Salsa Grill Makes LA Times Top 5 Chile Verde List

Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria made the Los Angeles Times’ top 5 list for the best Chile Verde in Los Angeles. The list came out online on Thursday, May 25. Salsa Grill Makes LA's Top 5 Places for Chile Verde

The article noted the different ways The Salsa Grill and Chef MZ serve their tender, braised pork in chile verde, including their most well known dish, Dionico Morales’ Favorite. The dish is available as part of the Traditional Dishes dinner menu – a tribute to a great man and regular – and includes choice of Chile Verde or Chile Colorado, beef in red sauce.

The restaurant also has a Chile Verde Burrito available all day and a lunch special featuring the signature item. “The Mayor” merges another Salsa Grill favorite, red enchiladas, and Chile Verde. It’s named after a local council member. Click here to view The Salsa Grill’s menu. 

All Traditional Dishes are served with fresh, handmade Tortillas. Lunch specials and Traditional Dishes are served with beans and rice.  

Click here to view the full article. 

Get over to the Salsa Grill and enjoy some delicious Chile Verde. 

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. 

Salsa Grill Hosts Annual Toy Drive

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

Running through Thursday, Dec. 22, all unwrapped toys donated will be delivered to Saint Hilary Church in Pico Rivera 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 church 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 donate to be shipped off to the church.

Last year the amount of gifts collected was just shy of 200.  The restaurant is hoping to exceed that this year.

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

Salsa Grill’s Marco Zapien On-Air with SoCal Restaurant Show

Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria executive chef and co-owner, Marco Zapien will be an on-air guest on the SoCal Restaurant Show with Andrew Harris Saturday, Nov. 26. Salsa Grill's Marco Zapien On-Air with SoCal Restaurant Show

Zapien will be live at 10:30 a.m. talking about the restaurant, its history, and the restaurant’s recent makeover.

The Salsa Grill was closed for almost two weeks in October and conducted a complete makeover to give guests a better dinning experience.

The SoCal Restaurant Show airs every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon on AM 830 Angels Radio. Remember to tune in just before 11 a.m. to listen to Chef MZ.

Salsa Grill to Celebrate Complete Makeover

After closing for almost two weeks for renovations, The Salsa Grill quickly made its way back into the rhythm of serving the finest Mexican cuisine, hand made Tortillas, table side Guacamole and amazing Micheladas. Salsa Grill to Celebrate Complete Makeover

Although the restaurant is back into the swing of things, there’s still plenty of time to celebrate. Executive Chef Marco Zapien and staff will celebrate their complete makeover with everyone on Saturday, Nov. 5 from open to close with some special fun.

The festivities will include all day Happy Hour, random raffles throughout the day for gift cards and special prizes and live music.

Upgrades to the restaurant include new floors and base boards, a complete bathroom remodel, fresh paint, upgraded ceiling fans and new restaurant furniture.

For almost 23 years The Salsa Grill has been serving the finest Mexican cuisine to the Pico Rivera community and beyond. Chef Zapien and family run the restaurant, known for dishes like Mole Enchiladas, Pozole, Menudo, Chile Verde and Chile Colorado. Some of the recipes were passed down by Zapien’s grandmother.

Join The Salsa Grill Saturday for some fun, and enjoy the remodel. The Salsa Grill is open Saturday, Nov. 5 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Cal High to Name Kitchen After Chef Marco Zapien

On Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 9 a.m. the California High School Culinary Arts Academy will name one of their program “kitchens” after Chef Marco Zapien during a special ceremony at the school.Cal High to Name Kitchen After Chef Marco Zapien

Chef Marco, owner and executive chef at Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria in Pico Rivera, has been an active volunteer and donor to the program for over five years. Twice a year he attends a culinary career day where he brings enough samples of the items he demonstrates for the entire program to try. Additionally, Marco has been a guest speaker at other student career related events and regularly donates supplies.

Cal High’s Culinary Arts Academy divides students into smaller individual groups or “kitchens” for more hands on experience and an interactive learning environment. A few other famous chefs which these kitchens are named after include, Julia Childs, Duff Goldman and Bobby Flay. Soon Marco Zapien will be added to the list.

“We appreciate all the dedication and support Chef Marco has shown the Culinary Arts Academy at Cal High over the years,” said lead academy teacher, Corey Duarte. “Chef Marco has also shown the importance of family by bringing them into help with demos and talking about the restaurant.”

Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria, also known as The Salsa Grill is a family business. Chef Marco runs the establishment with the help of his dad, Jess Zapien and several family members play a key role in the day-to-day operations. Chef Marco also founded Black Tie & Blue Jeans Catering, which offers several menu options for weddings and other special events.

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