Back in September, I was thrilled to discover beautiful Mexican food from Rocio Camacho at Don Chente Bar & Grill in Huntington Park. The restaurant, which looked very much like a midpriced chain that might trade mainly in sloppy enchiladas and sizzling fajitas, was instead producing high-end Mexican cooking from Camacho: moles, of course, but also a gorgeous cream of poblano soup, fantastic aguachile and much more.
Now the same owner has opened a second location of Don Chente downtown near Staples Center.
Don Chente DTLA occupies the 25,000-square-foot former home of Icon Ultra Lounge, and is presenting a similar menu to the Huntington Park location. Camacho is overseeing the cooking here as well. There's a live mariachi band Thursdays through Sundays, and other live music and dancing the rest of the week. The location encompasses a rooftop bar called Fuego, where they're slinging margaritas and other cocktails, along with a bar-food menu. They're obviously going for the sports crowds, with four big-screen TVs for viewing.
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Don Chente, which is still in soft-open mode, is open 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday to Thursday and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Don Chente Bar & Grill, 1248 S. Figueroa St., downtown; (213) 814-4865. donchentedtla.com.