Cooking with Gasolina

A Mexican food-themed museum is coming to downtown L.A. in 2019

Architecture News West
Architects Johnson Fain are designing a Mexican food-themed museum that is slated for the firm's forthcoming LA Plaza Village complex. (Courtesy Johnson Fain)
Architects Johnson Fain are designing a Mexican food-themed museum that is slated for the firm's forthcoming LA Plaza Village complex. (Courtesy Johnson Fain)

The Downtown Los Angeles-based LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, a cultural center located in L.A.’s El Pueblo Historical Monument, is pushing for a new Mexican food-themed museum to open in early 2019.

The museum, dubbed La Plaza Cocina, is slated for the forthcoming LA Plaza Village, a new, mixed-use affordable housing development designed by Johnson Fain. The 355-unit complex has been under construction since 2016 and is nearing completion. Designed with landscape architects SWA, the development will bring 71 low-income units to the area, as well a variety of neighborhood-serving retail and cultural spaces, including La Plaza Cocina.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the new 2,500-square-foot museum will focus on the history and evolution of Mexican food, with a particular emphasis on the development of Mexican-American cuisines in the Southern California region. It will also house a demonstration kitchen and host programs, events, and exhibitions associated with Mexican food and culture in L.A.

L.A.’s Rodrigo Vargas Design is designing the interiors for LA Plaza Cocina.

“Los Angeles is the Mexican food capital of the country, and it deserves a place that celebrates the history and culture that we have with Mexican food.” John Echeveste, CEO of LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, told The Los Angeles Times. “It’s important, not only to Latino families, but anyone who eats.”

Echeveste described the museum as a “multipurpose space centered around Mexican cuisine in all of its ramifications.” It will even feature a separate specialty store on site where visitors can buy spices, foods, and cultural media. According to the report, the museum will offer a slate of cooking and history classes taught by some of the region’s best and most well-known Mexican chefs. In the future, it will provide cross-cultural programming with Mexican chefs via live broadcast in Mexico.

The entire development is slated for an early 2019 opening.

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