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Turlocks La Mo offers lovers intimate experience
Hillary Smith, Gloria Smallwood and Brityn Butrick co-own La Mo, a family restaurant in Turlock. - photo by Photo Contributed


• DIRECTIONS: La Mo is located at 310 E. Main St. in Turlock and is currently accepting reservations for Valentine’s Day and interested parties.  E-mail 

While love is certainly in the air on Valentine’s Day, local Latin bistro La Mo in downtown Turlock prides itself on offering a caring atmosphere all-year round.

Located in an alcove set back from Main Street in downtown Turlock, La Mo offers respite from the bustle of the downtown. Co-owned by Gloria Smallwood and her two daughters Hillary Smith and Brityn Butrick, La Mo is a manifestation of the three women’s passion for their culture and food and the restaurant thrives on their authentic hospitality. 

“We’ve really stayed true to what we wanted for the restaurant. In an area saturated in Mexican food, we thought ‘let’s do something totally different’. We wanted not only healthy Latin cuisine but for it to be innovative too,” said Smallwood.

La Mo’s innovation shines in their Valentine’s Day offerings, which feature a prix fixe menu that includes a starter, soup or salad, entree and dessert. With an emphasis on local and seasonal produce, items such as the pork chop from the neighborhood butcher at National Market in a cilantro-bourbon sauce are on the menu. La Mo’s famed wedding chicken dish, as well as fresh sea bass with a Chilean salsa among other offerings are sure to leave customers wanting more.

“We text message ideas to each other about 100 times a day and are always thinking 24/7 about new dishes or modifications we want to implement. For instance, we’ve done the pork chop before but this time it will be a petite, French cut pork chop,” explained Smith.

With a naturally intimate setting inside enhanced by candles and mood lighting, guests can also stay warm under outdoor heaters while listening to live music on the patio. La Mo’s Valentine’s Day event will feature Paul Espinoza, of the band Golden Bough, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and the restaurant will also be debuting their cocktail menu for the first time. 

“It truly is a place where people can come to relax and enjoy their evening, especially because Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday,” said Butrick.

La Mo is located at 310 E. Main St. in Turlock and is currently accepting reservations for Valentine’s Day and interested parties can email