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Latin Out, Mexican In As Border Grill Takes Over Ciudad

By Jenni Simcoe
Published: Monday, September 13, 2010, at 06:46PM
boBorder Grill Stop Kiosk Peter Barrett for Border Grill

The Border Grill brand made its first permanent Downtown stop this summer with the launch of the Border Grill Stop kiosk at Figueroa and Wilshire.

Ciudad, the Latin outpost of Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger's restaurant empire, will close October 2nd and reopen later in October as the Border Grill.

The chefs, known as The Food Network’s “Too Hot Tamales,” are rebranding the restaurant at Figueroa and 5th to focus on the Border Grill brand. Last year the duo took Border Grill to the streets with the launch of their first food truck followed two months ago by a Border Grill Stop kiosk at the corner of Figueroa and Wilshire.

“It’s a natural evolution,” says Leah Ross, PR & Marketing Manager. Ross says that Mexican food tends to be more accessible to the masses than the Latin fusion cuisine on the menu at Cuidad. “It will be a casual fun place to gather with friends and have margaritas or to dine before going to the theater.” The restaurant will continue to operate a shuttle to the Music Center on show nights.

Ross says that some regulars of Ciudad have voiced that they are sad to see the concept changed, but they’ve been assured the Border Grill menu will incorporate the most popular dishes from Ciudad. Those include the Peruvian Ceviche, Gaucho Steak and Argentine Empanadas.

“The Border Grill will still be unique and stand apart from other Mexican restaurants,” adds Ross. The "hot tamales" have traveled extensively throughout Mexico--the Yucatan, Baja, Mexico City--to hone their take on Mexican cuisine. “It’s not the typical Mexican restaurant entrée with rice and beans on the side.”

Menu items at the Border Grill include entrées such as a Grilled Skirt Steak with a side of charred corn relish, shaved asparagus, sweet pepper salad and a tortilla or a traditional Chile Relleno with roasted poblano chiles, manchego, panela, cotija cheeses, salsa roja and tomatillo salsa.

The restaurant plans a soft opening in mid-October with a grand opening to follow.

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