Lotería Grill

Jimmy Shaw’s Lotería Grill is still crazy good after all these years

By Keyla Vasconcellos

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the vast number of Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles. Luckily, at least a handful of them bear the name Lotería Grill. Executive chef and founder Jimmy Shaw works with top-notch ingredients, including the finest chiles and spices from Mexico, to deliver a range of traditional dishes from distinct regions of Mexico, all prepared with love.

When in Hollywood expect colossal representations of playing cards from Mexico’s version of Bingo, known as “¡Lotería!" The menu set down in front of you is expansive so to simplify, consider an all-natural margarita, handcrafted with fresh fruit, to help you along. For snacking, the chicharron de queso makes a fine alternative to your standard bowl of chips, the paper-thin, crunchy crisps of Oaxacan and jack cheeses reminiscent of the best part of the quesadilla: the burnt, cheesy ends that ooze out.

If you happen to stop in on the second day of the week, shake off any preconceived notions about “Taco Tuesday” and open your arms to Lotería’s “Taco About Tuesday.” Family-style plates of seared filet or sirloin tips arrive piled high with grilled onion, chile poblano, mushrooms, melted jack cheese, and salsa of chile manzano on a hot skillet, along with Lotería’s warm house-made corn tortillas.

If it’s tacos you’re seeking, Lotería’s are bright and full of flavor. Standouts include the mole poblano con pollo, with its classic spicy-chocolaty essence, and the tinga, stewed in chipotle peppers with house-made chorizo. For the starving and indecisive, the 12 mini tacos platter is as simple as it is satisfying.

Break up the meal by grabbing a few sweet bites of crispy and caramelized plantains with Mexican crema. And if you still feel undefeated, call in the flan and tres leches cake, for the ultimate finish.


Hollywood: Mon–Thu 11 AM–11 PM; Fri–Sat 11 AM–midnight; Sun 10 AM–11 PM
Downtown: Mon–Fri 11 AM–9 PM; Sat–Sun 11 AM–7 PM
Studio City: Sun–Thu 11 AM–10 PM; Fri–Sat 11 AM–11 PM
Santa Monica: Sun–Thu 11 AM–10 PM; Fri–Sat 11 AM–11 PM
Westlake Village: Mon–Thu 11 AM–8:30 PM; Fri 11 AM–9 PM; Sat–Sun 10 AM–9 PM

price range

$8 (nachos) to $26 (grilled beer-marinated steak)