Gasolina Cafe

Fill up on Spanish flavors, farm-to-table-style

By Joy Hui Lin

Outfitted with touches like a reclaimed wood bar and vintage motorcycle memorabilia it's clear that the newly opened, bright and modern cafe is the cherished "lovechild" of husband-and-wife team Sandra Cordero and John Hensley. While the cafe brings to southern California a unique blend of Spain crossed with the best of New California cuisine, the environment is ultra-casual and relaxed, making it a hotspot for grateful locals.

Executive chef Cordero grew up in Europe and spent every summer on the family farm in Coruña, Spain, where she truly learned the value of farm-to-table. Upon arriving in LA, she and Hensley saw an opportunity to bring their love of both Spanish cuisine and exquisite produce to a spot right down the street from where they live. By importing cured meats and cheeses from Spain, and calling on her expertise as a former farmer's market assistant to select the tastiest and freshest local produce, Cordero skillfully blends the flavors of the West Coast with those of the Iberian peninsula.

Cordero and Hensley chose to work with James Coffee Company, a small batch roaster located in San Diego, and The Art of Tea, which does its tea blending in Downtown LA, to ensure that you get all your "fuel" bright and early. The immaculately curated menu explodes with flavor, whether its the simple but savory/sweet Manchego cheese with quince paste toast, the zinger of a breakfast sandwich stuffed with Spanish charcuterie and Mahón cheese, or the Cordero lamb burger, a Spanish family meatball recipe reimagined as an American-style burger dripping with Romesco sauce and mashed avocado—a combination you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.

If you’re sweet tooth prefers to remain in the Spanish mode, finish off your meal with the light-as-air churros and dark velvety chocolate dipping sauce. Or, for a more decadent finale, sample the chocolate mousse topped with the season's best berries.


Tue–Fri 7 AM–3 PM; Sat–Sun 8 AM–3 PM
Closed Monday

price range

$5 (pan con chocolate) to $15 (The Cordero lamb burger)