Salsa Grill Voted Best Mexican Again

For the ninth time, Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria was voted Los Angeles’ Best Mexican restaurant Zapien's Salsa Grill Voted Best Mexican Restaurantby patrons.

During the month of August, Los Angeles restaurant lovers were able to vote for their favorite LA-area restaurant via LA City Voter’s website, in conjunction with the Los Angeles Hotlist. The Salsa Grill was amongst 20 other Mexican restaurants nominated for the honor, and for the ninth straight competition took the top spot.

SG Hosts Fundraiser for Pico Rivera Family

Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria will host a fundraiser for the surviving family of a Pico Rivera resident mistakenly killed by L.A. County sheriffs during a home invasion.

On Friday, August 1, the Mendoza’s fell victim to a home invasion robbery. Lorraine Mendoza was held hostage by a wanted felon, and Frank Mendoza, 54, was mistakenly killed in a fierce gun battle after an eight-hour standoff and pursuit of the 24-year-old gunman.

Although the Sheriff’s department has provided help to Lorraine Mendoza and their surviving children, The Salsa Grill wants to further assist during this tragedy.

On Wednesday, August 20, the Mexican restaurant will host a buffet dinner from 4 to 10 p.m.. 20 percent of proceeds from the buffet will be donted back to the family.

“Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the Mendoza family during this very difficult time. Frank Mendoza was a member of our Pico Rivera community and his life was tragically taken. Chef Marco Zapien and the Salsa Grill staff are committed to helping the Mendoza family get through this tragedy,” said restaurant staff.

Funeral services for Mendoza were held on August 9.

Hatch Chile Demo, Roasting & Brunch

Hatch Chile season is here, and The Salsa Grill will offer various events to share the green chile love.

The festivities begin with a Hatch Chile cooking demonstration on Wednesday, Aug. 13 from 6 – 8 p.m. Chef Marco Zapien will take class attendees through a six-course menu which begins with a Watermelon, Mango and Hatch Chile Salsa, includes grilled Tri Tip glazed with Hatch Chile BBQ Sauce and ends with Hatch Chile ice cream made with Rumchata and Root Beer. For $35 per person class participants enjoy all-you-can eat of each menu item, and take home copies of each recipe.

Chef Zapien has hosted over 20 cooking demonstrations in three years and presents themed menus, including Super Bowl Sunday, Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

Hatch Chile Roasting in Conjunction with Melissa’s Produce

Although Hatch Chile season officially begins in August, The Salsa Grill will host their third annual Hatch Chile roast alongside Melissa’s Produce on Saturday, Sept. 6 from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Hatch Chiles will be sold for $40 per case.

The Pico Rivera restaurant will continue sharing the green love with a special Hatch Chile Brunch from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. also on Saturday, Sept. 6. Guests can enjoy over 10 items with Hatch Chile incorporate into the recipes. The Belgian Waffles are served with Hatch Chile lemon syrup, and the Hatch Chile and Ham Scramble includes fluffy scrambled eggs tossed with roasted Hatch Chiles, tomatoes and onions. Handmade corn and flour tortillas and champagne and mimosas are included. The cost is $18 per person and $10 for children 10 and under.

Pico Rivera chef actively involved in local community

Chef Marco Zapien has been involved in his community for years and is not slowing down any time soon. He is currently touring seven Southern California libraries performing cooking demonstrations, and he continues to reach out to aspiring chefs, working closely with high school culinary programs.

The executive chef and co-owner of Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria demonstrates how to make the red salsa he serves at his restaurant, cilantro salad and dressing, chili verde and bread pudding at each of his library stops. Audience members even get a free plate of the freshly made food. The tour began Thursday, March 6 in South Gate at Hollydale Library and will end Saturday, May 24 at Leland R. Weaver Library, also in South Gate.

On Wednesday, March 19, students from Bell Gardens High School will get the opportunity to see Chef MZ at work in his restaurant. About 30 students will visit from the school’s Culinary and Hospitality Occupations Pathway (CHOP) and the Regional Occupations Program (ROP).

Chef MZ has been planning and hosting food demonstrations for the last three years—his first Super Bowl themed class was held in January 2011. Since then he has hosted over 20 classes, with each having a distinct menu fitting a theme such as holiday dining and summer entertaining.

The number of registrants has steadily grown to average 50 to 60 participants per show. There are even some returners who can’t get enough.

Since the cooking demonstrations began, Chef MZ has been connecting with people who want to entertain on their own terms, letting them in on his creative menu ideas, seasoning secrets and shortcuts in the kitchen.

Food lovers have flocked to his restaurant for more than 18 years. Some claim the restaurant has the best carnitas or enchiladas, while others argue it’s the mole or menudo. Whatever the case, it’s gained a following.

Zapien’s Salsa Grill was founded in 1994 and is known for its authentic Mexican flavors, including menudo, pozole and mole. Still located at its original address in Pico Rivera, Zapien’s is an established part of the local community.

In October 2013, The Grill was named “Best Mexican in the L.A. area” for the seventh straight year by Los Angeles Hot List voters.

