A third restaurant from chef Michael Mina’s rotating restaurant, Mina Test Kitchen, has won its own standalone rights: Mi Almita, a Mexican restaurant from Houston’s chef Hugo Ortega that will hit LA in 2019.
The first concept to emerge victorious from the incubator that is the Mina Test Kitchen was International Smoke, the newly opened hotspot co-piloted by Ayesha, followed by Mina Group chef Adam Sobel’s Cal Mare, a spinoff of a previous Italian concept, Postcards from la Costiera. Mi Almita has been in rotation since August.
Ortega is hugely popular in Houston, where he’s scored a James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef in 207, and will continue to run his restaurants there. Mi Almita will reflect his Mexican cuisine (with a dash of Texas), with moles and many of the dishes from his Mina Test Kitchen pop-up likely to make the cut.
Mi Almita will open in LA’s Beverly Center, a newly christened hub for high-end restaurant restaurants, many of which are also Mina’s handiwork. An International Smoke, the aforementioned Cal Mare, a replica of Mina’s Honolulu-based food hall The Street, and now Mi Almita will all be in place by 2019, part of Mina’s curation of the food offerings there.