As bold statements go, the entrance to Los Angeles restaurant Petty Cash is as bold as they come; native Angeleno Ricardo Estrada’s mural depicting a formidable Mexican matriarch, known as the Gatekeeper, towers over and to either side of the front doors like a modern-day Californian Colossus, surveying the street scene without and promising a convivial shelter within. Other urban artists to contribute at the taqueria-with-a-twist include street art superstar RETNA (responsible for the signature hand-painted hieroglyphic murals) and Chaz Borjorquez (the graffiti-style skull watching over the bar).
Petty Cash, to be found on Beverly Boulevard, is a meeting of Tijuana circa 1986 with the East L.A. of now. It’s named after the musicians Tom and Johnny (why not?), as well as referencing the affordability of the menu. The fare here is a contemporary spin on street food standards from El Bulli alum Walter Manzke, who is also ejoying success with his bistro-bar Republique on La Brea. As well as the picnic tables on the main dining area, there’s a rooftop garden above and a back room with shuffleboard. What more could one ask for?