Welcome to the world of Loreto. The brainchild of culinary maestros from Cha Cha Chá, where seafood and Baja-inspired dishes take the center stage. Loreto is tucked away in LA’s Frogtown, an area in Elysian Valley that sits on the east side of the 5 freeway (right by the LA River), located at 1991 Blake Ave, Los Angeles, 90039. Their industrial space seamlessly fuses modern charm with warm aesthetics and creates an inviting and alluring ambiance. We visited on a bustling Saturday night and were warmly welcomed at the host stand. As we made our way to the bar, we were impressed by the extensive selection of spirits and cocktails. We opted for the refreshing Margarita Za Za Za and the mocktail (Cóctel Sin Alcohol) Flor De Azafrán.
While exploring the spacious venue, we were delighted to see a diverse mix of patrons. Some were glammed up in heels, while others, casual in t-shirts and jeans. The menu might seem daunting for those not well-versed in seafood, but the knowledgeable and friendly staff are there to guide you. Fellow diners included first dates, families, group gatherings, and solo foodies seeking adventure. Loreto’s alluring lighting, both indoors and on the outdoor patio, gives it a relaxed and natural vibe (reminiscent of a secret desert house party) offering a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of West Hollywood or DTLA.
Now, let’s talk about the food. Our culinary journey commenced with Ceviche Magdalena, a delightful blend of yellowtail, sweet honeydew, crisp cucumber, aromatic Maui onion, creamy avocado, and a hint of jalapeño heat. Fresh herbs and vibrant Salsa de Calabasa added to the finishing touch. The Bay Scallop Ceviche was another great shareable option. The juicy, fresh scallops mix with the tropical delight of mango, sweet coconut, cooling cucumber, and aromatic cilantro was sensational.
The Tostada a la Joaquin is a sensory indulgence that features melt-in-your-mouth otoro flameado from the tuna’s underbelly and is complemented by soy-marinated onions, fresh tomatoes, creamy avocado, and a tantalizing yuzu vinaigrette drizzled to perfection for an exquisite balance of flavors and textures. A standout is the Tostada Tonnato. It takes your taste buds on a unique journey with roasted beets, succulent yellowtail, salsa tonnato, fiery red onions, habanero, cilantro, a dash of caper salt, and a hint of lemon. It’s definitely a symphony that lingers.
We had a hard time choosing from this category but were thrilled we went with the Atun Picante. It featured crispy epazote rice as the canvas and showcases bluefin tuna, morita aioli, creamy avocado, agro dolce, and serrano peppers. which delivers bold and imaginative combinations with each bite.An even more adventurous pick is the Elote Asado ( fyi, not your typical elote). This dish highlights uni aioli, uni tongue and is sprinkled with Parmesan, a twist of lime juice and a kick of chiltepin pepper.
For those seeking shareable mains, the Branzino is perfectly portioned for three to four guests. The light and sweet taste of the fish is balanced by the earthy sides of black beans, habanero onions, rice and salsa.
Be sure to leave room for dessert. The Carajillo is a heavenly delight that boasts layers of chocolate, toffee, and ice cream called helado de Nuez. This combination of chocolate and coffee topped with a creamy layer was the perfect sweet conclusion to an extraordinary evening. For berry enthusiasts, the Strawberry Bowl Thing is a crowd-pleaser. It’s a pillowy dish that features shortbread, cream cheese and ooey-gooey strawberry raspado. It is worth that feeling of extra fullness…ya know what I mean.
Whether you’re a true foodie, a seafood enthusiast, or just looking to get out and experience LA’s new hot spots, Loreto guarantees a flavorful and remarkable night out. Reservations are highly recommended. They also serve lunch through Mariscos Za Za Zá on their outdoor patio. Stay updated by following them on IG at Loreto.
Still hungry ? If you’re craving some farm fresh authentic Thai with a twist check out our latest visit to Farmhouse Thai Kitchen.