Actually, it still does, no matter what you've been told.
Here, it is easy to find carne asada, birria, pozole, menudo, baracoa, carnitas, pan, the contemporary Sonoran hot dog and other traditional Mexican and Mexico-inspired dishes.
Indeed, the issue of authenticity is huge here. A few good measures: if a restaurant isn't family-owned, does not sell pozole or menudo on the weekends and if also if it isn't frequented by families and abuelos, it likely is not anywhere near being authentic.
Those are my good measures.
Another mainstay: Elotes.
You can find elote stands in various southern locations in my city. The corn is roasted in the husk. Then, with your order, the server strips down the husk, rubbing the corn, or "elote," with mayonnaise, butter, cheese and crema, or sour cream. You can then add chili powder and lime juice, maybe even cumin or garlic, depending on the location.
Street food at it's best.
Tonight I made elotes with a side of sauteed camarones, or shrimp, that I had seasoned with Old Bay seasoning and lime juice. You could also try this with lemon juice or lemon pepper seasoning. I went without the mayonnaise. Can't stand the stuff.
Delicious meal! While the shrimp was quite tasty with a slight crisp, it was the elotes that made my night.
I wasn't born here. I wasn't raised here. But with an elote in hand, I feel that I am home.