San Bernadino | KALW

San Bernadino

Lisa Morehouse / KALW News

The West Side of San Bernardino is one of those neighborhoods where people still live in the houses their Mexican-American great-grandparents bought in the 1930s. Today, on the once-thriving commercial strip, there are plenty of vacant lots and storefronts, but one business is still a magnet for customers: the Mitla Cafe. It’s proof that sometimes a restaurant is more than just a restaurant. Since the ‘30s, the restaurant has born witness to and played a role in political change. It also happens to be an unlikely inspiration for how mainstream America sees — and eats — Mexican food.

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