Venice's Newest Taco Shack Will Transport Your Tastebuds to Tulum

Chulita brings healthy mezcal-focused Mexican fare to Rose Avenue.

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Not only can LA's globetrotting gourmands get pampered like they're in paradise, but they can now treat their tastebuds to the same coastal-inspired culinary experience, too. Angelenos can say hola to yet another Tulum-inspired spot: Mezcal-focused modern Mexican eatery Chulita, which opened on Rose Avenue in Venice last November.

Restaurateur and owner Shireen Imani took over Superba Snack Bar's former space (located across the street from Parachute Home and Monrow, among other stylish retailers) and transformed it into colorful beach shack that's equal parts Venice and Tulum. Inspired by the hole-in-the-wall food spots in her previous home city of New York, the former healthcare industry exec designed the resto herself and decked it out with finds from her past travels to Mexico, like handmade plates made by potters outside of Jalisco and hand-loomed textiles from an Oaxacan weaver decorate the eatery.

Other odes to our south-of-the-border neighbors are found in the bar top and dining benches, which are crafted from cypress wood from Mexico; and the tables, which feature the seal of a charming town on the outskirts of Mexico City.

Photo: Courtesy of Wonho Frank Lee/Chulita

As far as the menu, the botanas y mezcales (or "Mexican drinking food") offerings include guac (of course), ceviche, sweet potato taquitos with vegan jalapeño aioli, pozole, and squash blossom quesadillas, to name a few ($11 to $16) alongside tacos (beef or pork cheek, fish, chicken, or Japanese eggplant; $7 to $8) on heirloom corn or cassava flour tortillas. There are also fish and steak entrees ($25 to $28) as well as sides like broccolini with kale and mushrooms with ayocote beans and queso fresco ($9 to $11).

For cocktails ($14 to $16), expect drinks like the Casa De Fuego (tequila, Chareau aloe vera liqueur, aperol, five spice seasonal peppers, lime, and agave), Jalisco or Oaxacan Buck (tequila or mezcal with ginger, lime, soda, and crystallized ginger), and the Cocos Verde (tequila, spiced coconut milk, pear, matcha, and lime), to name just a few. There's also a selection of wines from California and Spain, plus SoCal-brewed draft beers from Barley Forge, Three Weavers, and Smog City.

Photo: Courtesy of The Salty Shutters/Chulita

Take a peek inside the vacay-inspired restaurant and bar and scroll through the gallery above, and see below for the hours and address.

Chulita, 533 Rose Ave., Venice, 90291; open daily from 5:30 to 11 p.m.; (424) 252-9886

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