Beloved Afro-Mexican restaurant Tamales Elena is permanently closing in Bell Gardens

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After two years at Bell Gardens, beloved Los Angeles Afro-Mexican restaurant Tamales Elena y Antojitos has announced on its website that the two-year-old restaurant is permanently closed. The family food trailer remains open for business in Wilmington and 109 Street in Watts.

Chef Maria Elena Lorenzo and her family opened the drive-through and sit-down restaurant in July 2020, where she caused a stir by serving regional Afro-Latino specialties from La Costa Chica in the Mexican state of Guerrero. Guerrerens are known for their pozoles, moles, pescado a la talla (grilled fish on stakes) and tamales wrapped in banana leaves. Lorenzo started his business over 20 years ago as a street food vendor in Watts, eventually operating from a moving trailer before opening this first full-time location. The Watts trailer is open daily from 8 p.m. to 1 p.m., except Wednesdays.

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