La Catrina

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La Catrina Mexican Cantina Grill (originally La Bamba Cantina) was a certified authentic Mexican restaurant with four locations in the Birmingham area. It was owned by Toshimi and Vanessa Hira.

Hira, who grew up in Mexico City, wanted the restaurant to showcase the cosmopolitan cuisine of the capital more than the "Tex-Mex" of the border. The restaurant's application for "Authentic Mexican Restaurant" certification was approved by Mexico's Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación (SAGARPA) in 2012. The Hiras quickly expanded to four locations, with other franchise locations planned.



  • Swagler, Susan (July 10, 2013) "La Catrina a Mexican restaurant that just doesn't deliver." The Birmingham News
  • Markham, Madoline (October 29, 2014) "La Catrina Mexican Cantina Grill now open in English Village." Village Living