The Tortilla Test Kitchen moves West!

I’ve been wanting to write for weeks, only I couldn’t find the words and I feel as if I owe some sort of explanation for the long absence here. In January, I accepted a new job on the West Coast. In early February, we said goodbye to our home, friends and family—and the Tortilla Test Kitchen—in Chicago, and boarded a flight to Los Angeles to start a new chapter in our lives. Now that we’re starting to get settled in and the kitchen is (mostly) unpacked, I’m starting to get back in the kitchen and testing recipes.

The Original Tortilla Test Kitchen

Moving cross-country is not for the faint of heart; least of all if, like me, part of the reason that you’ve always been a little scared to move away from home is because of the unknown and unfamiliar. Where will I go for carnitas on Sundays? Where can I get a good bowl of pozole when the weather is cold? My beloved pan dulce or a tres leches cake for special occasions? And most importantly, where will I buy tortillas? Some of those questions have yet to be answered in our case, but we’re finding our way little by little with help from friends and a lot of trial-and-error research.

As I find my way around the markets here, and continue getting my new test kitchen in order, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite places in Chicago that were such a big part of this blog and our lives. I hope you’ll join us as we continue our journey from the new test kitchen (which is admittedly a lot smaller than the original test kitchen), find new restaurants to enjoy and share new travel experiences too.

I leave you with a photo of the original Tortilla Test Kitchen back in Chicago—it’ll be tough to ever replace, and I’ll miss the East-facing windows in the morning, with the sunshine streaming in. I’ll miss the island and my great big refrigerator and tons of deep cabinet space. But most of all, I’ll miss all the memories made in that kitchen.

  • If you’re in the Los Angeles area and have suggestions for your favorite places for everything from tortillas to where to go grocery shopping or buy the best conchas, please leave a comment below so we can check out your recommendations on how to live la vida Mexicana in LA!


  1. says

    Good luck in Los Angeles. It’s a big city and I’m sure by now you’ve found the Mexican section and all the goodies. I heard there is a Farmers Market on 3rd in mid city west or something like that. In any event, good luck. By the way homemade tortillas are the best, I always make my own. Store bought always taste rubbery. :) Take care.

  2. Traci says

    I’ve been following your blog for quite some time now. Chicago’s loss is our gain : ) I live just outside of LA and mexican food is my absolute favorite. There are soo many places for authentic mexican ingredients here. I live in an area called the South Bay (Torrance, to be exact) and I love the fresh tortillas from either Northgate Market or Dianas. You can google or yelp them. Northgate market has everything you need really, from meats, to cheeses and sour creams to vegetables and dried/fresh chilis and my bfs favorite – pan dulce! They are very reasonably priced as well. Dianas has prepared foods, and a limited amount of other items. For instance, we buy our masa there for tamales. I’m not sure what part of Los Angeles you moved to, but chances are you will find an abundance of mexican foods where ever you landed. Welcome to California, I hope you like sunshine : )

  3. says

    Hola Maura, hope you’re loving LA.
    Maybe you’ve already discovered a few gems like La Loteria en el Farmers Market de la tercera (grove) o en Hollywood. Tambien te recomiendo La Guelaguetza en K-Town, buena comida oaxaqueña. Los tacos Koreanos del Kogi son ricos, y si andas la adventura, súbete al metro en Union Station, Gold Line going to East Los, le llaman el “sushi-torta” express. Acabo de encontrar tu blog y me encantó. Felicidades! Si quieres ver el mío, se llama Life In Spanglish. Saludos.

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