Last Night

Last Night at Loteria Grill: An Evening of Oaxacan Food with Diana Kennedy

Comments (0)


Fri, Oct 22, 2010 at 9:28 AM
click to enlarge Stuffed jalapeños - N. GALUTEN
  • N. Galuten
  • Stuffed jalapeños

Diana Kennedy, the highly-esteemed cookbook author and Mexican cuisine authority, was at Loteria Grill in Hollywood last night for a special event to promote her latest (and supposedly last) cookbook, Oaxaca al Gusto. The event, costing $100, included two drinks, a cookbook for the table, appetizers, an entrée, and a dessert (all from recipes contained in the book). We arrived for the first seating, at 6:30 p.m. and enjoyed some mezcal while waiters made their way around the floor, handing out albondigas para fiesta (fiesta meatballs), stuffed jalapeños from Tuxtepec, and mini tostadas with fresh shrimp sauce. There was no sign of Kennedy yet, but we did spot Mozza's Nancy Silverton; Bricia Lopez of Pal Cabron and the upcoming Mitla; and La Casita Mexicana chefs Jaime Martin del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu.

Shortly after, Shaw addressed the packed restaurant through a microphone, saying, "It's an incredible honor to have Diana Kennedy in the house." He went on to add that, "nobody has documented Mexican food the way that Diana Kennedy has." He then gave the floor to Kennedy, who, after receiving a rousing applause said, "I'm always amazed that people come out for these things." With a bit of comic self-awareness, Kennedy went on to say, "I'm here in L.A. to sell a book," before cautioning that "this is not a book for Americans to cook Oaxacan food. This is about how Oaxaca eats."

click to enlarge Beef barbacoa wrapped in banana leaf - N. GALUTEN
  • N. Galuten
  • Beef barbacoa wrapped in banana leaf

For the rest of the evening, Kennedy took her time walking to each and every table, in a loop, smiling constantly, posing for pictures, and signing books. The food kept coming too, with beef barbacoa cooked in banana leaf, stewed chicken in a complex sauce, white rice, picante beans, and stewed squash. As an extra perk, the menu items were also listed alongside their accompanying page numbers in the cookbook, allowing guests to read about the contents and preparation of each dish as they ate. The evening concluded with rice pudding, served with chickpeas and syrup.

Loteria Grill: 6627 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 465-2500 .

Turn the page for more photos.

Related Location

Related Content

Now Trending


  • Ladies Gunboat Society at Flores
    At Ladies Gunboat Society, the new operation out of the restaurant that used to be Flores on Sawtelle Boulevard, the Hoppin’ John is served as an appetizer or a small plate rather than a side, and the price is the stuff of comedy.
  • Malibu Pier Restaurant and Bar
    Malibu Pier Restaurant and Bar, with chef Jason Fullilove at the helm, is in the two buildings at the pier’s entrance that used to be Beachcomber Cafe and Ruby’s Diner. Those buildings, which have been overhauled completely, reflect both the pier’s 109-year-old history and the cultural import of Malibu itself.
  • The Tasting Menu Trend
    In Los Angeles especially, but increasingly across the country, restaurants are either switching to tasting menus, putting a greater focus on a tasting-menu option (while offering à la carte items as well), or opening as tasting-menu operations from day one. The format that used to be the calling card of only the fanciest of restaurants is becoming ubiquitous, even at places where the waiter calls you “dude” and there isn’t a white tablecloth in sight.