Now reading Chichén Itzá

Chichén Itzá

A great spot for Yucatecan food tucked away in a cool mercado.



Mercado La Paloma #C6, 3655 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, California

What to order

tortas de lechon on Sundays, mondongo on Saturdays and Sundays, panuchos and poc chuc any day of the week

Together with her siblings, Bricia Lopez co-owns Guelaguetza, a Oaxacan restaurant in LA’s Koreatown. Contrary to popular belief, she is not the mayor of Los Angeles.

Chichén Itzá is the only Mexican place I eat at besides my own restaurant. It’s a stand serving Yucatecan food in Mercado la Paloma, near USC. Do as my husband and I do and go on Sunday, when they have a man slicing suckling pig for tortas de lechon. He puts the meat in a torta with some chicharrón, and when you bite into it you get the juiciness of the meat and the crunchiness of the chicharrón. They make their own bread, too, which is sort of like a baguette. I can eat two of those tortas—I’m salivating just talking about it.

When I was pregnant I went there when they were serving mondongo. It’s basically a stew with pig trotters, but their trotters have been pickled a little bit. It’s absolutely delicious.

The regular menu is great too. My child, who is nineteen months old, eats an entire dish of their pollo asado. There is a great pork chop called poc chuc—it’s so simple, with rice and beans and their incredible hot sauce. And we always get the panuchos too. They’re a Yucatecan specialty: fried tortillas stuffed with refried black beans topped with turkey, avocado, and lettuce. We order like fifteen of them every Christmas and Thanksgiving and have them as appetizers while the food we cook is getting ready.