Pez Cantina is the latest project by former Patina Executive Chef and co-founder of Milk Ice Cream Parlor, Bret Thompson. Located on Bunker Hill in Downtown Los Angeles, walking distance from MOCA, Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Broad Museum, Pez Cantina is a sustainable Coastal Mexican-style restaurant and bar serving the freshest sea-to-land dishes in an oasis-type atmosphere. Inspired by his travels to Loreto, a sleepy fishing town in Baja California, Mexico, and his marriage into a Mexican family, Bret captures the complexity and spirit of the food he has developed a strong love and passion for. Pez Cantina’s menu focuses on dishes from the many distinct regions of Mexico: from Baja, to Oaxaca, to the Yucatan Peninsula. Items like fresh Ceviches and Cocteles, Chilaquiles with Chicharron, an array of salsa selections and seasonal chef specials please the senses. A fine-tuned selection of bright and eclectic cocktails by bar manager Irene Martinez, California-focused wine list and craft beers, round out the Pez Cantina menu.
The focus of Pez Cantina’s design is “Ocean Meets Land”. Authentic Mexican fixtures, nautical hues and weathered wood accents decorate our 125-seat indoor dining space. Our outdoor “jardín” offers the perfect place to relax, dine, and drink alongside a flowing cantera fountain, lush landscaping and stunning vistas of the downtown skyline. Be sure to make Pez Cantina the destination for your next casual or fine dining experience.
OUR CHEF & OWNERS
Founder and executive chef Bret Thompson brings his natural culinary experience, talents, and business savvy to Pez Cantina. After graduation from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, CA, Thompson worked for Roy Yamaguchi in Hawaii Kai, Oahu before heading back to Los Angeles to work with Joachim Splichal’s Patina Group. Over the next 10 years with the Patina Group, Thompson opened and managed the kitchen operations of many Patina Group Restaurants, and was named Orange County Chef of the Year in 2002 at Catal. Thompson was sent to Europe to train under Michelin starred chefs such as Martin Beresetegui, Alain Passard, and Bernard Loiseau. Thompson spent the final two years of his Patina tenure as the Corporate Executive Chef overseeing companywide kitchen operations. In his years as a business owner, Bret co-founded the hugely successful Milk Ice Cream Parlor/Bake Shop in Hollywood along with Market Restaurants in Downtown L.A. where his creativity and entrepreneurial spirit has flourished. With Pez Cantina, Bret continues to showcase his talents and build strong relationships with the downtown community.
Wife Lucy Thompson-Ramirez, who's family comes from Guanajuato Mexico, grew up with food and cooking being integral part of the Ramirez household. In 2011 Lucy left her fashion business of 12 years to join her husband's restaurant Market where she successfully ran catering and special events. Her dream however was to bring the spirit and soul of her Mexican culinary roots to a restaurant which resulted in the founding of Pez Cantina along side her husband. At Pez, Lucy consults on many dishes often times bringing her parents in to fine tune recipes. She is the face and smile behind the restaurant and is usually found greeting tables and ensuring guest are well taken care of.