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Broken Spanish

PHOTOS: Holly Liss

How does that phrase go? Don’t fix what’s not broken?

Yes. That’s the one.

We like that phrase. It carries a lot of importance, for many different reasons. And none more so than in regards to Mexican food. Nothing makes us crazier than someone coming in and making us pay three times as much for a cleaned up version of something we all know is best served sloppy and under $10 out of the back of a truck.

And sometimes, we’re dead wrong.

Broken Spanish in DTLA is not fixing Mexican food. It's putting it on a level we never knew existed. Did you know you wanted lamb neck stuffed inside your tamale so badly? Or that hulking piece of chicharron to be topped with something called elephant garlic mojo? Well, now you do. Everything about this place works. The space itself is casual and sexy, and full of cool people and a contagious energy that makes you want to work harder in life. It’s also extremely flexible, making both an after-work cocktail at the bar or sultry date night not just possible, but highly recommended. Big blow-out group dinner? Yeah, there’s a separate room for that too.

Broken Spanish in DTLA is not fixing Mexican food. It's putting it on a level we never knew existed.

But let’s talk more about that food for a second. It’s magic. You’re going to spend some money on it and you’re going to be entirely ok with it. Because as you slowly work your way through the menu, you begin to see the future. Maybe it’s your own, maybe it’s that of Mexican cuisine as a whole, but it’s there. Reach out and grab it. Because whether it’s the scallop crudo you just put in your mouth or the rabbit and liver stew dropped off at the table in a cellophane plastic bag, you realize something. The future is actually right now.

The service is great, the wine list is excellent, and everything else you could possibly nit-pick at a place like this holds up its side of the bargain. Broken Spanish, you are a complete restaurant.

We will never turn our backs on a greasy $2 taco or wet burrito when the time is right, but Broken Spanish proved to us one thing. Don’t fix what’s not broken, but feel free to make it incredible.

Food Rundown


We know what you're thinking. Where the f*ck's the scallop? Don't worry, it's in there. And it's glorious. There's no better way to start your meal than this.


We could have this pumpkin and pomegranate seed doused tostada every Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer. For life.

Spinach Tamale

It's at this point in the meal things start to get out of hand. How does this taste so good? How? Also, does it come in bulk?


Another dish, another victory. Octopus is everywhere these days, so to pull off one that we're actually still talking about? You can thank the chorizo.


Quite possibly the pièce de résistance of Broken Spanish, this gigantic mass of pork belly could've been completely too fatty and overbearing, and it was the opposite. Light, savory, and our favorite dish out of the whole thing.

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