Chef MZ is also the owner of Black Tie & Blue Jeans Creative Catering and is a corporate chef for Melissa’s World Variety Produce.

Zapien’s Salsa Grill is located at 6702 Rosemead Blvd in Pico Rivera. For more information, visit thesalsagrill.com.

Mardi Gras cooking demonstration to be led by Chef MZ

Chef Marco Zapien will host an interactive cooking demonstration with a Lent friendly menu in a Mardi Gras atmosphere at his restaurant in Pico Rivera. The class will take place at Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria in Pico Rivera on Wednesday March 12 from Wednesday, Feb. 12, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Approximately 50 participants will learn how to make a special meal for their sweethearts as they cook alongside Chef MZ, co-owner and executive chef at “The Grill.”

Menu items include Coctel de Camaron, Nopales Salad, Tacos de Pescado and Chile Rellenos. For dessert, guests will learn how to make Bailey’s Arroz Con Leche, which is White rice steamed in a Bailey’s cinnamon cream served with bunuelos.

Each class participant will enjoy all-you-can eat of the items demonstrated, plus menus and step-by-step directions to take home. In addition, guests will receive a complimentary meal on their next visit.

Chef MZ has been planning and hosting food demonstrations for the last three years, beginning with a Super Bowl themed night for those entertaining or cooking for the big game in 2011. Since then, he has hosted several themed shows including holiday and summer entertaining.

The number of registrants has steadily grown from around 20 people at a demonstration to 50 participants. There are even some returners who can’t get enough.

“We don’t miss a class,” said Pico Rivera resident, Lisa Martinez. “Every time it’s different, exciting. My husband comes with me to each show now.”

Since the cooking demonstrations began, Chef MZ has been connecting with people who want to entertain on their own terms, letting them in on his creative menu ideas, seasoning secrets and shortcuts in the kitchen.

Food lovers have flocked to his restaurant for more than 18 years. Some claim the restaurant has the best carnitas or enchiladas, while others argue it’s the mole or menudo. Whatever the case, it’s gained a following.

In October, The Grill was named “Best Mexican in the L.A. area” for the seventh straight year by Los Angeles Hot List voters.

His cooking demo menus, however, go beyond Mexican food. In November, the Thanksgiving demo included chipotle roasted turkey and Dutch yellow potato mash with roasted garlic.

Chef MZ is also the owner of Black Tie & Blue Jeans Creative Catering and is a corporate chef for Melissa’s World Variety Produce.

Registration is limited. For a complete menu and to register for The Salsa Grill’s Mardi Gras cooking class, visit www.thesalsagrill.com.

Dodgers Tickets at stake for Father’s Day contest

Zapien’s Salsa Grill in Pico Rivera, CA will be awarding two exceptional Dads with a pair of Dodger tickets this Father’s Day. It’s up to the kids to win the tickets for Dad.

An essay contest titled, “Why is your Dad the best?” will run from Thursday, May 16 to Monday, June 10. Participants must be between the ages of six and thirteen years of age. Girls and boys are welcome.

Each essay must be one page with no word minimum, and be according to theme.  Contestants will be entered into two age categories, six to nine-year-olds, and 10 to 13-year-olds. Younger contestants are asked to include an illustration with their essay.

All entries must include name, age, school, home address, email address, phone number, and date of birth at the top of the submitted essay. Entries can be sent to info@salsagrill.com, or dropped off at the restaurant at 6702 Rosemead Blvd., no later than Monday, June 10.

One winner in each category will receive a pair of Dodgers baseball tickets for Dad. Winners will be announced by Friday, June 14.

Head Chef Marco Zapien is dedicated to family and his community.  The restaurant is still family owned by himself, and father Jess Zapien. The Grill is still located at its original building since opening in Pico Rivera in 1994.

Zapien is always finding new ways to give back to his community, whether by supporting local golf programs at local high schools, holding toy drives at local churches or motivational speaking at local elementary schools.

Chef Zapien to attend student related career convention

Marco Zapien, head chef and co-owner of Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria in Pico Rivera, Ca will be speaking at the FHA HERO Convention on Sunday, April 21 at the Ontario Convention Center.

Zapien will talk with students about his career path, and his successes and struggles leading up to today.

The 66th Annual FHA Hero Convention will be a culminating experience for all California Association FHA HERO members. All who gather will learn leadership skills, and knowledge about future career options, including a culinary career.
FHA HERO is a program to prepare students with the skills required to work and earn a living. HERO, the Home Economics Related Occupations program, prepares students to make a living in nine related career pathways, including child development, education, consumer services, human services, fashion design, manufacturing and culinary. Students in this program are taught a “learn by doing” system to give them the skills and knowledge they need for future fulfilling career.
At the event, Zapien will host brief seminars talking about his career, demonstrating a few of his techniques and skills in the kitchen, including a demonstration and sampling of his raved about guacamole and salsa. He will present at 8:45, 9:45, and 10:45 a.m., and will pass out his homemade chips, salsa and guacamole to the audience.
This is not Zapien’s first time attending a student related benefit. He is passionate about giving back to the community, as he supports culinary programs at local high schools, and hosts fundraisers for local schools, giving back at least 20 percent to the school or organization.

