Home Food and Recipes Uncover the Shocking Secrets of Los Angeles’ Latin American Influence – You Won’t Believe What Happens Inside these Museums and Margarita Bars!

Uncover the Shocking Secrets of Los Angeles’ Latin American Influence – You Won’t Believe What Happens Inside these Museums and Margarita Bars!

Uncover the Shocking Secrets of Los Angeles’ Latin American Influence – You Won’t Believe What Happens Inside these Museums and Margarita Bars!

The Hidden Hispanic Heritage of Los Angeles

Cultural Understanding: Exploring El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument

In the heart of sprawling Los Angeles lies a quiet square lined with Spanish colonial buildings, offering a glimpse into the often-overlooked Hispanic heritage of the city. Dating back over 200 years, this area showcases changing art, music, and food trends that have influenced the city’s diverse culture.

Political Mural: Discovering David Alfaro Siqueiros’s Art

In El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, you can find a restored political mural painted by Mexican artist David Alfaro Siqueiros in 1932. This mural, depicting a crucified figure, critiques imperialism in the Americas. Visit the museum to explore Siqueiros’s influences in the Chicano Movement, which advocated for civil rights.

Tacos: Indulge in Authentic Mexican Eats

For delicious pork carnitas (pulled pork tacos), head to a no-frills restaurant in east Los Angeles. Chef Wes Avila highly recommends this spot, and it has garnered attention on social media. Don’t miss the famous “taco row” on Olympic Boulevard in Boyle Heights, where you’ll find some of the city’s best casual Mexican eats served by a clutch of taco trucks.

History & Dancing: El Pueblo Community Centre and Museum

This community centre and museum next to El Pueblo’s church provides valuable insights into the Latin community in Los Angeles and beyond. Discover the city’s explosive growth and its impact on local communities, including the pre-Spanish settlement Tongva Indigenous people. On Sunday afternoons, join the music and dancing at the El Pueblo bandstand.

Latin American Art: Exploring Long Beach Museum of Latin American Art

A short drive from El Pueblo, the Long Beach Museum of Latin American Art is the only museum in the US dedicated to Hispanic art. With over 1,300 permanent pieces and a sculpture garden, it offers a comprehensive collection. Keep an eye out for their changing exhibitions, featuring renowned artists such as Fernando Botero and Yolanda González. Alternatively, visit the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on central Wilshire Boulevard for contemporary Latin American art.

Upscale Dining: Experiencing Hispanic Culinary Influence

Immerse yourself in the full spectrum of Hispanic culinary influence at a vegan eatery in West Hollywood. From house-made cashew cheese queso fondido to soy chorizo empanadas and plant-based “fish” tacos del mar, this spot offers a unique dining experience. Enjoy delicious margaritas and catch up with high-flying locals discussing Hollywood business.

Unique Night: Embrace Queer Latino Cowboy Culture

For a one-of-a-kind evening in LA, visit a nightclub on Santa Monica Boulevard that celebrates queer Latino cowboy culture. Put on your hat and boots and join one of the popular drag nights, dancing to Latin pop until the early hours. This iconic venue has been open since the 1990s and remains a popular destination.

Design Inspiration: Explore Tricia Benitez Beanum’s Interiors Showroom

Owned by Latina entrepreneur Tricia Benitez Beanum, this West Hollywood interiors showroom offers design inspiration straight out of a magazine. Admire the rattan chairs, ceramic planters, and Bohéme ‘Havana’ scent candles as you mentally design your dream LA mansion. Tricia is also the founder of UNREPD, a gallery supporting underrepresented artists with pop-up exhibitions throughout the city.

Homespun Cooking: Delight in Bell’s Nostalgic Restaurant

Although a bit of a journey from the city centre, this nostalgic restaurant in Bell is worth the trip. Chefs Jamie Martin del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu, originally from Jalisco, serve up homely weekly specials like enchiladas, chiles rellenos (stuffed peppers), and giant stuffed-pepper dish chile en nogada, gaining a devoted following.

Published in the October 2023 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK).

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