4212 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90029
In the 1925, El Cid's predecessor, Jail Cafe -- picture a speakeasy that looks a hell of a lot like Elvis' 'Jailhouse Rock' (it was ahead of its time) -- was born. It then operated as a theater for a couple decades until it finally became LA's beloved El Cid in '63, and it's been serving up Latin fare and live entertainment acts ever since. Venezuelan Chef Juvenal Rodriguez uses local ingredients to create small-portion dishes with big flavor like ceviche, Spanish meatballs, and chicken empanadas. Stand up comedy, indie bands, and the occasional film keep this Silver Lake spot busy, so early birds catch the worms (well, tables) here.