This is when you know a city is finally starting to mature. Hidden spaces once forgotten and ignored are re-purposed and brought back to life. Pez Cantina — the new Mexican seafood restaurant helmed by chef Bret Thompson (of Milk) — has carved out a space within an office building on Bunker Hill, an up-and-coming district dominated by office skyscrapers aiming for activity even after the work day ends. What used to be an underutilized conference room in the lobby of the 26-story CBRE tower has been transformed into a gorgeous restaurant space with soaring high ceilings and an unique sprawling outdoor patio.
Pez Cantina soft opened late last month and is now officially open serving up Thompson’s extensive seafood menu with influences from many of Mexico’s coastal regions including the Yucatan, Oaxaca, and Baja California. Start off with yummy Mexican bites like shrimp or Yucatan pork taquitos (yes there are non-seafood items as well like the crispy duck salad). Move onto Mexican sandwiches or the Pez house salads paired with a wide variety of tacos filled with shrimp, oysters, scallops, or the daily dive. Expect more seafood including grilled octopus, Baja yellow fin tuna, and grilled albacore. If you love oysters like me, you’ll really want to grab a dozen on the half shell.
Pez Cantina is a welcome addition to Bunker Hill. More things have been added to the district lately that point to a new, more vibrant direction for the area dominated by office skyscrapers and daytime-but-not-nighttime activity. Just up the street, the brand new luxury apartment tower, The Emerson, adds 271 residential units to Bunker Hill and will also open its own new restaurant, Vespaio, helmed by Italian chef Agostino. And later this year, The Broad museum housing the billionaire’s extensive 2000-piece contemporary art collection will open to the public with free admission forever.
Pez Cantina is located at 401 S Grand Ave on Bunker Hill in Downtown LA. For more info, including the full menu and hours, please visit them online.