Cinco De Mayo Roundup: Your 2010 Holiday Guide
Cinco De Mayo is tomorrow, which means you better have a plan if you're hoping to head out to celebrate. On the holiday our city transforms into one big enchilada-eating, margarita-chugging party.
Although sometimes confused with Mexico's Independence Day, Cinco De Mayo actually celebrates Mexico winning the Battle of Puebla against the French on May 5th, 1862. Here in the States, Cinco De Mayo has matured into a day celebrating Mexican culture and heritage - and for many, it's also an acceptable excuse to get sloshed. Oktoberfest, Cinco De Mayo and St. Patricks Day all have a reserved space in our hearts, stomachs and livers.
To make things easier, we've rounded up a list of places around town where you can celebrate this year:
El Cholo: This Santa Monica restaurant gets packed every Cinco De Mayo. To accommodate the high volume of people, the restaurant will be clearing out the couches and tables in the bar area to make room for a stand up bar. To manage the influx of drinkers, bouncers will be manning the doors this Wednesday to check ids for drinkers heading to the bar while a special surprise mariachi band will make rounds to add to the merriness. The restaurant will be serving their popular house margaritas and green corn tamales until close.
El Cholo: 1025 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 899-1106.
Loteria Grill: The party starts on May 4th and runs through lunch and dinner on May 5th. Be prepared for live music and going along with their theme of Mexican street food, the restaurant will have a selection of special appetizers including empanadas made with corn masa to celebrate. In addition, the bar will be serving up three special drinks not on the regular menu: a cucumber margarita, a beet and orange margarita and an apple paloma. Not to be overshadowed, we suspect many shredded beef tacos and spicy jalapeño margaritas will be consumed over the two day celebration.
Loteria Grill Hollywood: 6627 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 465-2500.
El Compadre: Besides being the home to the flaming margarita, this restaurant is known for staying open late in Hollywood. If you come with a group, we recommend getting the appetizer platter, which boasts a healthy amount of grilled shrimp, chimichangas, quesadillas and carne asada. With a great vibe and strong drinks, this spot will be serving their full menu until 2 a.m. to a large crowd.
flickr/sfxeric El Compadre's Flaming Margarita
El Compadre: 7408 West Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 874-7924.
Border Grill: This year the Santa Monica restaurant will be extending their regular happy hour (usually from 4-7 p.m.) - how extended? all day - which means from 11a.m. - 10p.m. the bar and cantina will be serving 5 dollar drinks, 3 dollar tacos, 5 dollar appetizers, chili poppers and desserts. Their popular appetizers including their green corn tamales, queso fundido and vegetarian enchiladas will be sliding out of the kitchen and into hungry mouths all day. The restaurant only takes reservations for the dining room so if you plan to take advantage of the all-day happy hour, make sure to beat the work crowd that comes in at 6.
Border Grill: 1445 4th Street, Santa Monica; (310) 451-1655.
Pacos Tacos: This Culver City favorite gets packed every day of the week so be prepared for an even bigger crowd this Wednesday. Fast service is one of their greatest charms along with their popular #6 taco and enchilada plate. Enjoy your Cadillac and Mango margarita while you pick out the laziest fish in the tanks against the festive decorations that fill the restaurant 365 days a year.
Pacos Tacos: 4141 South Centinela Avenue, Marina Del Rey/Venice; (310) 391-9616.
El Abajeño: A lunch or an early dinner might be best as this restaurant closes at 8:30 p.m. on weekdays. This cafeteria-style restaurant serves beer and melt in your mouth chicken taquitos with sliced avocados. For those who boast a bottomless stomach or are on a budget, Abajeno is known for their giant burrito, made with two enormous tortillas.
El Abajeño: 4513 Inglewood Blvd., Culver City; (310) 390-0755.
Gilbert's El Indio: With a friendly staff, this restaurant is all good vibes and has a loyal base of regulars. The restaurant will be serving their regular menu including their generous burritos and strong margaritas to regulars and newbies alike.
Gilbert's El Indio Restaurant: 2526 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 450-8057.
La Golondrina Mexican Cafe: Located on Olvera Street, this restaurant will also be serving their regular menu along with a selection of special dishes. Known for their Mole and the charming building, the restaurant is a favorite for those who visit Olvera St. regularly or for the first time.
La Golondrina Mexican Cafe: 17 Olvera St., Los Angeles; (213) 628-4349.