Far from the ancient Mayan ruins that bear its name sits Chichén Itzá the restaurant, a Los Angeles stalwart in the booming fast casual Mexican food world. There are no temples, no hidden secrets; there isn’t even a full-fledged restaurant. Chichén Itzá exists in the Mercado La Paloma near USC, where walk-up counters and open, shared seating are the way of life. But much like the original Chichen Itza, there are always tourists. And this Chichen Itza is pretty amazing, as well.
Most of the camera-snappers that come to Chichen Itza (the restaurant) have heard of one thing: The cochinita pibil. The slowly roasted pork dish is a calling card for the state of Yucatan, and nowhere is the pig handled with such tender love and care as at Chichen Itza.