A Tour Of All The Food Bourdain Ate In LA On The ‘Parts Unknown’ Premier

“How ‘American’ are Chicanos? How Mexican for that matter? How Mexican is California? We thought we’d bumble around with cameras and ask questions like that, partaking of many of the good things within that very large, vital part of Southern California and America as a whole.”

– Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown: Los Angeles

Season nine of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown kicked off last night with a trip to Los Angeles. Last time Bourdain was in the City of Angels, he focused on all things Korean. This time around, the episode took a deep dive into the Mexican and Chicano cultures that help make L.A.’s food, art, and cultural scenes such a unique part of the American zeitgeist.

Below are all the stops Bourdain and his guides uncovered in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, La Reyna — where Bourdain met photographer Estevan Oriol and grafitti artist Mister Cartoon — seems to be permanently closed now, so we didn’t didn’t bother tantalizing with it.




Chef Ray Garcia’s Broken Spanish is a wonderland of Mexican-inspired dishes served in fascinating and ultra-modern ways. The menu is Pan-Mexican fusion — with dishes like Pan Dulce with Foie Gras and Okinawan Pork Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.


This is pure comfort food. A stewed barbacoa with some decadent mole hits the sweet spot of nostalgia for so many Angelinos. The dark and deeply luscious mole at Gish Bac has 30+ ingredients, making it one of the more complex sauces you’ll ever enjoy.

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Barbacoa de Chivo! 🐐🍲 @gishbac

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Nestled between Union Station and Chinatown you’ll find a tiny tourist spot called El Pueblo. The pedestrianized Olvera Street is a slightly kitschy tourist attraction meant to represent the early, Mexican days of Los Angeles. Right at the top of the street is Cielito Lindo. They’ve been making taquitos on this spot since 1934 and they know how to make them right.


Danny Trejo is nearing legend status thanks to a storied career as one of Hollywood’s ultimate badasses. The actor’s latest venture is an equally badass Cantina in Hollywood, serving Los Angeles Mexican and Chicano foods with nice, little twists that make the whole experience feel new and fresh — like pork tacos with mole and uni.



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Some tacos

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Tacos Indiana started as a street stand in Hobart. The tacos were so beloved that another spot opened in Boyle Heights and draws the same crazy crowds clamoring after some of the best tacos you can eat in all of LA. The tacos al pastor are straight up legendary.


Bourdain met the Diaz brothers and Gilbert “El Niño” Melendez for some shrimp and Ju Jitsu talk at Mariscos Chente in Inglewood. The restaurant is famed for serving fresh seafood dishes based around shrimp and prawns with some oysters thrown in for good measure.

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Levantando el animo 😁

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No Parts Unknown can be complete without a trip to a bar. Caña Rum Bar is a classic Caribbean and Tiki bar that feels like a speakeasy. If you’re in L.A., hit up their happy hour — when cocktails are only $5 and beers are $4. That’s a good deal anywhere.

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We put the rum in the coconut! #regram @novenacarmel

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