Food & Drink

Everywhere in LA to celebrate not-Mexican independence

Published On 04/29/2013 Published On 04/29/2013
Where to Cinco in LA
Tatiana Arbogast for Grub Street
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1. El Coyote 7312 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Underneath the ambience-enhancing Christmas lights hanging from the ceiling, you’ll find all the comforting usual suspects -- fajitas, nachos, and enchiladas -- along with the occasional wild card, like OSTRICH tacos (!) and, um, burgers. On Tequila Tuesdays, they offer at-the-bar tastings and dollar-off 'ritas, ensuring that you can essentially already call Wednesday a bust.

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2. Metro Balderas 5305 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042

Don't miss this super-authentic, hole-in-the-wall-status taco and burrito purveyor in Highland Park. Lovingly named after a Mexico City subway stop, Metro Balderas serves up hearty carnitas tacos, so go hog wild.

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3. Guisados 1261 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

With a straightforward approach to tacos, the second branch of the wildly popular East LA taqueria adds a patiod to the mix, but sticks to the original, winning menu of homemade tortillas and a selection of various meats, fish, and vegetarian options. The liquor menu is equally pared down to keeps things simple.

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4. Kate Mantilini 9101 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Even after more than 25 years, this power-lunch powerhouse in Beverly Hills is still going strong, serving upscale diner classics in its prime Wilshire location. No matter what you're after, KM's got you covered with a menu that includes martinis, a Muenster-topped turkey burger, dry-aged steaks, and an amazing tableside-made guacamole. For that last one, ask for Pablo -- he's been mashing 'cados for more than 20 years.

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5. Tinga 142 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90021

This La Brea taqueria is brightly colored and is serving up hand-pressed tacos filled with deliciousness like bitter orange, 72 hour pork, and habanero salsa. They've also got chipotle corn dogs (!), fried chicken, and super refreshing drinks like horchata, the stuff those dudes in Vampire Weekend seem to love.

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6. Pink Taco 8225 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

Known for its margaritas as much as for its tacos, this trendy West Hollywood taco joint is part of a local chain that has met with controversy over its suggestive name. The Sunset boulevard location, however, is a clear favorite among locals for its ample seating and shady back patio, which makes it ideal for large groups. The eclectic decor and vegetation add to the fun party vibe of the place, which is an after work go-to spot for locals. Their solid Taco Tuesday deal makes Tuesdays rather packed here, and weekends are aways crazy—best to make a reservation.

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7. Mercado 1416 4th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Mercado is a modern-tinged Mexican joint steeped in luxury woods, leathers, and steel, with a menu that boasts tons of authentic, South-of-the-border food and drink. This includes handmade tortillas, enchiladas with sweet shrimp and yellow mole, slow-cooked carnitas, and more than 70 tequila options.