LA Hipster Chefs Think They're Inventing French-Mexican Food--But OC Did it 1st!
Anepalco Chef Danny Godinez, doing French Mexican food in 2010
I'm familiar with the food of Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, the two Floridians who officially opened up Los Angeles late last decade and have ruled LA dining ever since. Animal was overrated; Son of a Gun, better; their collaborations with celebrity chef Ludo Lefebvre, good. But sorry, kids: don't get the obsession with them that the rest of the foodie world has.
And now, in an interview with our mother paper, LA Weekly, the two just proved to me they're not just ironically affected hipsters but rather straight-up pendejos. When asked if they had ever heard anyone ever do French Mexican food or a French Mexican brunch, Dotolo replied that no, and that, "I think we're all just being kind of weird right now."
Nah, bruh: you're six years late to the game, 'cause OC's own Danny Godinez of Anepalco's has doing French-Mexican food for years.
We have covered Anepalco's extensively over the years, starting a couple of years after Anepalco's 2008 opening and obsessing ever since. We covered it when it was just a tiny spot in the shadow of St. Joseph's in Orange, and Godinez was doing carnitas crepes and a swirl of chilaquiles born from his raza roots and Gallic training. We named it Best Restaurant in OC for 2013, after Anepalco opened another, bigger, more ambitious spot kitty-korner from UCI Medical Center featuring everything from coq au vin a la mexican to dauphinoise potatoes in a poblano sauce. The rabbit stew tacos Jon and Vinny think are somehow revolutionary? Godinez did rabbit enchiladas. Fruit and ham and a baguette? Godinez has done that. A crepe with caviar that'll cost about $100? That ain't French-Mex; that's just douchey.
Anepalco's legendary chilaquiles: better than anything Jon and Vinny will cook in their LIFE
(And someone should tell Jon and Vinny to pick up a physical copy of LA Weekly and start reading my ¡Ask a Mexican! column there, where they'd learn that a lot of Mexican culture, from pan dulce to quinceañeras to the term gabacho, comes from the French).
French-Mex? Ain't no thing. But lemme guess: None of the above counts to the LA food world because Anepalco is in OC, which remains the land of the clueless Orange Curtain for them. Or is it because Godinez is Mexican, and Mexicans are just Mexicans? Inquiring minds want to know!
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