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Where To Eat This Weekend: Pig’s Feet Carnitas, Sugar-Free Edibles, New Menudo In Downey, and a Plant-Based Sushi Omakase

Plus, a pizza shop that's great with puns and a Peruvian pop-up inside of a Van Nuys Mexican restaurant.

11:21 AM PST on January 19, 2024

Tacos with carnitas from Carnitas Los Cuñaos in East L.A.

Carnitas tacos from Los Cuanos in East L.A.

A big bowl of menudo with cow's foot from Mr. Menudo in Los Angeles
Menudo topped with pata (cow feet). Photo via Mr. Menudo.


Mr. Menudo, which started out making acclaimed weekend menudo on the streets of Compton, will open its first full-service brick-and-mortar restaurant this Saturday at 10 AM in Downey. Owner, chef, and former butcher Roger Mendez's menu includes dishes that go beyond menudo, with offerings that include burritos, tacos, gorditas, tortas, and quesadillas with your choices of birria, beans, chorizo, or asada, plus chilaquiles, guajolotongo, tortaquiles, and three types of tamales descended from the recipes of his father, Joel, known for his work at Juanito's Tamales. This is the fourth opening for Mr. Menudo, who has outposts in Bellflower, Compton, and Whittier and the first to offer beer and micheladas. Come for live mariachi, dancing, a DJ, and more.

12215 Paramount Blvd. Downey, CA 90242. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Line 265 - “Paramount/Melva (southbound)” or "Paramount/Alameda (northbound)" and Bus Lines 117 or 120 - "Imperial Highway/Paramount."

Two pigs feet carnitas at Carnitas Los Cuñaos in East L.A.
Pig trotter carnitas. Photo via Los Cuñaos in East L.A.

East Los Angeles

Carnitas Los Cuñaos is making Michoacán-style carnitas in East L.A., offering a stunning display of pig paws from its slow-cooking steel cazo. The stand also offers maciza, cuero (skin), buche (stomach), costillas (ribs), tortas, and tacos and tacos dorados on handmade tortillas and served with a side of pickled whole jalapeños. Get it.

Saturday through Sunday, 4032 E. Olympic Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90023. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Line 66 - “Olympic/Ditman" or Bus Lines 62 and 665 - "Olympic/Indiana."

An endive-covered beet salad from Gigi's in West Hollywood
Beet salad at Gigi's in West Hollywood. Photo by Jakob Layman.


Michelin-starred chef Daniel Patterson has helped re-envision the menu at beautiful Gigi's in Hollywood, which has promoted former sous chef Julio Suarez to the executive chef position. Dishes include house-smoked salmon on pumpernickel toast, chicory caesar toast, chanterelle cavatelli with sorrel, matsutake mushrooms grilled over charcoal, and a housemade ice cream sundae. Mainstays like a Brandt beef N.Y. steak frites with marrow-fermented black pepper sauce and cheeseburger remain.

904 N. Sycamore Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90038. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Line 212 - “La Brea/Willoughby” or Bus Line 4 - "Santa Monica/Orange."

Plant-0based salmon nigiri that looks just like the real thing at West L.A.'s Kusaki
Plant-based salmon nigiri. Photo via Kusaki in Sawtelle.


Chef Pearl Steffie's Kusaki, L.A.'s first plant-based omakase and sushi restaurant, is reopening in West L.A.'s Sawtelle neighborhood with new kaiseki menus and an expanded bar of sake, wine, cocktails, and beer. The menu includes maitake wontons, shishito burgers and portobello fries, watermelon granita nigiri, vegan sailfish crudo, avocado crispy rice, and hand-cut trumpet mushroom rolls. For dessert, a miso brownie brittle sounds tempting. Kusaki means "plant" in Japanese.

2535 S. Barrington Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90064. Closest transit lines and stop: Santa Monica Big Blue Bus Line 8 - “Gateway/Barrington” or Santa Monica Big Blue Bus Line 7 - "Pico/Barrington."

A bowl of ceviche topped with corn and onions at Carmelitas Peruvian in Van Nuys
Peruvian Ceviche. Photo via Carmelitas Peruvian in Van Nuys.

Van Nuys

A Peruvian concept known as Carmelitas Peruvian is now open inside of longstanding Taqueria Juanito's in Van Nuys. Its menu, offered for dining-in or takeout, includes bistec "a la pobre," broasted chicken with fries, papa a la huancaina, lomo saltado, tacu tacu, causa, and lomo saltado. Meanwhile, Juanito's will continue serving its Mexican menu for a love-marriage.

16851 Victory Blvd. Ste. 2 Van Nuys, CA 91406. Closest Metro lines and stop: Metro G Line - "Balboa Station" or Bus Lines 164, 235, and 236 - “Victory/Balboa.”

Three different slices of pizza on paper plates beside a French bread pizza at Echo Park's Naughty Pie Nature
Slices. Photo via Naughty Pie Nature in Echo Park.

Echo Park

A new pizza shop named Naughty Pie Nature opens today in Echo Park for anyone working from the gut up. And the wordplay doesn't stop there, folks, with pizzas like the "Morty McFly" with pistachio, mozzarella, lemon ricotta, and mortadella, an O.P.P. (Original Pepperoni Pie), and the "Wake and Bake," with cheddar, mozzarella, eggs, bacon, papas, and a green hot sauce.

1466 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Line 92 - “Glendale/Scott” or Bus Line 603 - "Glendale/Berkeley."


A bar of Zen Cannabis' sugar-free chocolate in front of its package
Photo via Zen Cannabis.

Do you love to munch on edibles all day long? Us too. Are you worried about what all those gummies, chocolates, and wacky tobaccky wafers are doing to your teeth and belly? Us too. Zen Cannabis now sells a sugar-free THC-infused chocolate bar to solve our common dilemma, in a new line that also includes a milk chocolate and completely vegan chocolate bar. Everyone's invited to this party.

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