Southern California is filled with great Mexican food, thanks to it’s proximity to the Mexican border. To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, the annual celebration marking the occasion in Puebla, Mexico, when 4,000 brave Mexican soldiers triumphed over twice as many French fighters on May 5, 1862 and not Mexican Independence Day, as many think. Here’s a rundown of where you can score great Mexican food this Cinco de Mayo—and every other day as well.
El Toreo on Fair Oaks always holds a special place in my heart. The old-school spot is no frills but offers great food—carnitas and chile rellenos are personal favorites and plenty of spicy salsa and chips to accompany the intermittently blaring jukebox. Wash it all down with a Jarritos soda or beer.
King Taco looks small from its spot on the corner, but the menu has plenty of quick options. Take your place in line and then order a deliciously sweet pineapple drink to sip as you wait for your food, to eat in or to bring the party home.
Mijares is one of the oldest Mexican restaurants in the city and has two locations as a result, to go with the very expansive menu. Good any day of the year, it also hosts special events and large groups, should you need such a thing. Stop in to see why they get voted for having the best Mexican food and margaritas in the city.
El Metate got the mention for the best Mexican in town in a recent LA Weekly write-up. Although there are a lot of Mexican restaurants, from modern to hole-in-the-wall, El Metate is a good bet because of the enormous menu, filled with everything from appetizers to seafood that mimics the size of the serving plates, which are probably the size of platters.
El Cholo in South Pasadena is always a great choice for a full meal experience. Tableside guacamole and icy margaritas make any meal a delight—especially during tamale season.
If you feel like meandering, then heading north on Lake Avenue can also yield some delicious hole-in-the wall finds and taco dreams.
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