Cook's Tortas

Joe Schmelzer

Los Angeles is famous for its stripped-down, uberauthentic Mexican restaurants, but the best thing to happen lately to the Mexican lunch counter in Southern California is Cook's Tortas, a cozy chalkboard-menu cafe in Monterey Park, just east of downtown. Instead of the baguette-like bolillo rolls typically used in the torta, an overstuffed Mexican sandwich, they bake their own ciabatta-style sourdough and fill it with everything from tender simmered beef tongue (traditional) to Spanish-style salt cod with sweet roasted peppers (not so traditional). They're all fresh, bold, and delicious.

Cook's Tortas
1944 South Atlantic Boulevard
323/278-3536