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Food as Performance Art: An Immersive Pop-up Is Bringing Mexico City’s Best Chefs to a Buddhist Temple in Highland Park

11:37 AM PDT on July 8, 2021

    [dropcap size=big]C[/dropcap]onnected through tacos and overwhelming urban vastness, the relationship between Los Angeles and Mexico City has never been stronger than right now. The sister cities and taco capitals of the world have long enjoyed being just a three-and-a-half-hour flight away from each other. In the last year, we saw modern Mexican chefs from CDMX open in L.A. It was only a matter of time until pop-ups and deeper food experiences from Mexico City made their way up to L.A., and that moment has arrived. 

    Ananas Ananas’s first immersive food-pop up open to the public is happening this weekend. The event is described as “temporary food artwork for spaces and events, setting up food experiences and sculptures around the act of eating,” and it is sure to attract well-to-do fans of comida Mexicana, art, and Mexico City to its awe-inspiring lineup of chefs that will be popping-up. The talent list includes a Mexican-Japanese dinner executed by Lucho Martínez of Em Rest and Elena Reygadas from Restaurante Rosetta, ranked as the 9th best restaurant in Latin America. Each weekend in July will feature a different chef. 

    A scene from a past dinner. Photo courtesy of Ananas Ananas.
    A scene from a past dinner. Photo courtesy of Ananas Ananas.
    A scene from a past dinner. Photo courtesy of Ananas Ananas.
    A scene from a past dinner. Photo courtesy of Ananas Ananas.

    “We call our dinners an art exhibit because we think about food as a medium. Unlike a fine dining experience, we are more experimental,” Veronica Gonzalez tells L.A. TACO over a phone interview. This experimental way of eating may include eating food hanging from the ceiling or eating with your hands on a really low table. “It’s all about breaking the fine dining norm for us,” Gonzalez says. She co-founded her food and art studio responsible for this unique eating experience with her partner, Elena Petrossian. Both are designers and have worked in the fashion and business industry for other brands before turning to food as a medium. 

    Elena Petrossian and Elena Petrossian.
    Veronica Gonzalez and Elena Petrossian. Photo courtesy of Ananas Ananas.

    To complete the sensory overload experience, all of these dinners will be taking place at the former “Mystic Dharma” bright orange Buddhist temple on the corner of Ave 52 and Figueroa Street in Highland Park. 

    When asked for a sneak peek of a course that diners can expect for dinner, Gonzalez gets excited and tells L.A. TACO, “We are sneaking in Mexican ingredients that are really hard to find in Los Angeles like chicatana ants! And we are mixing it into something that our diners will be comfortable eating.”  

    A ticket to each experimental dinner is going for $180. Each dinner is five courses long and includes a drink pairing ranging from cocktail, sake, or wine. Each dinner will be capped at 50 people, and there are two seatings each night, one at 5 PM and one at 9 PM.  Tickers are available here

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