LA Eats: Five Places to Get Fall-Inspired Dishes (aka Calabaza YUM time)

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Even though Angelenos are lucky enough to live in a city where spring and summer are year-round, there’s a certain wistfulness that comes with missing out on fall seasonal activities. Although there are no falling leaves or dramatic changes in temperatures, there is one way we can enjoy autumn in its full glory: eating. Take a look at our guide to the best fall latin dishes in LA, to find plates and flavors that are inspired by the season.

Mercado, Santa Monica
Dish: Elote Callejero, Chayote con Calabacitas

Head chef Jose Acevedo gives us not one, but two fall-inspired plates to choose from at Mercado. His twist on the traditional Mexican corn, the elote callejero, which is mostly made up of grilled corn, caramelized onions, and queso cotija, will warm you up in a second. The secret? The perfectly cooked corn is infused with chile-piquin butter. His second plate, the chayote con calabacitas features two seasonal vegetables- the Mexican chayote and squash blossoms (calabacitas). The chayote and calabacitas are sautéed along with corn, zucchini, tomatoes and spicy queso añejo creating an impressive seasonal combination. The restaurant, created by Jesse Gomez, also features an open-air dining room and a sunken den with a fireplace where you can cozy up with someone and pretend it’s cold outside.

1416 Fourth Street
Santa Monica, CA

La Fonda Antioqueña
Dish: Yucca en Salsa Criolla

Although yuccas are found year round, yucca en Salsa Criolla, served at La Fonda Antioqueña make the list because they’re kind of like the Latin version of the sweet potato (although we eat sweet potatoes too). Prominent in a lot of Latin cuisines (Cuban, Colombian, Dominican, Paraguay, and many more) the starch vegetable is surprising versatile and can be cooked, baked, fried, and even turned into dough. At La Fonda Antioqueña the yucca is steamed and bathed in Salsa Criolla, a South American topping that is heavy on sliced red onions and lime juice. It’s both flavorful and filling.

5125 Melrose Ave,
Los Angeles 90038

La Loteria Grill (Hollywood)
Dishes: Tacos de nopalitos, tacos de calabacitas

This Hollywood restaurant features two tacos worth mentioning. There are the nopalitos tacos, which are served with fresh cactus paddle salad and topped with Salsa Verde and queso fresco. And although the nopalitos are found year-round here in California, they are certainly reminiscent of fall with their crisp flavor. The calabacitas tacos feature a variety of seasonal squash vegetables like zucchini, calabacitas, roasted corn succotash, all topped with Salsa Verde, onion, cilantro, and queso fresco.

6627 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles

3Dog Cantina
Dish: Calabaza Quesadilla

We can call it the Autumn Quesadilla, because the flor de calabaza quesadilla provides a seasonal alternative to the traditional quesadilla. The flour tortilla is filled with Mexican Chihuahua cheese and topped with squash blossoms and Salsa de Tomatillo de Arbol. Talk about a fall palette.

1615 N. Cahuenga Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA

Blue Plate Taco
Dish: The Grilled Yellow Peaches Salad

The warm weather in sunny California allows for some summer and spring fruits to grow well into the autumn season. Consequently, Blue Plate’s grilled yellow peaches salad make the cut. Traditionally grown from June to April, peaches grown in California are actually in season until October. So with only a couple of days left in the month, you should venture out to eat the delectable salad made up of grilled yellow peaches, jicama, panella cheese, and citrus vinaigrette. The salad is an ode to the perks of Californian weather.

1515 Ocean Ave.
Santa Monica, Ca