Uni Tacos, Mole Fries, and Boar Chilaquiles—This is Alta California

If history has taught us anything, it’s that you don’t mess with Mexican food. Too many prior attempts have been smothered in sour cream and neon shards of cheeselike product. Today, though, a group of L.A. chefs is toying with the style in a way that isn’t just good; it’s respectful of tradition. Call it Alta California cuisine.

Alta California is rooted in Los Angeles but heavily influenced by Mexican cuisine,” says Wes Avila. The pedigreed chef behind the roving...

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