Zapien’s Salsa Grill Celebrates 19th Anniversary

Free Appetizer and Champagne All Weekend

Zapien’s Salsa Grill in Pico Rivera, CA is celebrating its 19-year anniversary the weekend of April 13 and 14 with a special treat to all patrons.

The weekend giveaways include a complementary chicharron appetizer as well as champagne to all guests. A prize package giveaway on the hour, each hour, will include Salsa Grill gift cards as well as other items.

On Monday, April 15, the actual day, “The Grill” turns 19; each table’s bill will be discounted by 19 percent.

“Come and enjoy good food and help us celebrate a big milestone in our existence,” said Marco Zapien, co-owner and head chef. “We are looking forward to seeing a lot of familiar faces that have supported us throughout the years. Without our loyal guests we would not be here. “

The Salsa Grill opened in 1994 and has since then dedicated itself to good food and customer satisfaction. They offer catering services for private dinners, business luncheons or any reason to have great food served to you and your guests.

Voted Best Mexican restaurant in the L.A area for five years, The Grill is an obvious local favorite, although truly authentic food, cooking classes and other great events has yielded a growing fan base outside of the L.A. area. Patrons from Orange and San Bernardino Counties are hearing the buzz.

“Very good food and excellent service are always worth the drive,” said Brandon Perez of Brea.

Chef Zapien is also a corporate chef for Los Angeles- based Melissa’s Produce, where he creates menus, manages and consults for sports and entertainment venues nationwide. He personally crafts menus for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ home games, and is an in-demand chef for many professional athletes and coaches including the San Diego Chargers.

Cooking is not Zapien’s only passion. He is dedicated to helping the community with any chance he gets. The Salsa Grill hosts fundraisers with local schools, and gives at least 20 percent back to the school, more than most SoCal restaurants. Toy drives for local churches, blanket drives, speaking engagements for school career days, and the support of the culinary program at a local high school are only a few ways Zapien proves his dedication to the community.

The Salsa Grill is located at 6704 Rosemead Blvd Pico Rivera, CA 90660, and is open Monday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Zapien’s Morning Fiesta with Hot 92.3

Zapien’s Salsa Grill held a morning fiesta with DJ J9 from radio station Hot 92.3 on Friday March 8.  The event started at 7 a.m. and continued into J9’s morning show, “J9 On the Streets.” The Salsa Grill had a great turnout filling its entire dining room with patrons eager for good food, music and fun. Everyone in attendance was given a cup of Zapien’s highly popular Menudo or Pozole for free. Zapien’s also provided an array of drinks including fresh-made coffee and Micheladas.

DJ J9, also known as Jimmy Reyes, interacted with the guests and provided R&B and “old school” tunes, which aired live on Hot 92.3. Prizes large and small, including Salsa Grill giveaways were raffled off. One lucky goer won a pair of tickets to see Alicia Keys live in concert at the Staples Center. Tickets for stand-up comedian, Chris Tucker were also raffled off. People from as far as Santa Maria came to enjoy the event and try Zapien’s food for the first time. Zapien’s proved it knew how to spice up a Friday morning.

Zapien’s Recognized as “Best Mexican” seventh straight year

Zapien’s Salsa Grill has been recognized as the “Best Mexican Restaurant” of 2012 by Los Angeles Hotlist for the fifth consecutive year. Results were based on on-line voting (la.cityvoter.com), where Zapien’s was chosen from a field 94 Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles County.

“It is very exciting to be recognized as the best Mexican restaurant again this year on LA’s Hotlist,” Executive Chef and Co-Owner Marco Zapien said. “We take pride in providing the highest quality food and service around and apparently our hard work is being noticed. We feel that five years in a row is a great accomplishment for our entire team. We could not do this without the continued support of our loyal clientele and the hard work of all of our staff.  This is a great achievement for all of the Salsa Grill family.”

Zapien’s Salsa Grill was founded in 1994 and is known for its authentic Mexican flavors — including menudo, pozole and mole — as well as a popular weekday breakfast special from 7 to 11 a.m. It’s one of few restaurants that serves fresh menudo and pozole daily.

Still located at its original address in Pico Rivera, Zapien’s is an established part of the local community. In September, the restaurant hosted a special chili roast in support of the Mentor & Mentee Golf program, which benefitted inner-city high school student-athletes.

A graduate of the Los Angeles Culinary Institute, Zapien’s passion for food was inspired by his parents and the homemade recipes of his grandmother. Zapien has served as an Executive Chef at Angel Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Staples Center, and Honda Center. He is also a corporate chef with Melissa’s World Variety produce, Inc. where he works closely with executive chefs in the sports and entertainment industry to collaborate and create new ways of using products available to them from Melissa’s.

Zapien’s Salsa Grill is located at 6702 Rosemead Blvd in Pico Rivera. For more information visit thesalsagrill.com.