In the heart of the Melrose Business Improvement District you’ll find Antonio’s, one of the oldest businesses on the street. Antonio’s has been serving delicious authentic Mexican food for over 30 years. With signature posada and mole dishes, the flavors under their roof are as tasty as they are timeless. Owner, Antonio Gutiérrez, delivers authentic Mexican recipes passed down from his mother, Maria Lopez Gutiérrez. And, if you’re lucky, you can catch Antonio himself behind the bar slicing limes, pouring premium tequila and offering up an easy smile filled with pride.
Long before Melrose Ave became the celebrity destination for shopping it is today, stars came from far and wide for the one-of-a-kind flavors and friendly personal service. From Jonny Depp to Christopher Walken to Mick Jagger, the “wall of fame” at Antonio’s is constantly expanding.
Antonio’s is a family affair. I was hard pressed to find a staff member that wasn’t directly related to Antonio or married to one of his children. The personal investment in the success of the business results in an attention to detail you can’t find anywhere else. Gutiérrez’s daughter has turned the restaurant into a gallery of Mexican cultural artwork, like day of the dead sugar skulls paired with white lights and virgin Maria candles creating a warm and exciting dining environment you must see in person to truly experience.
When asked why his restaurant has remained so popular after all these years, Gutiérrez replied simply, “Our food is delicious, that’s what brings people back.” And, it is. I sampled the chicken tortilla soup and was blown away. Unlike other Mexican spots that may serve you broth with a few chicken pieces, this soup was hearty. Carrots, potatoes, fresh cilantro, sweet corn, half of a perfectly ripe avocado and chunks of moist and tender chicken swam in a flavorful broth that required serious restraint on my part to allow sufficient cooling before eating. It was a dish I’ve ordered at many Mexican restaurants, yet here it was elevated to a level I’ve never experienced.
After one bite, I was no longer on busy Melrose Avenue, but transported to Monterrey, Mexico in Maria Gutiérrez’ kitchen where a young Antonio first learned to make it. The old saying, “you can taste the love,” perfectly describes every dish at Antonio’s. Do your mouth a favor it will never forget, and stop by this Melrose Ave. gem.
7470 Melrose Ave
For reservations call 323-658-9060