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Portland Loses One of Its Best Mexican Chefs Over Immigration Issues

Lauded chef Manuel Lopez no longer rules the burners at Angel Food and Fun

Fried panchos (Yucatan tacos) and empanadas
Yelp/Jim J.

One of Portland’s top Mexican food restaurants, Angel Food and Fun has lost its chef, Manuel Lopez — at least for now. Lopez has made the difference at Angel Food and Fun, since taking over in 2013. Eater has reached out to the restaurant for details.

As first reported by WWeek, Lopez’s visa renewal request was denied, and he has stopped cooking at the restaurant. But will he return to make those deep-fried Yucatan tacos, rich soups and stews, and reliable tortas and tamales, beloved by some of Portland’s biggest chefs?

The O brings more of the story: Owner Tai Nguyen said the restaurant hasn’t been sold (as was originally reported by WW) and remains in his hands. Nguyen also said he wants “to see what's going on,” so it’s not entirely clear whether Lopez will be gone for good.

Angel Food and Fun doesn’t have a website or a social media presence, but it’s earned a reputation as one of Portland’s best Mexican restaurants, thanks to Lopez’s Yucatan-inspired plates. Fingers crossed Lopez will get his papers sorted out and be able to return to Portland and his wife and children.

Angel Food and Fun Mexican Restaurant

5135 NE 60th Ave, Portland, OR 97218 (503) 287-7909