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Grand Central Market's La Tostadería is heading west

Written by
Stephanie Breijo

Before you start to panic, don't worry—the Grand Central Market staple isn't moving, but Abbot Kinney is about to get a whole lot spicier. Next month, during the third week of August, La Tostadería is expanding with a second location and it's bringing the heat of its fresh, habanero-peppered seafood tostadas, not to mention its tacos and a few new items.

"We're very excited about it," says chef-owner Fernando Villagomez, who opened the stall in 2015. "We're finding our food is super effective with every culture. We are real Mexicans; our goal is to express the array of other cultures, and how Mexican we can do it, gourmet."

Sake-poached octopus is a mainstay on Villagomez's menu, as is the seafood soup, which features a guajillo dashi. When the new La Tostadería opens at 1121 Abbot Kinney Boulevard next month, you'll find these cross-culture creations, as well as a new item or two exclusive to the Venice outpost: jicama-wrapped tacos, where sliced-thin jicama provides the "tortilla," which gets filled with squid and an avocado puree, and a new taco-like crispy wonton with tuna tartare in a Mexican vinaigrette.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Andrea R

The familiar Patrona Burger—where avocado, relish, Oaxacan cheese, crispy potato and a chipotle aioli pile onto a shrimp patty—will make its way to the Abbot Kinney location as well. Also expect beer, wine, indoor seating, ordering at the counter and a patio Villagomez hopes will help guests feel involved in the trendy community.

The Abbot Kinney tostadería is the second location for the concept, but it's the fifth restaurant for the Michoacán-born Villagomez. The Le Cordon Bleu graduate also owns three Villa Moreliana spots—one of which opened in Grand Central Market in 2008—all three specializing in carnitas.

"I'm always willing to get involved with a community and trying to spread to the world that we are Mexicans and we can do more than just simple tacos," Villagomez says. "We are a lot more than that."

La Tostadería opens its second location, at 1121 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, next month.

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