABC) -- Yelp, the well-known business review platform, released its top 100 places to eat of 2023 in America last week. Lord Empanada, a hand pie or empanada shop that opened over a year ago, and made it on the list.
"I just tried them today and they are delicious," said customer Wayne Kao.
The empanada shop is located on Myrtle Ave. They have 20 different kinds of hand pies. Another fan favorite according to Yelp reviews is the beef stroganoff and the sandwiches. Lord Empanada ranked #61 in the top 100.
"We got the beef stroganoff. Awesome. I would definitely have it again," said Anthony Soldo, a customer.
"Absolutely outstanding. I would have voted them number 41, not 61," said Julie Gentile a customer.
Ryan Lopez, is the owner, said he used to work as a manager at a ritzy jazz club before he was let go during the pandemic. That's when he pursued one of his longtime dreams to open an empanada shop to share his Argentinian roots with others and his grandma's chimichurri sauce.
"I have always wanted to do this ever since high school. I always thought about branding the chimichurri and the empanadas. For me this was a blessing in disguise because it pushed me in this direction," said Lopez.
Lopez started his business by having pop-ups at breweries. Now that he has his own brick-and-mortar, he's paying it back by selling products at this location from those who helped him along the way.
"I never thought I would get this far this fast. I could never really achieve that without my family or friends and my team. A lot of my team started with me when we were cooking out of my parent's kitchen."
Editor's note: This report was originally published in February 2023.
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