The great weather, the beaches… life was already pretty sweet in Los Angeles, and now Angelinos have another reason to be thankful with the opening of Mexican restaurant Gracias Madre. A San Francisco favourite since 2009, the new outpost from the Café Gratitude family can be found on Melrose Avenue. Chef Chandra Gilbert, who helped launch the northern forerunner, is once more heading up the kitchen with an all-new, all-organic and seasonal menu composed of dishes made using local market produce and ingredients from Café Gratitude’s ethical Be Love Farm in Vacaville. Jason Eisner runs the bar with a fine selection of mezcals and tequilas.
Visually, Gracias Madre is the combined work of architect Victor Corona and designer Wendy Haworth. The Mexican influence can be seen in the high, vaulted ceilings with wooden beams, the decorative tiling on the bar, the cool whitewashed brick walls and a smattering of religious artefacts to keep the guy upstairs happy. The inside space seats 100, and there’s a generous 130-seat outside terrace too, lined with 80-year-old olive trees from landscape designer Scott Shrader.