Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner, and shopping for a celebratory bottle of tequila outside of the mainstream brands is a no simple task. There are a lot of undiscovered smooth, delectable tequilas on the market, but there are also quite a few that taste like soft tissue dissolving paint thinner. Unfortunately, you won’t know which is which until after you invest in the bottle. Do you go for sleek and elegant or the one with the gnarly scorpion etched in the glass? Anyone who drinks tequila knows label and bottle design mean nothing–tequila is a total crap shoot. However, for the people of Los Angeles, tequila bars and tequiliers are an up and coming trend. Bars and restaurants are starting to carry anywhere from 20 to 50 to 200 bottles of the stuff, so before you hit the liquor store, you might want to do some research. Check out these five best places to drink tequila. Research has never been more fun.
8138 W. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Hours: Mon to Fri – 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sat & Sun – 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.
El Carmen is more than tacos and tequilas. It’s the exemplar of “good things come in small packages.” Hidden behind an unassuming door and an old neon sign is a world of black velvet paintings, Mexican wrestling masks and Vietnamese snake bottles. But El Carmen is more than just eye candy, as it offers a bountiful selection of tequila, including a homemade pineapple infused tequila and exquisite Mexican fare like tequila shrimp, ceviche and flautas.
107 E. 6th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Hours: Mon to Sat – 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sun – 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Las Perlas is one of a few places in Los Angeles that takes tequila seriously. Aside from the mainstream brands, Las Perlas offers a large variety of highland and lowland tequilas with a decent selection of mezcals and sotols. The bar also has an all-night Monday night happy hour and an intriguing specialty margarita menu with concoctions named los muertos, poblano escobar and spiced daisy, just to name a few.
6541 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Hours: Mon to Sun – 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Te’Kila is not your typical hipster bar for this section of Hollywood Boulevard. but it is setting its own trend with 100 types of tequila and hand-crafted tequila cocktails. Hang with the Ti`Kila Banditos in this cantina style oasis and knock back $5 Patron shots during the bar’s daily happy hour or indulge in a few $5 house margaritas or $25 margarita pitchers during the Margarita Monday extravaganza. The night wouldn’t be complete without the carne asada fries, “big ass taquitos” or one of Te’Kila’s dirty dogs.
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6679 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Hours: Mon to Sat – 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Behind the doors of L Scorpion stand 200 hand-selected bottles of tequilas and mezcals, accessible to anyone who walks through them (that is, anyone of legal drinking age). For the seasoned tequila aficionado, this place is a dream; to the novice, it can be overwhelming. Fortunately there are tequiliers to help you find the tequila right for your mood and small plate menu choice, so people on both sides of the agave spectrum can enjoy. The bar also has margarita Mondays from 9:30 p.m to 2 p.m., which just so happens to also be karaoke night. There’s nothing like a little liquid courage to get you up on stage.
The Gold Room
1558 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Hours: Mon to Sun – 12 p.m. to 2 a.m.
In this economy, everyone’s looking for a bargain. And if you’re not particular about what you put in your mouth, The Gold Room’s $4 PBR, tequila shot and 2 taco combo is the bargain of a lifetime. Sure, the tequila’s a bit rugged, the neon a tad garish, the bar divey and on the small side and the jukebox seems to be going through an identity crisis, but nowhere else on the Sunset Strip will you find such a deal. Is it too good to be true? Only you and your stomach will know in the morning.
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