1823 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA | Directions 9177634.076221 -118.090936
Mon., Sat. - Sun. CLOSED;Tue. - Fri. 11:30am - 2:30pm
Tequila-cured salmon, lamb shank and more refined Mexican food on the L.A. outskirts.
Wonderful gourmet food – This place has become a favorite of mine. I have searched all over Los Angeles for a place that served Chiles en Nogades, and the place that I've come to know as my favorite is Babita. They serve delicious food, including the hard-to-find Huitlacoche and my favorite, the Chiles en Nogades. The service is wonderful and the chef/owner is always very nice to chat with. Nice choice of wines. The inside is cozy, and it is easily found just off the freeway.
Excellent regional and special dishes – I have been to Babita on numerous occasions. I fancy myself as a bit of an expert when it comes to Mexican food. My wife is from Mexico and we have travelled a decent amount. The weekend jaunt to Puerto Nuevo for lobster, Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara, Tonala, Tlaquepaque, Monterrey...most recently through Merida, Uxmal, Chichen Itza, Cancun and other cities in Quintana Roo.
The dishes are all authentic with the chef's own spin on flavor. The dishes from the Yucatan are excellent. It is not easy to find most of these dishes locally. The desserts are great and the wine list is decent. My wife and I have taken many friends here with rave reviews.
The neighbor hood isn't the best, it looks small and run down from the outside. Inside is cozy and romantic. The main dining are is small but there is a larger room for big parties. The staff is mellow but attentive, reminiscent of Quintana Roo where they have a slower pace of life and enjoy every moment to the fullest. This doesn't mean the service is bad, it's a different culture coliding with ours. The prices are not bad considering that you can't get these dishes other places.
Very Good Mexican Food – I came here for lunch and was really impressed. It's a very small family owned restaurant. I couldn't tell from the looks on the outside what to expect on the inside. It was very classy and homely. The Mexican food had a French flare with a touch of Cuban cuisine. It was a bit pricey, but worth the try. I think it's very hard to find nice, cozy, sit down time spanish restaurants around this area. I definitely recommend.
Overly priced Average Mexican Food – First of all the place itself was not impressive at all. I went here some weeks ago because many coworkers recommended it. The place is so small. You'd think that by now they have made enough money with their over the top prices to update the location. At least clean the inside of the restaurant. I felt like I was going into my dirty neighbor's house here in east LA. The food was okay but not great. It seems like this restaurant just caters to rich people. When I went I was the only mexican person there. Everybody else was white. Que van a saber ellos de autentica comida mexicana. I felt like it was a rip off. $30 for a chili pepper with ground beef inside. I don't think so. I've had better mexican food for less than half the price! Its okay to go once to see what the big fuss is. I wouldn't go again. Then the service was bad. I kept asking one of the girls questions about the dishes and she didn't even know! She had to ask this other lady. This lady even gave us wrong information on where the dishes were from. The desserts were a joke. They were not good nor inventive. I'm not a chef and I can make better desserts than what they offered. Very dissapointed. Save your money.
Expensive, long wait and worth it. A unique dining experience – What an experience! I ordered the crab enchilada which cost about $25.00 which I thought was outrageous. After having eaten it, I would order it again and willingly pay more for the experience. And I am someone who eats mostly at very good neighborhood restaurants where two can eat for less than 20 bucks. The chef spent quite some time with us explaining how he changes age old recipes. The lamb which a friend had is put in the oven the night before and slow cooked - It was the best he had ever had. All three of us said this was the best dining experience in the Los Angeles area. Still, we can't go often because it is out of our budget - but what a great place to celebrate or take out of town guests for great Mexican food - the unique selections on the menu make this a particularly exciting place to explore.
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good time – went there with my family a couple of weeks ago and had a great time.
the staff was polite and knowledeable and the food was really good.
Fine Dining Mexican Cuisine – The outside looks nothing like what the inside looks like. When I opened the door, my jaw literally dropped. The walls were bright red and orange with hundreds of tequila bottles surrounding the restaurant. It was a festive restaurant that does not make you realize that you are in that dark corner on San Gabriel.
Appetizers: Ceviche on a bed of tequila cilantro sorbet (ceviche was nicely marinated, tequila was strong), Guerritos Relleno - chile stuff dry smoked salmon with strawberry sauce (only a hint of strawberry which complemented the relleno), and fried calamari in a habanero cocktail sauce (the spicyness does not kick in until 30 secs later so becareful)
Main Courses: Cochinita Pibil - slow cooked pork baked in banana leaves (very good with their house made corn tortillas which were piping hot and fluffy, unlike what you get at the supermarket) Barabacoa - braised beef cheeks (this was the worst dish as it lacked flavor) Enchiladas de Pollo en Mole (mole had a strong chocolate essense which people may find awkward, they were generously stuff with chicken) Beef Tenderloin (a tender piece of beef tenderloin drenched in a herby, heavily spiced sauce (this dish packed the most wow factor) Saute Shrimp Topolobampo - tiger shrimp in a habanero, mustard, tomato, white wine sauce (very spicy and delicious) Chile Relleno (chile stuffed with crab ragout on a bed of green colored sauce (I don't know what the sauce was but it was really good and the chile was generously stuffed) Chile en Nogata - chile stuff with squash in a white cream sauce topped with pomegranate seeds (the most interesting dish of all sweet and crunchy)
Dessert: Mexican bread pudding. It had peanuts too. It was not overly sweet and just perfect.
In the end we spent ~$300 for 6. It was quite expensive for mexican cuisine but I thought the whole experience was worth it; from the decor to the unique ingredients and flavor of the dishes.
A Culinary Experience! Unique amazing food! Great Service. – Chef Roberto did a wonderful job in making my birthday dinner special. After reading reviews about his seasonal Chile Nogado, I was excited to find it was still available. In fact, my husband and I ordered 3 entrees - the Enchiladas de pollo en mole, Tilapia and Scallop with mole, and the Chile Nogado. It was INCREDIBLE! Each bite had a wonderul texture and burst of flavor. Chef Roberto came out and introduced himself after dinner. We were so impressed with his passion and love for cooking. He is a true master. His wife was our server and the service delightful! Althought the restaurant is small, the quality of food is amazing. If you want a culinary experience Babita is well worth the drive. If you want hum drum, go elsewhere. The prices are very reasonable for the quality of food.
Magnifique!!! – My husband and I have been going to Babita for years. We're not the "regulars" as you would call it, but we go often enough. We were just there an hour ago with some friends for their engagement and I have to say...the food was fabulous! It's always good, but I tried the Chiles en Nogada for the first time. I had heard the servers talk about it for a few years, but never bothered to try it. OMG...talk about great! The flavors were just bursting! I have had their Porterhouse, Camarones Tampolobampo, Barbacoa, Mixiote, Cochinita Pibil and New York and Shrimp Maviri...all DELICIOUS!!! Chef Roberto does a wine-paired dinner every 3 or 4 month...this is by invitation only. I have yet to receive an invitation, but I'm hoping soon. Also, he serves Kobe beef...very reasonably priced and so worth the price! Try his duo soups when he has them. If you're lucky, he'll be serving the Cream of Guava (this sounds exotic/funky, but is one of the best soups you'll ever try). The appetizers are great too...last but not least, he's got a limited wine list, but they're all very reasonably priced! The San Simeon Pinot Noir goes with just about everything! Make sure you go back and try different dishes because this is one of those rare-find restaurants that will make you want more...it's that addictive! Provecho!
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