Today the Venice Paparazzi spotlight shines on La Cabana’s Carlos L. Haro. 

How many years in Venice?

Since 1963

Tell us about La Cabaña Restaurant:

La Cabaña is proud to say it has been in business since 1963. What was once a small thatched roof hut or “cabana” marked the beginning of the restaurant’s history. Over the years, La Cabaña has flourished into a landmark restaurant in Venice, California that has remained true to its heritage.

What is unique about your business?

We are an old school, family run, Mexican Restaurant known for offering a genuine taste of Mexico. Our customers love our table side guacamole, the brain numbing Margaritas, and our delicious hand made tortillas. We take pride in our delicious foods and our excellent service. Our employees are family as well and most have been with us on average of 10 years or more… some of them 20, 30 and 40 years or more.

How long in business, and how did you get started? Where did the idea or inspiration come from?

The restaurant’s Founder, Nina L Haro (my Mother) and her husband Carlos Rafael Haro (my Father) started La Cabaña after Carlos Rafael migrated from Mexico to begin a new life. He started working as a waiter at local classic restaurants around Los Angeles such as Charlie Brown’s and The Velvet Turtle. Some time after he met his 2nd wife Nina, they decided to open a Mexican restaurant in Venice, where they felt they could prosper. My father Carlos was known for his creative abilities in construction and built La Cabaña up from a tin shack into a small Mexican cabana (hence La Cabaña). He also had a keen ability to inspire others to work with him and always treated the employees as family. This tradition has carried on to this day. My mother Nina was the brains of the operation, always handling the accounting and watching the bottom line to ensure the restaurant stayed afloat. Together, they made La Cabaña into what it is today.

50 Year Anniversary Party in 2013

Live Mariachi band on the roof every Cinco de Mayo

What would you say is the best thing about your organization?

One of the best things about La Cabaña are the employees. Just as our family flourishes when the restaurant grows, so do the families of our employees. We have many different families working at La Cabaña, uncles, brothers, cousins and they in turn help out their own families. Its just a beautiful thing that, I feel, is really what success is all about.

Future projects/Direction:

To not get lost in the over development of Venice and to remain as old school as possible for the neighborhood as we move forward.

What advice would you give someone starting out in your field?

The Restaurant business requires a deep passion for wanting to serve people and a love for food. It requires a huge amount of your daily (and nightly) time. The rewards in this industry come not from a monetary standpoint, but rather from the satisfaction of hearing your customer’s praises and watching your employees succeeding along with you. Be prepared to make many sacrifices… but then again, isn’t that the way life is in general?

Fajitas – Grilled chicken, steak or shrimp atop grilled peppers. With rice, beans, corn or flour tortillas and condiments. Served with chips and salsa. Photo courtesy of La Cabana.

Photo courtesy of La Cabana.

La Cabana is open ’til 3 a.m. nightly! Photo courtesy of La Cabana.

Any shoutouts or thank you’s?

We would like to give a shout-out to Baby Blues BBQ – friends of ours and the L.A. Opera, our mother’s favorite past time where she volunteered her time in the later years of her life.

Who should Venice Paparazzi cast the spotlight on next?

Venice Paparazzi!

Carlo and his beautiful wife Victoria. 2011 Wedding photos by Venice Paparazzi

HOW CAN ONE FIND YOU?

Thank You to Our Partners