The North Vermont stretch of Los Feliz south of Franklin Avenue is well-known for its casual fare thanks to longtime spots like Fred 62, Figaro Bistro, House of Pies, the Dresden, as well as the newer Goldburger. Starting Friday, Mírate — chef Joshua Gil’s multi-story sister restaurant to Mírame in Beverly Hills — opens in the former Rockwell Table & Stage.
Though sibling eateries, Mírate has a separate personality. Some similarities are present like Gil’s focus on multi-regional Mexican food while employing modern cooking techniques. But while Mírame leans toward fine dining, Mírate (which translates to “look at you” in Spanish) is all about hanging out in a versatile space that could easily fit right into Mexico City. It all begins with cocktails, spirits, wine, and beer — all hailing from Mexico — with Gil’s casual Alta California dishes.
The space features multiple levels, two bars, separate dining rooms with Mírate partner Matthew Egan’s photography, and murals by Mexico City-based artist Jorge Telleache. The restaurant also offers views of the Griffith Observatory and even has a retractable roof. Alexa Nafisi-Movaghar from design firm Adean reworked the space so that it seems almost unrecognizable from the former performance venue and restaurant, with new tiles, walled textiles, cushiony banquettes, and live plants tucked into every crevice. The entire space accommodates 180 seats.
Order cocktails from both bars: One has a curated mezcal collection, while the other supplies rare gins, rums, and agave-based spirits. Former Gracias Madre barman Max Reis put together his take on a margarita called El Guero, which combines tequila, aguachile, nopales granita, and coconut. There’s also Reis’s clarified milk punch that starts with Nativo Gin, then layers in passionfruit, almond, green tea, nance fruit ice cream, and lemon. Mírate’s house mezcal is privately sourced from Oaxaca.
Gil’s got various tacos, like deep-fried Baja-style fish, plant-based jicama aguachile, beef tongue, or charred octopus. The tortillas are Sonoran-style and made with beef fat. The albondigas (meatballs) are not his grandmother’s recipe. Instead, it’s his grandmother’s uncle’s recipe, who was a chef from China, giving Mírate’s version a shumai texture. Huitlacoche mulitas are also on deck, plus a crunchy Oaxacan tlayuda with grilled hangar steak, and even cochinita pibil sandwiches. While the flan might appear traditional, it’s got nixtamalized grain, and is made with papaya and cocoa crunch. Corn churros, meanwhile, are served with a thick, chocolatey champorado for dipping.
Gil says dishes will be added to the menu as the weeks go by. There’s also more on the horizon in California for Gil and Egan, who are opening an outlet of Mírame in Northern California in 2023.
Mírate’s hours are from 5 p.m. until late-ish, according to a spokesperson. Reservations are recommended, but the communal tables, lounge, and bars are first-come, first-served.