Stay-at-Home Spotlight: Kevin De Leon, Owner of Menchita’s Grill Restaurant Y Pupuseria

May 1, 2020
Kevin de Leon, Owner of Menchita’s Grill

#StayAtHomeSpecials #LocalLove In the mood for Salvadoran specialties like savory, stuffed corn tortillas with cabbage relish? Well, you’re in luck. Meet the owner of Mid City’s Menchita’s Grill, Kevin de Leon.
Menchita’s Grill has been serving the community for about three years and during our stay-at-home orders, they’re offering curbside pickup and FREE delivery within a five-mile radius. Customers  are encouraged to place phone orders by calling 323.934.3114 or to order through UberEats.
MCBL: Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
de Leon: We are an LA-based team. I grew up in Echo Park/Filipinotown then moved to Koreatown. My parents started this business 12 years ago, when we were a local street vendor in Filipinotown.
MCBL: Can you tell me a little bit about your parents?
de Leon: They were such an inspiration to my siblings and me. They faced a lot of adversity in their life. Being the kids of immigrant parents, it has fueled us with eagerness to thrive, despite the adversities we face. I think a more interesting story would be our failures rather than our success because we have built on those failures. We left our mark in our community and the rest is history.
MCBL: How many locations do you have?
de Leon: We have two locations. Our Mid City location is at 2116 South La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90016. Our other location is located in Westlake at 1606 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026. That restaurant, Pupuseria Menchita, has been open for eight years.
MCBL: What have you seen during Stay-at-Home and Menchita’s Grill?
de Leon: Over the years, as a local business, we are fortunate to have created such a special bond with our community. During these difficult times, our customers tell us how much they miss seeing us and miss our food. I think people miss a sense of normalcy and us being there makes them feel, in a way, “normal.” We love our communities. We wouldn’t be where we are without them. I’ve created friendships with many of our customers. I love how simple and united our community is. I miss seeing familiar faces and hearing their stories. I always encourage friends and family to support local businesses because we understand how difficult and challenging it is.
MCBL: What other local businesses do you recommend?
de Leon: One of our favorite restaurants is Pete’s Burger located near USC village. My family and I have been going there for years. They have amazing food and a great staff.
MCBL: How is your family coping with all of this?
de Leon: Personally, what has helped my family and me during COVID-19 is trying to pick up new hobbies. I would have never guessed my son is really good at karaoke–who would’ve thought singing live is harder than it looks. Nonetheless, we try to incorporate new games every night, and I think that has brought us closer as a family. Also, I’m a big Major League Baseball bobblehead collector and it has been awesome to social network with other collectors. I’ve never had time, due to work, to focus on my collection so I’m taking advantage of this downtime.
MCBL: It sounds like you have a great team at Menchita’s Grill.
de Leon: They’re just the best. I want to end by thanking my staff at Menchita’s Grill for their hard work and tenacity. We try to create a positive morale despite uncertain times. Without them, we would not be able to keep our doors open so THANK YOU!
To our customers, I know these are hard times and we will overcome them. Thank you for your loyalty. Thank you for choosing us to provide for your family.
Menchita’s Grill Restaurant Y Pupuseria
2116 S La Brea Ave. LA, CA 90016
Phone: (323) 934-3114
Open daily 9am-8pm
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Photos by Danielle Murray. | Instagram
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