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photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Chiguacle Sabor Ancestral image
7.6

Chiguacle Sabor Ancestral

Mexican

Downtown LA

$$$$Perfect For:LunchCasual Weeknight Dinner
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Chiguacle Sabor Ancestral is a nautical-themed cantina specializing in southern Mexican cooking and maybe the second best thing to do on Olvera Street (the first being eating taquitos at Cielito Lindo). If the beachy decor puts you in the mood for mariscos, there are standard aguachiles and ceviches to scratch that itch, plus more eye-catching things, like a whole pulpo zarandeado that makes other octopus dishes look like Costco samples. But Chiguacle definitely shines brightest with its low-and-slow dishes, including a Mayan-style lamb stewed with nopales and a bright red cochinita pibil that's one of the city's best.

Overall, a meal here is a nice change of pace for Olvera Street, where every Mexican restaurant follows the same chips, margs, and wet burrito formula. You come to Chiguacle for a slightly more upscale experience, where you can sample regional specialties, snack on chapulines, and celebrate your new ceramic bowl from the market with a prickly pear margarita.

Food Rundown

Chiguacle Sabor Ancestral image

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Mixiote de Borrego

Attention lamb fans: you'll need to like grassy, slightly funky lamb to get into this dish. Much of that funk, however, gets cut by the smoky dried chiles and healthy squeezes of citrus in the sauce, which is very delicious.

Chiguacle Sabor Ancestral image

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Chile Relleno

Witnessing the lava flow of gooey cheese inside this batter-coated chile definitely does something to our brain chemistry. It's extremely satisfying to watch and isn't too much queso once it's balanced out by whichever mole you choose on top. Get the mole poblano for a sweeter, more chocolatey experience.

Chiguacle Sabor Ancestral image

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Cochinita Pibil

Great cochinita pibil is hard to come by, but once you do, it's your duty to spread the word. Please tell your mom and next-door neighbor about this one, because it's excellent. The shredded pork comes out vibrantly red from earthy achiote paste, there's tons of citrusy zing in the marinade, and it comes with fluffy handmade corn tortillas to shovel all of it in your mouth.

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FOOD RUNDOWN

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