If you like tequila, you've come to the right place. If you don't like tequila, you live in the wrong city. Assuming you come geographically correct, we put together a quintet of spots that take agave to another level.

Mercado
Tequila Bona Fides: Over 65 tequilas, any of which can be toppled into a margarita for just a buck extra.
Quick Bite: Alambres de Arrachera -- grilled & skewered cilantro ginger-soy glazed prime skirt steak with Santa Monica farmers market vegetables.

The Mission Cantina
Tequila Bona Fides: Over 100 of the suckers, including a lot of rarities.
Quick Bite: Camaron de Roca tacos. The beer-battered rock shrimp, chipotle crema and jicama-carrot curtido will having you saying... nothing, because your mama taught you not to have disgusting table manners.

El Bar
Tequila Bona Fides: 40+ tequilas and their signature shot, The Bull, with teq, triple sec, lime & cranberry juice, simple syrup, and Sprite. So obey your thirst, and make sure your Sprite has tequila in it.
Quick Bite: If you get The Bull shot, you'll probably need a Bull pizza to go along with it. But the $2 steak tacos are a surefire bet.

Tortilla Republic
Tequila Bona Fides: Over 70, plus cocktails like El Conquistador and Skinni, like one of those Skinny ones, except spelled funny and not specifically designed for post-yoga drinks.
Quick Bite: Concentrate your dollars on drinks with a $4.50 salsa tasting that includes de Mesa, de Papaya Habanero and de Tomatillo Cruda.

La Cuevita
Tequila Bona Fides: 70+ tequilas and mezcals, plus cocktails like the citrus-happy Campesino, with Aperol, Creme de Cassis, and fresh lemon & grapefruit.
Quick Bite: Free tacos on Tuesday will keep you from becoming a campesino.

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1. Mercado 1416 4th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (Santa Monica)

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.

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2. The Mission Cantina 5946 W Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

Decked out like a Mexican church (backlit stained glass, pew-y booths, etc), this "bar with good food" from the Delancey/Bowery guys serves up classics like mole-poblano chicken tacos and ceviche w/red snapper.

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3. El Bar 3256 W Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90068 (Mid Valley)

From the guy behind The Fifth and in the former The Bridge space, El's a red-lit boozer's hacienda: candlelit recesses, floral-embossed leather barstools, south-of-the-border paintings of topless ladies and proud matadors, and a bull's head mounted over the bar.

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4. Tortilla Republic 616 N Robertson, Los Angeles, CA 90069 (West Hollywood)

This 125-seat Mextaurant-cum-margarita bar in WeHo's doing south-of-the-border deliciousness (carnitas w/ caramelized orange, sour cherry salsita'd duck confit tacos) inside a steely mod-Mex interior equipped with a white onyx bar pouring 48 sippable tequilas (including two Extra Anejos), and margs ranging from the extra spicy "Jalapeno" to the reposado, Cointreau, lime, and Grand Marnier-floated "Perfect", even though you'll be anything but after a couple of each.

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5. La Cuevita 5922 N Figueroa, Los Angeles, CA 90042 (Highland Park)

La Cuevita, located in Los Angeles' Highland Park neighborhood, is a tequila & mezcal joint decked out in vintage Mexican-themed trimmings. In case you're thirsty, fried rice (fireball and rumchata) will whet your whistle while you peruse a menu of old world needs modern Mexican classic libations (margs and Manhattans made with molé sauce).

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