“We are the best and only gastronomic zone in the metropolitan area,” crows Fouad Lakhdar. “We have restaurants representing ten different countries here.”
Lakhdar has good reason to be proud of the two-kilometer stretch of Avenida López Cotilla where his small restaurant, Morocco Kebab, is located. He was a leader in the business association that interfaced with Jalisco state authorities during the time when the street was turned topsy-turvy for a deep and dramatic makeover.
Morocco Kebab, at almost four years old, is in some ways typical of the area’s eateries, which serve the cuisine of 10 different countries. One establishment, the mid-scale and ever popular La Paloma (serving coffee, drinks, and popular Mexican dishes from morning to night), with 35 years since its founding, has truly deep roots. A few others, such as Entre Dos (French) and Casa Tomás (Spanish – both known for haute cuisine – have been around for a while, but the majority are newer, including some very recent additions attracted by cosmetic and infrastructure improvements that city and state governments have just completed.
While not all the López Cotilla restaurants and bars are upscale, the area offers a far more serene and discriminating atmosphere than the nearby party-hearty Chapultepec zone, which caters to younger, noisier, chicken wing and pizza lovers. By contrast, establishments such as La Funicula and La Moresca, specializing in Italian, fusion or haute cuisine, offer pizza, too, but serve it with both standard and unusual ingredients, such as basil or salmon, along with a good selection of wine.