Mrs. Travelpath and I attended a late night concert at the Huntington Library (one of their summer evening programs) and surprised me by making reservations at a San Gabriel Mexican I had not heard of (she had seen a spot on KABC with Elmer Dills), Babita Mexicuisine. I later found out that the former chef of El Emperador Maya (RIP) runs this location.
We arrived at a non-descript storefront on San Gabriel Blvd. and were greeted by a small, romantic dining room with approximately 10-12 cloth-covered tables, almost all occupied! We were immediately seated in a cozy table and offered a beverage beer and wine only and given obviously homemade chips and outstanding salsa (we went through two bowls). The menu offered, as the owner said, nouvelle-Mexican with Mayan overtones. We ordered two appetizers Panuchos Yucatecos (tostadas w/ pollo pibil and pickled vegetables) and Gueritos Rellenos (chilies stuffed with salmon ceviche and a strawberry sauce) both were outstanding I was worried about the strawberry sauce but it worked really well!! One note, the appetizers are very large and one would be plenty for two! For the main course, Mrs. Travelpath ordered the halibut served in a chile tomato broth outstanding and I had the Mixiote (lamb shank in beer and chile sauce) wonderful. We split a flan (with an apricot/orange sauce) perfect! The meal total with two beers was $61 not cheap but an excellent value for the quality received and the service was genuinely warm and friendly. We will be going back!
1823 S. San Gabriel Blvd.
San Gabriel, CA