Mexican Food Museum to Open in Downtown L.A. in 2019

Courtesy of LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes
A rendering of La Plaza Cocina.

La Plaza Cocina, the country’s first museum/teaching kitchen dedicated to Mexican cuisine, will make its debut next year at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes.

Downtown Los Angeles is ready to celebrate culture after announcing plans for La Plaza Cocina, the country’s first museum/teaching kitchen dedicated to Mexican cuisine, set to make its debut early next year from LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes.

Los Angeles residents will be able to visit the 2,500-square-foot space to be located in LA Plaza Village, the first major new development in the El Pueblo Historical Monument area of downtown. La Plaza Cocina will mark an expansion of LA Plaza’s role in celebrating and showcasing the rich and diverse Mexican history, art and culture of L.A.

"Mexican food is one of our greatest cultural contributions to the world," said LA Plaza founder and Board member Gloria Molina. "La Cocina will serve as a central space where we can experience, share, savor and explore the rich history and contemporary interpretations of Mexican culinary arts." 

The museum will explore and project the Mexican culture for visitors through a myriad of events, multidisciplinary programming, exhibitions and a state-of-the-art test kitchen for hands-on classes with professional chefs held at the location. It will also come equipped with leasable space for a Mexican food-oriented vendor to offer decadent food to guests and audiovisual capabilities to support live and taped broadcasts of featured programs.

"La Cocina will be a place where we celebrate Mexican culinary arts through exhibitions, cooking classes, lectures, demonstrations, festivals and much more," said LA Plaza CEO John Echeveste. "It will be a space where chefs from throughout Mexico and the United States can share the treasures of their craft with Mexican food aficionados." 

Programs slated for next year include a wine tasting class on Valle de Guadalupe, recognized as Mexico's biggest and best wine region; a meet and greet with two female chefs who have published over 140 cookbooks, a chorizo cooking lesson from Chef Humberto Raygoza ("The Chori-Man") and a class on native Mayan cuisine. An interactive mixology class featuring mezcal cocktails, and a cooking class centered on food geared for Christmas will also be offered. 

Retail space LA Tiendita will also be open, offering hard-to-find Mexican foods, cooking utensils and books available for purchase. Rentable spaces for meetings, events and pop-up restaurants will also be offered to guests. 

The 3.7-acre project is being developed by LA Plaza, High Street Residential, Trammell Crow Company, the Cesar Chavez Foundation, Principal Real Estate Investors and the County of Los Angeles. The mixed-use complex includes 355 apartments, including 20 percent priced at affordable rates, and more than 43,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space. 

La Cocina is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2019.