Three of our favorite cheaper-eating restaurants have undergone cosmetic surgery, turning them from holes-in-walls to the beauties we’ve always known they were on the inside. Over the weekend, Mar Vista’s Marsicos Chente got a paint job, with characters from underwater crustaceans and a bucket of cold beer to a busty waitress hovering over a sandy right break now gleaming from its once plain white walls. Nearby on Lincoln, Venice’s best taco truck, La Oaxaquena, has glossy new placards with its menu items, replacing the paper printouts of dishes and ball-point scrawled additions. Most dramatic, Pico Union pupuseria La Flor Blanca has revamped its exterior. Previously quite grungy and even a little scary from outside, the new signage is welcoming and clean, hopefully drawing more new diners to try its incredible fried yuca and solid pupusas. We’re glad to see these classics shining anew, both upgrading their neighborhoods and looking successfully towards a new future.
La Oaxaquena: Lincoln south of Rose, evenings
Mariscos Chente: 4532 S Centinela Ave. Mar Vista
La Flor Blanca #3: 1705 W. Pico Blvd. Pico-Union
Update: Chowhound reports a chef shuffle at Chente last week, with chef Sergio Penuelas departing to an Inglewood location, so perhaps the exterior change reflect bigger ones inside the Mar Vista store. [Chowhound via Eater]