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Style Magazine

La Popular

234 Gibson Drive, Suite 120, Roseville, 916-952-2869,, @ lapopular.cdmx, @lapopularroseville

The manifestations of our collective human culture are rarely as ubiquitously loved as food. The culinary arts tap into eons-old (and modern) traditions and deliver a primal gratification that simultaneously satisfy both the caveman and the aristocrat within us all.

Some cuisines, however, infuse a rich history and cultural tradition into their flavors, transporting you to different times and places. Few cuisines do this more than Mexican.

Ribeye Fajitas; Photos by Taylor Gillespie © and wholly owned by Style Media Group


Newly opened La Popular is a collaboration between Grupo Carolo (one of Mexico City’s most recognized restauranteurs) and the local Eureka! Group. Led by Chef César de la Parra from Mexico City, the menu is an upscale take on Mexican classics that evoke the origins of the gastronomy as well as the country’s cultural nuances—inspiring us to share and forget our worries until mañana. Authentic staples are elevated by a chef-driven evolution and served in lively, lush environs alongside warm, welcoming service.

The drink menu is an impressive modern craft cocktail experience that brings the tastiest old-world spirits into the contemporary era using up-to-the-minute bartending techniques—think smoke bubbles that pop with a whisp on lemongrass to infuse your Oaxacan rum, like in the showstopping Oaxacan Jellyfish, which also comes with pineapple, lime, blue lemongrass, and coconut cream. With over 80 labels of tequilas and mezcals, you can bet they know how to mix up a stellar margarita, too.

Desert Rose; Photos by Taylor Gillespie © and wholly owned by Style Media Group


Appetizers include an innovative take on familiar favorites, like chipotle bean dip, nachos with hand-cut tortilla chips, heirloom tomato & oyster mushroom ceviche, and queso fundido with chorizo alongside house-made tortillas.

The street tacos are also a must-try. I was swayed from my normal go-to after reading the description of the ribeye offering: “ribeye and handmade corn tortillas…that’s it, trust us.” So, I took the leap of faith. The ribeye was delicious, though the tortilla seemed slightly too large for the dish. The house salsas were flavorful, too, and I loved that the simple tacos encouraged me to add the garnishes in a traditional Mexican street taco way. A huge thumbs-up for authenticity.

Charred Whole Fish Divorciados; Photos by Taylor Gillespie © and wholly owned by Style Media Group


I also tried the charred whole fish divorciados (the red adobo was much tastier than the green, in my opinion), the ribeye fajitas (a non-traditional staple—charred jalapeños and potatoes topped with melted manchego, bacon, guacamole, sour cream, and pico de gallo—with a most markedly upscale flavor), and the habanero BBQ ribs (another not-traditional take executed beautifully).

Churros; Photos by Taylor Gillespie © and wholly owned by Style Media Group


While the menu was overall fantastic, I couldn’t do justice to the experience without elaborating on the drinks. The agave-inspired cocktails boast techniques I’ve only seen on the recent Netflix series Drink Masters—from “caviar” pearls to infused smoke bubbles. Each boozy beverage expounds on an agave spirit and adds a clever craft twist. Again, I was tempted with a minimal description of the Yucatán Toucan (“clarified mezcal punch…trust the jungle bird”) and immediately ordered one. It was amazing. I also tried the Desert Rose—a balanced cocktail full of warmth, freshness, tartness, and sweetness—that included cinnamon-infused Licor 43, hibiscus lime-infused tequila, mezcal, prickly pear, pomegranate, and lemon.

Queso Fundido con Chorizo; Photos by Taylor Gillespie © and wholly owned by Style Media Group


For dessert, the tres leches cake and churros tied a pretty, Mexican bow on the entire experience. While they weren’t jaw-dropping, they were simple and sweet.

Overall, La Popular surprised with their ability to make the old new and brought an experience worthy of any modern foodie’s praise.

Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. (Sunday-Thursday); 11 a.m.-midnight (Friday-Saturday)

TRY THIS: Ahi Tuna Tostadas, Queso Fundido con Chorizo, Heirloom Tomato & Oyster Mushroom Ceviche, Al Pastor Tacos, Chicken Mole Enchiladas, Ribeye Fajitas, Churros, Oaxacan Jellyfish

DRINKS: Full bar; beer, wine, and cocktails

TAB: $$

HEADS-UP: Weekday happy hour from 3-6 p.m.; heated, covered, dog-friendly patio; over 80 labels of tequila and mezcal; kids’ menu; complimentary chips and salsa; available for private events

by Ryan Martinez

Photos by Taylor Gillespie © and wholly owned by Style Media Group—please don’t steal our copyrighted photos. For more information about our editorial photos, please click here to contact us