Chef MZ, Salsa Grill Helping Community During COVID-19

Like all restaurants in LA County, The Salsa Grill is limited to takeout and curbside pick-up options to share its Mexican Cuisine with the community.

Salsa Grill Helping Local Community During COVID-19

With dine-in service unavailable, Chef Marco Zapien and team are keeping it fun and giving back to the community, while offering some of their classic favorites available for takeout, curbside pick-up and delivery.

The most popular special so far is a meal that feeds 4-6 people and includes a salad, choice of entrée (Chile Verde, Chile Colorado, Chicharron, Carnitas or Chicken Fajitas), rice, beans, chips, salsa, Tortillas and soft drinks. Plus, anyone who orders this takeout/pick-up special will get 2 pounds of uncooked rice and beans and two rolls of toilet paper, all for only $39.99.  

Chef Zapien’s creative giving doesn’t stop there. He’s helping out families with kids with $3 individual kids’ pizzas with the purchase of any entrée.

Even more, all entrees come with a free soft drink or coffee.

For over 25 years, The Salsa Grill has been a favorite spot in the Pico Rivera community and beyond and wants to give back.

“We want to give back to the community that’s been supporting us for almost 26 years,” said co-owner and Executive Chef, Zapien.

Zapien will also be filling up “ollas” (pots for soup) with his fresh menudo and pozole, which will be available on weekends starting on Saturday, March 21. Patrons can purchase their favorite by the quart.

The Salsa Grill is located at 6702 Rosemead Blvd in Pico Rivera. Call ahead orders can be made by calling 562.942.7072 and menus can be viewed online at

Celebrate Hatch Chile Season at The Salsa Grill

Celebrate Hatch Chile Season at The Salsa Grill

Hatch Chile season is here and The Salsa Grill is ready with three special events so guests can take advantage of the bright green, glossy pepper’s annual availability.

For the ninth year, Chef Marco Zapien is hosting an interactive Hatch Chile cooking demonstration, Hatch Chile roast and Hatch Chile brunch.

Every summer, New Mexican Hatch Chiles are ripe enough to enjoy and Chef MZ makes a late summer celebration of it.

The cooking demo on Tuesday, Aug. 27 from 6 -8 p.m. is where participants will learn how to make several Hatch Chile recipes. The menu, available soon, will include some of Chef MZ’s creativity with dishes like Hatch Chile Chile Verde and Hatch Chile Mac ‘n Cheese.

Recipes for more than seven different Hatch Chile dishes, including dessert, will be demonstrated and then served for all to enjoy. Class goers will take home recipes and step-by-step directions. The cost is $55 per person. Every year the class fills up, so reserve a spot early. Advance registration is required.  

And what would a cooking demo be without a raffle? Prizes will vary from Salsa Grill swag to a free case of roasted Hatch Chiles, available for pick-up on or after the Hatch Chile Roast at The Salsa Grill on Saturday, Sept. 7 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can reserve your case of roasted Hatch Chiles now, as well as select the level of spice –  from mild to very hot. Each case is $40 and includes 25 pounds of Hatch Chiles. 

This year’s roast will be bigger than ever with more roasters running to eliminate wait times. It’s recommended that Hatch Chiles be ordered in advance for pick up at the roast, but cases will be available for purchase and take home on the spot.

That same day, the restaurant will host a special Hatch Chile brunch, also from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The brunch includes a complete Hatch Chile inspired menu. Adult brunch includes champagne or Mimosas. 

The Salsa Grill parking lot in front of the restaurant will be filled with roasters and cases of chiles as the restaurant works closely with Melissa’s Produce to ensure the most flavorful peppers for the roast, cooking demo and brunch.

Menus for the cooking demo and brunch will be available soon.

Salsa Grill Partners with Latino Kids Health, Hosts Holiday Toy Drive

Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria will be bringing joy to those in need this holiday season.  The restaurant is currently running its seventh annual gift drive. Salsa Grill Hosts Annual Toy Drive

Running through Sunday, Dec. 17, all unwrapped toys donated will be delivered Latino Kids Health in Montebello to be distributed to less fortunate families, with teens and children, just in time for Christmas.

The Salsa Grill is offering adults 50 percent off their meal (per item, per person) and children (12 and under) will eat free with any unwrapped, new toy. A win-win situation.

Chef and owner Marco Zapien works closely with the community by giving his time all year long by donating, providing food, and catering to those in need.  This holiday season is no different as Chef Zapien will provide his own bundle of gifts and toys to the drive.

In previous years, the restaurant’s toy drives have helped the local community through various churches. In 2016, over 200 toys were collected. The restaurant is hoping to exceed that this year.

Latino Kids (LK) Health is a non-profit organization which provides health care sites and health care to Latino communities. 

