By Isaías Alvarado/La Opinión de Los Ángeles.
Edited by Marie Cunningham/Beverly Hills Patch
Frida Mexican Cuisine on South Beverly Drive is known for its authentic dishes. The restaurant's meats, spices and chilies are brought from Mexico City, where owner and chef Vicente Del Rio hails from.
But there's more to this eatery than the food. It also employs 20 people from Oaxaca, Mexico, who make up more than 65 percent of Frida's workforce.
"Wherever we go, we are on the ball," Frida's manager Jesus Vazquez said about his Latino staff. "Because they know each other, they call each other to work here, and they are all very active so the restaurants that hire them don't want to let them go."
Ivan Robles, from the community of Santa Gertrudis Zimatlán in Mexico's southern valley, left the fields of Oaxaca to come work at Frida nine years ago.
"I did not know where it was; over time I realized that Beverly Hills is totally different from the rest of the country," said Robles, 32, who is now Frida's head waiter.
It has been a long time since that abrupt change in his life, but Robles said it still feels strange to be among all the luxury of Beverly Hills.
"I cannot get used to it," Robles said. "Too many cars, too many computers."
This story originally appeared in Spanish in La Opinion de Los Angeles. It has been edited and condensed. In collaboration with La Opinion, Patch is sharing content with the Spanish-language news source.