Chef Natalie Curie grew up working in her family’s Mexican seafood restaurant, El Coraloense. El Coraloense recently won the online vote for Best Taco in Los Angeles from Taco Madness.
El Coraloense originally opened up in September 2003 in small suburb of Los Angeles called Downey. At the time, it was named Leonardo’s Ceviche Co. “estilo Coraloense” or the style of food served from Sinaloa and Nayarit, Mexico. From Downey the family expanded to the city of Bell Gardens and opened up its first El Coraloense in November 2008.
Chef Natalie Curie and the rest of her family create unbelievably creative dishes- starting with the names. Ranging from 'La Embarazada' to 'viagra.com' this place keeps you on your toes with papa Leonardo's taboo menu item names. But the creativity doesn't stop there, they humbly say they dress the average ceviche and "put a tuxedo on it." From their shrimp ceviche tostada 'Mango' topped with diced mango and carrot sauce, to the 'Taco a La Diabla'- be careful it really does pack a punch, to Natalie's favorite la 'Mariquita', El Coraloense is the place to be on a hot summer day.
Natalie graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena and traveled abroad for her externship in the Czech Republic to work for a classic Italian restaurant. She also gained more experience back in the United States at the popular Café Pinot, Hott Stuff Cafe, and Technique.
Natalie absorbed what she could from this experience and has brought her skills and knowledge back to her family’s restaurant, where today she works hand-in-hand with her brothers to manage.