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Pop-up Mexican-Italian restaurant Amiga Amore is opening its first brick-and-mortar in Highland Park, located at 5668 York Blvd.
What started as an occasional pop-up restaurant and private events from chef Danielle Duran-Zecca and Alessandro Zecca is becoming a 1,219 square-foot brick-and-mortar with a 146 square-foot patio. Danielle tells What Now Los Angeles they expect to open the new restaurant sometime in Fall 2022, likely September or October. This is expected to become one of the most highly-anticipated restaurants, as the pop-up was just featured at the James Beard House a few months ago.
What started as a love of two cultures from Danielle and Alessandro has blossomed into the first Mexitalian restaurant in the world. They say their cuisine is not a fusion but an elevation of both cuisines. Guests will try some flavors never experienced before. Some dishes expected to be found on the menu include chorizo-crusted cod, salmon & jalapeno buerre blanc, and birria en brodo.
Both Danielle and Alessandro have an extensive history behind several well-known restaurants and chefs. Danielle graduated from Le Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts with honors and worked for celebrated Los Angeles chefs such as Walter Manzke, Neal Fraser, and Sang Yoon. She has made appearances on the Food Network, winning “Kitchen Casino” and challenging Bobby Flay himself on “Beat Bobby Flay.” In 2019 she participated in “Supermarket Stakeout.” Her cooking style is “MexItalian,” which subtly combines the Mexican food influences of her heritage with her Italian husband’s heritage.
On the other hand, Alessandro grew up in a restaurant family in Italy. After traveling and learning techniques throughout the country, he decided to emigrate to the US and follow his dream to have a restaurant on the beach one day. After managing Amarone and Bocca di Bacco in the theater district from 2011 to 2013, he had the opportunity to partner in ownership at Vespa on the upper east side. There he met his wife/Chef Danielle, and the duo has worked together ever since.