5 Best Margaritas In L.A.
|La Dama From Red O|
You'll pay for Rick Bayless' margarita at Red O -- $14, and that's just the straight-up classic. But you can taste the thoughtful lime juice-tequila-liqueur balance here. And sure, there's plenty of creative play in variations like La Dama (pictured above; with serrano chiles, mango grenadine, lime juice and pomegranate liqueur in lieu of orange), should that be your Happy Hour calling. But (no surprise by now) we prefer to peruse the impressive tequila menu and build our own reposado and lime juice concoctions -- well, at least on those nights when the boss is paying. 8155 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, (323) 655-5009.
2. Las Perlas:
Daina Beth Solomon Spiced Daisy (front) "Margarita" Cocktail at Las Perlas
The mezcals may justifiably be the main draw at Las Perlas, but we go back for that house Las Perlas margarita, sweetened with agave nectar and Royal Combier, one of our favorite orange liqueurs for its depth. At $10, the margarita also happens to be a decent cocktail-era deal, more so at happy hour -- at least compared to its fancy tequila and mezcal cocktail colleagues. [Note: Adding to the current L.A. what's-in-a-margarita-name fun, when we sent our estimable photographer to snap a pic of the Las Perlas house margarita, it was no longer on the menu. But the bartender assured her she could still order it -- and then convinced her she really didn't want a plain old margarita (Who would, these days?) but an inspired "Spiced Daisy" version with cucumber, chili morita and cilantro, photo above. Was it a great cocktail? Sure. But some days we simply want a darn good margarita (or martini, or Bloody Mary), no creative muddling required.] 107 E. Sixth St., downtown, (213) 988-8355.
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