Cinco de Mayo is not the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico. Many think it is Mexico’s Independence Day, however that is not celebrated on May 5, but on September 16. Cinco de Mayo is celebrated primarily in the United States at Mexican restaurants and bars.
In Los Angeles, there are some great places to drink a cerveza, nibble on tacos and listen to a mariachi band or DJ. Here are some fun spots to join in the fiesta:
Petty Cash Tequila Tasting
Nick Meyer is hosting tasting of Guillermo Sauza of Fortaleza Tequila. Learn about distillation methods, philosophies, and try a few of Fortaleza’s most recent batch. Tastings start at 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Cover is $5 at the door. RSVP to Nick at email@example.com. Stay afterwards for the One year anniversary party with DJ Jeremy Sole. 7360 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90036 www.pettycashtaqueria.com.
Tortilla Republic West Hollywood
The annual “Viva La Fiesta” block party on from 2 to 10 p.m. on May 4, 2014. The modern Mexican restaurant will give each guest a sombrero to celebrate an epic Cuatro de Mayo. They transform the lot behind the West Hollywood Library and West Hollywood Park into a scene set for celebration. The restaurant and bar will host a lively Mexican fiesta, which will feature the sounds of world-renowned DJs Corey Craig, Aaron Elvis, and Dan Knapp, multiple outdoor bars, a dance floor, and a live mariachi band. Sip $6 margaritas, nibble on Mexican small plates, participate in a 50/50 raffle, or enjoy a VIP suite with bottle service.
The restaurant will also serve Mexican street corn on the cob called Esquitas with lime & garlic aioli, cotija cheese, and chile de arbol; Flautas de Pollo with a crispy flour tortilla, Mary’s free range chicken tinga, Monterey Jack cheese, and queso fresco; and chicken, steak, or vegetarian Street Tacos with corn tortillas, cilantro, and white onion.
In addition to delicious eats from Tortilla Republic, TASTE will also offer small plates, pommes frites, chicken tarragon sliders, and more. Throughout the festivities, Tortilla Republic will distribute sombreros in an effort to break the world record for number of sombreros worn in one place. A portion of the proceeds from the block party will benefit Alive Music Project and Project Angel Food.
Tortilla Republic – 616 N. Robertson Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90069 – 310.657.9888 – www.tortillarepublic.com.
Red O Cinco de Mayo
Mexican-inspired drink specials are available from Friday, May 2 through Monday, May 5, 2014 at both the Newport Beach and Melrose locations. The colors of the Mexican flag are represented in three new specially designed cocktails, inspired by “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” Guests will also enjoy $5 Model Especial and Negra Modelo beers by the bottle. Patrons celebrating on Sunday, May 4 will also be able to enjoy Red O’s popular brunch menu available from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring Rick Bayless’s signature upscale, light, and seasonal fresh cuisine. 8155 Melrose Ave. (323)655-5009 and 143 Newport Center Dr. (949)718-0300.
Cinco de Mayo Celebration
At Grand Central Market, Cinco de Mayo has an International spin with Mexican and BBQ cuisine and Thai tacos. Vendors have joined together to create a unique and lively celebration of culture, cuisine and community. Special Sunday and Monday Cinco de Mayo offers include a free taco at Villas Morelianas. Get 10% off the menu at Berlin Currywurst. Hawaii BBQ will offer free chicken and fish samples. Enjoy free ceviche samples at Lupita’s Seafood. There will be free lunchtime mariachi concerts given by local bands, and a free arts and crafts station for the kids at Little Junebugs on Sunday, May 4 from noon to 3 p.m. 317 S. Broadway (213)624-2378.
Rock and Reilly’s
This weekend is “Drinko de Mayo” on Saturday, May 3. The Irish pub is celebrating the Mexican holiday with an Irish twist. Listen to a leprechaun mariachi band and feast on Irish Nachos for $5. They will serve $5 margaritas, $5 Mother’s Milk whiskey, and $2 tacos. 8911 Sunset Blvd. (310)360-1400.
Order a creative Mexican cocktail by world-renowned master mixologist, Rob Floyd, the new National Director of Mixology. Executive Chef Jimmy Martinez, formerly of BOA Steakhouse, has created a menu featuring Latin dishes such as shrimp and oyster ceviche, jumbo baked crab tamale, chorizo mussels, and grilled veggie soyriso handmade tacos. Pair these dishes with a Latin-infused ginger-smoke margarita. They serve 41 types of tequila. 1541 Ocean Ave #150, (310)566-3870.
Starting on Cinco de Mayo is “Tapas on the Terrace” served on the restaurant’s Mediterranean inspired Bar Centro Terrace. Every Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 7pm, guests can enjoy a rotating selection of $8 modern tapas that include sweet potato chips, Ottoman carrot fritters, and steam buns with Uni and avocado. A limited selection of seasonal cocktails and wines by the glass will be offered for $8, along with an “Endless” sangria for only $12 per person. Also, a selection of premium cigars and preferred valet parking before 7pm will be offered. 465 S La Cienega Blvd, (310)246-5555.
Cinco del Mayo at Gracias Madre
All day they offer $5 drink and food specials. Listen to a mariachi band from 5 to 7 p.m. Other music will continue playing until 9 p.m. The restaurant serves cuisine inspired by the kitchens of Mexico sourced from locally grown organic ingredients. Executive Chef Chandra Gilbert has worked at Alice Waters’ Café Fanny in Berkeley, Cowgirl Creamery and Greens Restaurant in San Francisco and Cafe Gratitude. With the opening of Gracias Madre in West Hollywood in January 2014, Gilbert brings that passion to Los Angeles with a menu that blends produce from Be Love Farm with ingredients sourced from local farmers markets. 8905 Melrose Ave. (323)978-2170.
Many of these Cinco de Mayo events can also be found in my Restaurant News column in the May 1 Beverly Press and Park LaBrea News http://parklabreanewsbeverlypress.com/news/2014/05/restaurant-news-161/