A childhood spent picking fruits and vegetables as a migrant worker in the U.S. Three years in a maximum-security prison. Two deportations back to Mexico. Chef Eduardo "Lalo" García has experienced—and overcome—more in his 40 years than most people do in a lifetime. And today, he and his wife, Gabriela López, preside over a mini Mexico City restaurant empire that includes his first and most successful endeavor—Máximo Bistrot, one of the hardest-to-get reservations in town.
It's a Wednesday morning, and García is prepping for dinner service at the seven-year-old spot, set in a small corner space in Colonia Roma. With dark wood tables and chairs and unadorned white walls (save for one floor-to-ceiling carved relief), Máximo Bistrot is as simple as it gets—the better for showcasing hyper-local dishes like sea bass with green mole and purple cabbage, and handmade pastas such as pappardelle and ragù made with pork from Oaxaca.