Walking through Salazar's gates into the garden dining area from the somewhat grotty intersection of Fletcher Drive and Ripple Drive is like stepping through a portal of some sort into a desert fantasy. It’s not too slick, but it is beautifully laid out and designed. Ninety percent of the seating is outdoors, but for L.A.’s usual sunny climate this is the perfect breezy dining setup.
Chef Esdras Ochoa takes his inspiration from Sonora, Mexico. Ochoa is known to L.A. diners as the guy behind Mexicali Taco & Co., the taqueria on the edge of Chinatown. With Salazar, Ochoa hopes to give Sonoran food a more prominent platform in L.A. The restaurant, with its bar program and its layout worthy of a spread in a fancy design magazine, is in some ways a far more ambitious affair than Mexicali Taco & Co. But the food is exceedingly simple: There are a few tacos, some sides, and a short list of grilled items that come with thick corn tortillas and can serve as entrees or as platters to share with the table. Read the L.A. Weekly review here.