Get into the holiday spirit and donate a gift to a family in need.

Chef MZ’s Cranberry Margarita Recipe

Get the party started at your Thanksgiving feast with Chef MZ’s Cranberry Margarita. 


  • 1 cup cranberry sauce
  • 2 limes juiced
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup water  


  • 2 cups ice
  • 1/2 cup cranberry mix
  • 2 oz tequila
  • sugar for rim of glass


    1. In a sauce pot combine the cranberry, lime juice, sugar, orange juice, mint and water.
    2. Simmer on medium heat until cranberry and sugar has melted.
    3. Remove from heat and let cool.
    4. When cooled, blend and strain.
    5. In a blender, add the ice, cranberry mix and tequila. Blend until smooth. 
    6. In a Margarita glass, rub a lime around the rim and dip the rim in sugar. Pour Margarita in the glass and garnish with lime.


Salsa Grill hosts all-day fundraiser for Football for Life

The Salsa Grill is hosting an all-day fundraiser for Football for Life, a non-profit organization that promotes suicide prevention through the game of football, on Saturday, July 8.

Salsa Grill to Host Football for Life Fundraiser

Co-owner and head chef, Marco Zapien is generously allowing the organization to fundraise from open to close, 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.  

This fundraiser coincides with a current GoFundMe campaign organized by Football for Life, which seeks funds to help teens living on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. According to Joe Pina, a volunteer at the reservation, 2015 was declared a state of emergency on the reservation due to a rash of teen suicides.

On Pine Ridge, 97% of the population lives far below the U.S. federal poverty line, and the high school dropout rate is 70%. The unemployment rate is upwards of 90% due to the lack of industry, technology or commercial infrastructure on the reservation.  

Football for Life looks to take the life lessons learned on the football field to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

The Football for Life group is comprised of former coaches and players who believe the game of football was instrumental to the success they have achieved in life. The founders and directors of Football for Life know from personal experience the vital impact of youth sports participation. Specifically, participation in football can provide the tools to successfully transition to adulthood.

Salsa Grill patrons and football for Life supporters should mention the fundraiser to their server and a portion of that bill will be donated to the organization on that day. No flyer is required.

Chef MZ is an avid supporter of many non-profits, including sports organizations and schools in the Pico Rivera community, and the support for the reservation in another state shows his overall commitment to helping others.

Click here to view The Salsa Grill’s menu. 

Salsa Grill Hosts Annual Mother’s Day Essay Contest

This year’s Mother’s Day essay writing contest hosted by The Salsa Grill invites students to share why their mom is the best. Salsa Grill Mother's Day Essay Contest

Beginning now and continuing through Sunday, May 8, The Salsa Grill is asking writers ages 7 through 13 to submit an essay up to 250 words answering the question: “Why is your mom the best?” The younger participants are encouraged to include an illustration with their essay.

The grand prize winner of The Salsa Grill’s 5th-Annual Mother’s Day essay writing contest will receive a Massage Envy gift card to give their mom on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 17.

In addition, The Salsa Grill will provide the winners with a restaurant gift card and special treat bag for mom.

Winners in two age categories – ages 7 through 10 and 11 through 13 – will be announced on Wednesday, May 13, with enough time to coordinate pick up ahead of the holiday.

With its focus on education, the Salsa Grill’s Mother’s Day essay writing contest is a recipe for success. The Salsa Grill partners with local private and public schools all year to involve students in other programs and events, including The El Rancho High School Mentor/Mentee program, where Chef Marco Zapien speaks semi-annually to aspiring chefs.

The goal of the essay contest is to involve the local youth and help them forge a path to success.

Good luck to all the participants! Click here for more info. 

Hatch Chile Festivities at The Salsa Grill

Hatch Chile season is here and The Salsa Grill is ready with three events surely to take advantage of the bright green, glossy pepper’s annual availability.

Hatch Chile Festivities at The Salsa Grill
For the sixth straight year, Chef Marco Zapien is hosting a Hatch Chile interactive cooking demonstration, Hatch Chile roast and Hatch Chile brunch. Every summer, New Mexican Hatch Chiles are ripe enough to enjoy and Chef MZ is making a late summer celebration out of it.

The cooking demo on Wednesday, Sept. 7 from 6 -8 p.m. is where participants will learn how to make items such as Kool Cabbage and Seafood Salad Tacos topped with Hatch Chile Sauce, Hatch Chile Marinated Chicken, Hatch Chile Baby Back Ribs and much more. Recipes for seven different Hatch Chile dishes, including dessert, will be demonstrated and then served for all to enjoy. Class goers will take home recipes and step-by-step directions. The cost is $45 per person, click here to view menu, and here to reserve your spot.

