El Cocinero brings vegan Mexican food to Van Nuys

Torri Donley

VAN NUYS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Van Nuys resident Alex Vargas recently opened up El Cocinero in Van Nuys to bring vegan Mexican food to his community. “I didn’t find any good vegan Mexican food, so that’s when I start playing with all the favors with the traditional Mexican dishes,” […]

VAN NUYS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Van Nuys resident Alex Vargas recently opened up El Cocinero in Van Nuys to bring vegan Mexican food to his community.

“I didn’t find any good vegan Mexican food, so that’s when I start playing with all the favors with the traditional Mexican dishes,” said Vargas.

Vargas officially opened El Cocinero in June 2020, after selling his vegan Mexican food at farmers’ markets and even having a food truck.

Even though COVID-19 slowed things down for opening a restaurant, Vargas persevered so that he could share his creations in the area where he lives.
El Cocinero has all of the traditional flavors of al pastor, carnitas, carne asada and even chicharron.

“Definitely the carne asada because it takes you back and it’s just amazing,” said Lisa Torres, a local vegetarian.

Even non-vegans enjoy coming to El Cocinero.

“I eat meat, but not so much of it. Then I’ve looked on yelp for many like Mexican vegan restaurants, and there’s barely any. So it’s pretty good that this one just popped out of nowhere,” said Jose Villafana who lives in Van Nuys.

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