In The Salsa Bar, contented sighs drift from diners cradling corn tortillas full of never-frozen ingredients free of lard and MSG, and a grill sizzles beneath morsels of shrimp, fish, and beef. Multiple televisions deliver updates from sporting events or confuse freshly made tacos into adopting the referee as a parent, and dulcet waves of horchata and tamarindo surge through straws to warmed mouths.
At L'Scorpion Tequila Bar, sommeliers pour nearly 200 varieties of tequila, including a premium collection of blancos, reposados, anejos, and mezcals. The vast, expertly curated selection earned it a spot on the Huffington Post's list of LA's Best Tequila Bars.
Fittingly, the focal point of L'Tequila is the bar, where dark stone arches frame row after row of tequila bottles illuminated by the nearby wrought-iron candelabras. Brick walls envelop plush leather booths, which serve as private enclaves for sipping margaritas or spelling out social-security numbers in limes. To complement libations, L'Scorpion also serves a menu of tapas and tacos.
With its Día de los Muertos décor replete with purple neon lighting, flickering candles, and enough eye candy to fill the largest of plastic pumpkin pails, Velvet Margarita dips guests' chips in ambience as much as in salsa. To keep things simple, all dishes are $16.50 during dinner (4 p.m. to close), $11 during lunch (11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.), and can be made spicier upon request. Nosh on the pollo ala parilla con piña (chicken topped with pineapple and pico de gallo) or the salmón de Martin flopped heavy with white-wine pico cream sauce on a pillowy bed of rice and sautéed greens. Hedge your hunger-related bets with a chile relleno burrito, slow baked and topped with red serrano cream salsa and guacamole.
Cabo Cantina serves up tasty Mexican-style eats and throat de-parchers in a festive environment lined with high-definition TVs. Fix your eyes on a sportive game or a live UFC fight while your mouth focuses on a basket of hand-battered jalapeño chips served with queso dip and ranch ($4). Salad choices include the macho salad, which comes with chicken, pico de gallo, avocado, corn, mushrooms, cheese, and ranch, and can be consumed as a regular salad or rolled up in a whole-wheat tortilla and served as a wrap ($8). To appease more ambitious appetites, feast on fajitas, a platter that’s prepared with your choice of chicken, steak, or shrimp sautéed with peppers, onions, and Cabo’s fajita seasoning; a host of sides are also included, such as Spanish rice, guacamole, and black beans ($11.50). Cabo's collection of tasty margaritas, tequilas, and beers provide plenty of glad gulps to pique the palate.
For the chefs at Peacha's, American cuisine isn't just burgers and fries––it's an amalgamation of many nations' cuisines. That's why they focus on two LA's most popular cuisines, including both Latin American favorites and traditional American staples. On the Latin side, they grill cuts of chicken and beef, as well as a medley of vegetables, which they then layer onto tostadas or into tacos or burritos. On the American side, they specialize in burgers and sandwiches. They craft classics such as philly cheesesteaks, and eight-ounce Angus beef burgers named after famous musicians. These come in varieties such as the Bob Marley—filled with fried chicken strips, avocado, and jalapeno ranch—or the Motley Crue with bacon and bleu cheese. Meals come paired with appropriate sides, whether it's black beans or crispy french fries.
Leonor's has been preparing meat-free Mexican food for nearly 30 years, and the current menu is modeled after the soy-dense Forever Young diet. Dishes include a traditional Mexican selection of burritos, tacos, and quesadillas with the restaurant's unique vegetarian and vegan spins. Some of those are on display in the Buffalo Bill burrito, that's packed with brown rice, steamed pinto beans, avocado, soy cheese, and veggies in a whole-wheat tortilla.
Though Leonor's is rooted in Mexican food, there are other culinary influences present as well: the spaghetti dinner entangles soy meatballs with whole-wheat noodles and the soy hamburger is topped with a leafy crown of lettuce and alfalfa sprouts. Stone-ground whole-wheat pizzas carry their own surprises—molasses and honey are infused into the dough—and can be customized with toppings such as cilantro, avocado, and tinier pizzas.