Beyond The Recipe: Armando
“What I think is more important right now is that you just support your community… challenge yourself to support someone that may need it more than those bigger companies.”
Watch Todo Verde's Jocelyn Ramirez and restaurateur Armando De La Torre Jr. in conversation on our series Beyond the Recipe talking about his start as an entrepreneur, how he handles challenges as a business owner, his all-time favorite recipes, and more!
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Armando De La Torre is an emerging young entrepreneur, restauranteur, and artist known for his development of the Guisados restaurants, Georges Burger Stand and all DeLA branded artwork.
Graduating from Loyola High School in 2005, Armando received his Bachelors in Business Law and Marketing from Loyola Marymount University four years later. After years of studying to become a lawyer, Armando decided to change direction of his career and work alongside his father in creating a small taqueria in Boyle Heights; a city known for its dense hispanic cultural and culinary roots.
Appropriately named Guisados, the taqueria opened in 2011 specializing in homestyle braises on fresh handmade corn tortillas; earning notoriety from the likes of Food Network, Tasting Table, Bon Appétit, Jonathan Gold’s annual 101 list, Los Angeles Times Best 101 Restaurants, LA Magazine Best of LA,
LA Weekly Essential 99, Conde Nast's 200 Best Restaurants in the World 2017 and most recently awarded Los Angeles’s Small Business of the Year 2019.
As co-owner and operator of the eight Guisados restaurants, Armando was individually recognized as Rising Stars Restauranteur of the Year by StarChefs Magazine in 2017.
Using Guisados as a platform, Armando Jr. created the non-profit Featured Artist Program; a cycling feature of artwork by local artists on a primary wall at each Guisados location. The Program has continued to advocate for young and upcoming artists by featuring their work in front of the hundreds of customers Guisados serves daily.
Most recently, in 2019, Armando purchased and reopened Georges Drive In; a classic LA style pastrami and burger stand in the heart of Boyle Heights. Keeping the clean and classic vibe, the rebranded and renamed Georges Burger Stand now sources much of its ingredients locally and offers a menu featuring some of the city’s best Burgers, Pastrami, Burritos & Sandwiches. Offering fresh, never-frozen beef, sliced to order pastrami, ice cold shakes, delicious chili, George’s proudly boasts a deep list of sauces, salsas and marinades all made in house. Though only a year old, George’s Burger Stand embodies its communIty earning recognition from LA Magazine as having the “Perfect Nostalgic Bean & Cheese Burrito” , and an award winning Dijonnaise.
Aside from his love for food, Armando Jr. has emerged as a successful artist and designer from the same roots that have influenced the stylings of the Guisados & George’s Burger Stand brands. Under the moniker DeLA, his artwork and photography have been featured in galleries, magazines and consigned through apparel, canvas, clothing, shoes and murals allowing him the privilege to pursue his artwork as passion before profession. His curiosity and love for architecture design have had a great impact on the businesses continued developments and adaptive reuse of the
spaces chosen for new restaurants.
As his restaurants continue to expand around Los Angeles, the knowledge and experience that Armando continues to develop are vital elements of his artistry and his ever-evolving brands, their operation, and scale. He currently resides in Silverlake, a neighborhood central to his daily commutes from one location to the next, along with his beautiful wife Kerri and 2 year old daughter, Amari Summer Grace.
You can find out more about Armando, Guisados, and George’s Burger Stand at the following links: