Caribbean Dreams: “Holy Food” in Highland Park?

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Chef Los Angeles

Fausto Alvarez is turning a former church into a hub for Caribbean food and Texas-style barbecue.

Chef Fausto Alvarez was dispensing Texas-style barbecue from a truck in the parking lot of his upcoming Highland Park restaurant, Caribbean Dreams. Alvarez used to own Tropical Caribbean Restaurant on South Lake in Pasadena, and he’s transforming a former church to deliver Caribbean dishes and Texas-style barbecue. Given the location, he jokingly described his dishes as “holy food.”

Barbecue Sign Los Angeles

Ribs star on the sign, but Caribbean Dreams will serve many different meats.

Alvarez trained for four-and-a-half months at Dallas and San Antonio barbecue parlors, and he plans to barbecue tri-tip, ribs, lamb, deer, cow and salmon. For his zesty sauce, he utilizes fresh-crushed pineapple, orange juice, clove, cinnamon, cumin and “the best flavor from my heart.” He’s currently offering a limited barbecue menu to generate income leading up to his late May/early June opening.

The canary yellow building will house indoor seating and 10 outdoor wine-barrel tables with marble tops and backlit steer heads.

Food Truck Los Angeles

A food struck will still be active, even after the Caribbean Dreams restaurant debuts.

Alvarez plans to keep the food truck in the lot to offer grab and go ‘cue to passersby.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

Good news “Neighbor Fan”! I’ve been seeking out the LA county health dept and their vehicle inspection program, both of which will be onsite in the coming days doing all necessary inspections and graciously informing said yellow building proprietors that while dirt can be washed away, all the crap and debris that litters the food prep area will only postpone the inevitable. Cleanliness is next to Godliness!

I can’t wait till this place opens up!! I choose to ignore the mindless statements above. The food is awesome & the place is going to be great! The yellow building is really sweet & dirt can be washed away. The ignorance & envy people have in their hearts only Jesus can heal. Seek & you shall find.

Sorry to say, the place is indeed an eyesore and has been that way for _years_, not months.

The construction has been more off than on during that time, with numerous vehicles, a pile of chairs (for future customers?), piles of dirt and stainless steel restaurant equipment left outside, exposed to the elements. We could really use another neighborhood eatery (besides Thai Eagle Rox) and BBQ would be most welcome. But Alvarez has really burned a lot of bridges with those of us who have had to live with his mess for so long.

He’ll have to do a LOT to make amends. He should start by cleaning up the mess immediately, landscaping the property, ensuring that the local ne’er-do-wells stop hanging around the property–and personally going door-to-door to apologize to his neighbors.

On the plus side, our contractor has eaten at the truck and said the food was quite good.

Another Neighbor,

Thanks for contributing a balanced local perspective about Caribbean Dreams.


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concerned neighbor

i agree with the above comment. has anyone driven by this location? it is filthy and has been in the same condition for many months now as the owners are supposingly preparing for their grand opening. is this any way to run a business? i would NEVER eat at this “restaurant” after seeing what a disgusting mess the area has been in for such a long period of time. seriously, how hard is it to rent a trash bin and throw away your garbage? this corner has been an eye sore for months now and makes me angry every time i drive by it on my way home at night!

this place is a dump, i can not imagine it has acquired (or passed) the necessary food service permits for the city of LA. will someone please “enlighten me” to why anyone in their right mind would think that piling trash in the parking lot only inches from food prep areas is A- sanitary and B – good for business? only in the rock i suppose. Where’s tom topping when we need him?

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