There aren’t many places where the Death Star feels at home alongside Frida Kahlo and a sea of cacti. Horchateria Rio Luna may be the only place. The Mexican dessertery debuted in February 2016 in the South L.A. city of Paramount and has become a sweet area hit.
Ashley Vazquez, husband David Vazquez, and sister Amber Bobadilla took a corner space in Paramount Plaza. The artsy space features blackboard menus that depict the aforementioned images, plus many more playful talking points. The sisters’ mom is from Ensenada, and their dad grew up in Sinaloa. David Vazquez’s family hails from Guadelajara. Rio is son Mateo’s middle name, and Luna is their daughter. The family has deep ties to Paramount.
Bobadilla described “Mexican drinks, but with American twists.” Of course horchata features prominently in the concept. I appreciate simple cinnamon-tinged rice milk, especially when it’s made in-house, but opted for their deluxe Oaxacan Horchata ($5.50). In this case, horchata receives boosts from tangy pitaya sorbet, sweet cantaloupe chunks, coconut flakes and crushed walnuts. Stir to distribute the flavors and textures and to turn the horchata pink.