It’s hard to pin down what people love most about Salazar. It could be the ambience – the feeling of well-being you get from sitting outside on one of the colourful chairs on the the sunny al fresco patio with a freshly mixed margarita or a cold cerveza in hand. The warm LA sun streaming down through the leaves of the trees as you wait for your food to arrive. It could be the dishes themselves; the carne asada, served in house-made tortillas with a punch of red onion, a herby hit of coriander and salsa vaquera, is a perennial menu favourite. But there are plenty of dishes to fall for here, many of which are inspired by Sonoran cuisine (Mexico, not Arizona, just in case you were wondering).
The midday menu is petite, but does the trick with tacos, fries and plenty of guacamole. But it bursts into life for dinner, adding dishes like hanger steak or whole striped bass seared on the mesquite grill, a Salazar take on a caprese salad (heirloom tomatoes, fresh burrata, and a coriander pesto), and the Tierra, a dish of roasted beets, spicy pistachios, blue cheese, citronette, and mint. And happily at Salazar, the vegetarian options aren’t an afterthought, they’re showstoppers, like the vegetable taco; grilled cauliflower, carrots, roasted fennel and pickled ramps in a corn tortilla.
The drinks menu, meanwhile, runs the full gamut from Stumptown Coffees and Mexican sodas to potent cocktails, like the Dark Necessities (whiskey, guajillo burnt sugar, and mole bitters), wine and beer. So whatever your tipple of choice, you’re sure to be well served here.