Ole! Here are the best places to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in LA.
Photo Credit: Eric WolfingerGRACIAS MADRE Chef Chandra Gilbert has prepared a menu of vegan favorites like Empanada a la Carta with roasted root vegetables, pineapple habanero salsa, cumin lentils and cashew crema as well as Flauta a la Carta— a rolled taco with sweet potatoes, caramelized onions, pico de gallo, guacamole and cashew nacho cheese while Beverage Director Jason Eisner will have a snow cone machine on site to make Tequila Mule Snow Cones of tequila blanco, housemade ginger beer and lime. All-Day cocktail specials include the Popstar—mezcal, green chartreuse, watermelon, jalapeño, clarified lime juice, sea salt and housemade pop rocks—and Michelada de la Madre—Cabotella Mexican ale, habanero bitters, housemade worcestershire and lemon jalapeño basil ice.
THE HUNGRY CAT SANTA MONICA David Lentz’s seaside restaurant, The Hungry Cat Santa Monica Canyon, celebrates Cinco de Mayo with The Hungry Cat’s singular take on Mexican favorites. From 5 p.m. the restaurant will offer a holiday Queso Fundido with Chorizo and House Made Tortillas as well as a hearty Taco Platter of Steak Tacos with Charred Jalapeño Salsa and Cotija Cheese; Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Salsa Verde and Nectarine Salsa; and a Tempura Fried Fish Taco with Avocado, Spicy Slaw and queso Fresco. Along with the legendary Thirsty Cat market cocktails, bar manager Dona Bridges has created the Shiso Mezcal Mule—los javis espadin mezcal, lemon juice, spicy ginger beer, shiso leef and cayenne pepper—and the Cinco de Gringo—arette silver tequila, plymouth gin, green chartreuse, fresh lime juice and red pepper.
Photo Credit: Tiffany Rose
THE BUNGALOW In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, The Bungalow will be hosting a party on Tuesday, May 5th for guests to escape to the Baja-inspired retreat in Santa Monica, CA. Featuring a menu of refreshing cocktails including signature Margaritas and a mescal favorite, the Kick in the Junk, The Bungalow will also have exclusive bites including Tacos, Chips & Guacamole, Nachos, Churros and more. The Bungalow’s resident band and Grammy nominated, The California Feetwarmers, will be transforming into a NORTEÑA group and will perform some of Mexico’s favorite polka and corrido tunes.
TOCA MADERA Mixologist Juan Martinez has fashioned a signature margarita cocktail called “Amante Picante Margarita” featuring DeLeón Platinum Tequila that enhances every aspect of the classic construction with locally-sourced ingredients. Serrano pepper and cilantro add some Mexican spice to this cocktail as a nod to LA’s significant Mexican population and influence.
Photo Credit: ShoreBar
SHOREBAR Santa Monica’s Shorebar is starting off its new Taco & Tequila Tuesdays special on, appropriately, Cinco de Mayo. New libations on offer include The Members Only—Silencio Mezcal, Ancho Reyes liqueur, agave syrup, orange and angostura bitters served on a large rock w/ grapefruit zest—and SHOREbar 4 What!—Bacardi 8 Rum, passion fruit, mint, yellow bell pepper, lime juice and orgeat.
DIA DE CAMPO Hermosa Beach hot spot Día de Campo will open its doors early at 3 p.m. to celebrate. Festivities include a Casamigos tequila tasting, $1 dish specials, and live music from Machismo from 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. The Baja surf lodge-inspired eatery will serve reimagined Mexican specialties from Executive Chef Tin Vuong and Chef Ken Johnson including build-your-own-tacos and street corn.
LONGITUDE BAR + RESTAURANT Longitude Bar + Restaurant at Le Méridien Delfina Santa Monica partnered with Don Julio for their Cinco de Mayo celebration, and will serve up a specialty Ghost Pepper Margarita and complimentary tacos with purchase of a tequila tasting flight (which includes a sample of the acclaimed Don Julio 1942). Made with Don Julio Añejo, Grand Marnier, orange juice, and one whole ghost pepper, guests are required to sign a waiver to purchase and consume the beverage.