This year’s Hatch cooking demo will give class attendees a taste of what the Hatch Chile roast is all about; Chef MZ will do a live roast at the cooking demo. And what would a cooking demo be without a raffle – the raffle prizes are cases of roasted Hatch Chiles.

The parking lot in front of the restaurant will be filled with roasters and cases of chiles on Saturday, Sept. 17 beginning at 8 a.m. The Salsa Grill has worked closely with Melissa’s Produce to ensure the most flavorful peppers for the roast, cooking demo and brunch. Reserve your cases of Hatch Chiles here.

Chef MZ’s Hatch Chile brunch is also on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., and includes a complete Hatch Chile inspired menu. Some decadent brunch items include Hatch Chile Picadillo, Hatch Chile Mac N Chees and Tacos de papa con Hatch Chile. The cost is $21 per person and $10 for children 12 and under. Each adult brunch includes Champagne and Mimosas.

Hatch Chile lovers can pre-order their $40 case and select their preferred level of hotness: mild, medium, hot, or very hot. Class participants should also sign-up before it’s full. Interested participants can register here or can call the restaurant at 562-942.7072.

Chef MZ Ready to Spice Up East LA Meets Napa

For the fifth straight year, Chef Marco Zapien will showcase his culinary talent to Angelenos during the 2016 East LA Meets Napa “World Tour.” Chef MZ Ready to Spice Up East LA Meets Napa

On Friday, July 15 beginning at 6 p.m., foodies will enjoy the tastes of culinary greats, including Zapien’s Chicharron Verde Tostada served with pickled, red onion slaw and topped with queso fresco.

Other restaurants and wineries – primarily Los Angeles’ top Mexican eateries and Latino-owned or operated Napa area wineries – will sample bites and sips at the event’s new venue, the California Plaza.

The event serves as a fundraiser for AltaMed Heatlh Services, and for $225 guests will enjoy all-you-can eat and drink, and some live entertainment.

Wine tasting will extend beyond Napa. This year’s theme, “World Tour,” means wine varietals from many international wine regions will be showcased by vinters.

The California Plaza is located at 350 S. Grand Avenue in Downtown LA. Since 2007 this annual fundraiser had been held at Union Station, but after growing to almost 2,000 partygoers, a larger venue was in store.

For more event information, please visit

Salsa Grill Partners with Compassion Covers: California

The holidays and winter are not the only times of the year to give. Last week, thanks to Zapien’s Salsa Grill and many contributable donations, more than 350 people were fed on Skid Row. Chef Marco Zapien brought together his restaurant, The Salsa Grill, and Compassion Covers: California to feed those in need in Downtown Los Angeles.

This is the first event in a continued partnership between The Salsa Grill and Compassion Covers: California. Chef Zapien donated a $500 check and gave his time, with other volunteers, to make more than 250 bean and cheese burritos to distribute. All will continue as partners to assist organizations throughout the greater Los Angeles area, including Skid Row, with generous charitable donations of time, food and money. This will continue throughout the summer and the rest of the year.

This was also Compassion Covers: California’s first outreach for the summer that also brought along Paul and Joe Viele from Viele & Sons for donations of additional food, water, tables and canopies.

Compassion Covers: California seeks to help with the needs of those battling poverty in the streets. They strive to offer relief in the form of personal hygiene products, new blankets, food, and other various contributions donated by themselves and their partners.

Photo Contest: Complimentary Cooking Demo Seat Up For Grabs

Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria is running its first-ever social media photo contest, now through Sunday, October 11, at 8 p.m.

The contest encourages Salsa Grill diners to take photos of their experience in the restaurant or on the go – be creative — and post to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #SalsaGrillin in the caption for a chance to win a free entry to one of Chef Marco Zapien’s upcoming interactive cooking demonstrations. Entries must also tag The Salsa Grill in their post; multiple entries across multiple social media platforms will not be considered.

Chef Zapien and staff will choose two winning photos to be announced Monday, October 12. Winners can redeem their complimentary seat at either the Oktoberfest or holiday demo.

The last cooking class — the annual Hatch Chile show – attracted 60 class participants who were able to learn eight Hatch Chile recipes, including soup, salad main entrees and dessert.

Class entry includes a full list of recipes demonstrated by Chef MZ over two-hours from prep to cook time, all-you-can eat of each item demonstrated, raffle prizes and a 2 for 1 card to enjoy regular dining at the restaurant.

In 2010, Chef Zapien began hosting cooking demos and featuring items off his menu. As the popularity grew, people requested other items such as Ribs, Turkey during the holidays and chili beans.

The Oktoberfest cooking demo is scheduled for Wednesday, October 14 at 6 p.m.

For more info and full contest rules visit