Babita Mexicuisine

1823 S. San Gabriel Blvd.
San Gabriel, CA 91776


  • Tue.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Tue.-Thu. 5:30-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 5:30-10 p.m.
  • $
  • Lunch, Dinner
  • Beer/Wine
  • Takeout
  • Street Parking
  • Reservations Accepted, Reservations Not Necessary
It may serve Guadalupe Valley Syrah instead of margaritas, and chiles en nogada instead of nacho plates, but Babita is a relaxed corner Mexican place with great food, an Eastside joint whose service is burnished to a white-tablecloth sheen. Chef-owner Roberto Berrelleza, who spent decades as a fancy-restaurant maitre d' before he ever strapped on a toque, is a scholar of Mexican cuisine, especially of the antojitos from his Sinaloan hometown Los Mochis, although a few of the restaurant's best dishes seem to have been invented by Berrelleza himself: fish-stuffed yellow chilies in strawberry salsa, seared fish with huitlacoche vinaigrette, and shrimp Topolobampo, a citrusy sauté of white wine, tomatoes and diced habanero peppers that takes over its victims' bodies like an Ebola infection. If Berrelleza's version of a Sinaloan machaca is on the menu — beef house-dried into a powder and fried with vegetables — you would be a fool to miss it.

Related Stories (6)

  • French Technique and the Sea Inform Babita's Gourmet Mexican Food
    Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 1:37 p.m. by Kayvan Gabbay

    Chef Roberto Berrelleza grew up in bucolic Topolobampo, a tropical fishing port in northwestern Sinaloa, Mexico. That helps to explain the heavy emphasis on fresh seafood on Babita's menu.

  • 5 Places to Eat When Your Parents Are Treating
    Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9 a.m. by Rachael Narins

    It's not a special occasion, your parents just miss you and want to treat you to a good dinner and catch up. Awww. That's the best -- and if your budget is stretched thin and theirs isn't, all the better. The only issue is that thei...

  • Babita: 99 Essential Restaurants 2011
    Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 3:30 a.m. by Jonathan Gold

    In a neighborhood better known for its Vietnamese noodle shops, across street from a Serbian Orthodox church, Babita isn't quite where you would expect a great Mexican restaurant to be, and you could drive by a hundred times without...

  • The Mexican Binge
    Thursday, March 11, 2010 at 3:30 a.m. by Jonathan Gold

    Dear Mr. Gold, My sister, who has lived for the last nearly two decades in Japan, is coming to visit L.A. for the first time in years. What do you want to do? I ask. Two-word answer: "Mexican food.'' So, I'm thinking Moles La Tia, L...

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