Holbox is a top-tier mariscos stand, but it’s a fit for this category in particular because of chef Gilberto Cetina Jr.’s meticulous sourcing. When you walk up to the counter in Mercado La Paloma, there will be an array of sea creatures splayed on ice under the glass. There may be Hawaiian kanpachi, scallops from Baja, or local rockfish ready to be diced into ceviche, sliced into aguachile, or fileted and fried into classic fish tacos at any moment. The saucework is bright and punchy and preparations are on point, a perfect complement to the pristine fish.
How to order: Takeout is available directly through their website.
Located inside Mercado La Paloma near USC, Holbox is one of the market’s many outstanding Latin American food stalls that happen to catch our eye (and appetite) each time we wander in. This Yucatecan spot was opened in 2017 by Chef Gilberto Cetina, whose family owns and operates Chichen Itza, located just a stone's throw away inside the mercado. This venture’s mission is simple: combine the freshest local seafood with some Mexican flair to create some of the best mariscos in town. You can’t go wrong with the Mesquite-Grilled Octopus served on top of a nutty almond pipian, the Coctel Mixto, with the kitchen’s savory, sweet, and spicy coctel sauce, or the fresh Kanpachi Tostada topped with a beautiful piece of Santa Barbara uni. Taking pictures is also strongly encouraged.
How to book: Walk-ins accepted. Order for pickup online or delivery via DoorDash.
Having conquered LA’s terrestrial Yucatan-style food scene, chef Gilberto Cetina Jr. turned his eyes to the ocean. Holbox is named for and inspired by the island just off the Northern coast of the Yucatan peninsula, though the seafood is meticulously sourced as close to LA as possible. Dishes are artfully composed, like the electric green aguachile plated around slivered avocado. Wood-grilled fish are consistently excellent, the sopa de mariscos is an under-the-radar banger, and do not miss Cetina’s thrilling work with octopus in any form.
How to book: Walk in, call 213-986-9972, or order online for takeout and delivery.