Yes Labor Day  is approaching, but you can still enjoy the last days of (technical) summer with the unofficial drink of So Cal.

Word of mouth is the best way to find anything, especially restaurants – especially in L.A., a city where walking discoveries are few and far between.  Some of the best Mexican restaurants I have been too are the little hole in the wall places that friends have found and passed on.  Just because they aren’t huge restaurant warehouses, and just because the name isn’t necessarily in Zagat doesn’t mean there won’t be a crowd.  Just that if you wait in line, it will be worth it.

When I first got to Los Angeles I wasn’t a big fan of Mexican food.  Clearly time and the wealth of good food have changed that, hence the topic of this entry.  There are some spots that are well known that are great, but there are also local spots that are yummy and fun so branch out L.A., you will enjoy it!

A friend of mine and many others say Mexico City on Hillhurst in Los Feliz is their absolute favorite serving amazing food. She also lead me to El Conquistador on Sunset (Silver Lake, but close by) as it’s her favorite more for ‘mind numbing drinks.’  Not that there’s anything wrong with that (and here’s a friendly reminder to have a designated driver or cab. Ole!)  Tons of people agree as its been awarded most lethal and best margs.  I find them delish, though I don’t think myself a proper connoisseur to speak with authority on the matter.

There is El Cholo in Santa  Monica which is a big, warhouse-ey stype spot with good food, but they have green corn tamales a few months of the year that people flock to enjoy.  Many think it L.A.’s best margarita and I think its mighty fine, though I enjoy the East side location on Western much more (and there are others.) It’s old and feels slightly seedy, which adds to the good time.

Speaking of slightly seedy is the overall classic food and drink institution on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood, El Compadre.  I  think its one of the first places I went to in L.A. on a night out.  Across from guitar center, upon leaving I often wonder how many people went across the street inspired by the margaritas to find their inner Hendrix. They have a flaming margarita, actually, they pride themselves on being ‘the home of the flaming margarita.’ Good times.  (Actually I find that first drink is charming, but after many flaming sessions becomes a momentary barrier between you and your delicious tequila beverage.)  Everyone I know in LA likes El Compadre and has great stories from hanging there. It’s a staple.

For drinking margaritas minus the food there is of course Velvet Margarita on Cahuenga, which is as you would imagine, all things margarita.  And El Coyote, which cops are known to hang outside of waiting for people to DUI so be warned, but the drinks are great.  But I suggest if you want an under the radar amazing cadillac margarita, head to Birds near Beachwood Canyon.  And old friend recommended it to me, and it is in my mind, L.A.’s best margarita.  And although I don’t consider myself qualified to judge, I will, none-the-less, conduct my advanced research.

Food Best Mexican Restaurants and Margaritas in L.A.