Food: Oaxacan specialties — moles, tlayudas, memelas. And on the weekend, barbacoa – whole roasted lamb and goat. From the review: “Go with a friend, and get both the goat and the lamb, which is cooked in avocado leaf and chiles and comes with a bowl of juices for dipping the meat. If you order the lamb, you'll get a plate ahead of the main course, a mixture made of all the lamb offal, deeply spiced and with a kick of dark heat.”
Vibe: A small, sunny, friendly neighborhood spot. Tables and a salsa bar take up the front of the restaurant, and a counter faces the kitchen. There's a big screen TV up front over the windows facing the street, but it's rarely on.
History: Gish Bac is owned by David Padilla and Maria Ramos, a married couple who moved to L.A. from Oaxaca 20 years ago. Ramos comes from a family of barbacoa specialists, and the tradition goes back generations. Gish Bac opened in 2010 after friends and catering customers told them they wanted more regular access to the couple's barbacoa.
Vital Statistics: Gish Bac is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week. There's no alcohol served, but there are fantastic aguas frescas, Oaxacan-style hot chocolate, and milkshakes. Service is friendly, and most servers speak English. Parking is easy on the side street up the block.
Take Away: Everything about Gish Bac is a few steps above most Oaxacan restaurants — even the black beans taste special. For the full story on why we love this place, read the full review.
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