Mexican Food and Music
Looking for a festive place with decent Mexican food and music.
Gueleguetza on Olympic (east of Western) usually has music on weekends. It's definitely festive and the food is good.
The classic place to see live Mariachi music is at La Fonda, on Wilshire near MacArthur Park. I haven't eaten here in years, so can't comment on the food, but the music is pretty good.
La Fonda De Los Camperos
Address: 2501 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057
Phone: (213) 380-5055
They often have mariachis at La Parrilla, on Sunset in Silverlake. The food here is very good if you stick to the grilled items, which is their speciality.
If you want to go to the source, head to Mariachi Plaza, at First and Boyle in Boyle Heights. There are many restaurants nearby, including La Serenata de Garibaldi. You'll get mixed comments about this place on chowhound, but personally I love it. They serve excellent and innovative Mexican seafood dishes.
La Serenata De Garibaldi
Address: 1842 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90033
Phone: (323) 265-2887
Finally, you could always head over to Olvera Street. For restaurants there, I like La Golondrina.
I had lunch at La Golondrina yesterday. I had not been there in several years, but I think their food has gotten BETTER over time. Unlike a lot of LA Mexican restaurants, that cover up mediocre food with gobs of cheese, La Golondrina uses fresh ingredients that allow the real taste to shine. It may not be close by, but it's worth the trek downtown. Also, they take dinner reservations, and there is always music and activity going on.
I really liked the band that plays at La Huasteca in Lynwood. I'm not sure if they play during the week, but they are there for the weekend brunch.
Terrific food, terrific band.
One of my favorite sitdown Mexican places on the westside is
2909 Pico Blvd
Santa Monica CA
They have hearty authentic mexican food and smiling mariachis in the evening. Can't say they're the best mariachi's I've ever heard but it does add to the ambiance.
el portal in the playhouse district of pasadena on green st. has an artist every sat. evening named don luis. he's so good we have friends from mexico that hire him for private events. another mexican friend who is also a musician goes often to listen to him. they also have mariachi on fridays, beer tastings, tequila tastings.
if you like food from the yucatan, a nice outdoor courtyard, you'll like el portal.
i prefer babita for mexican food, but for music + food it's a good bet.
The La Parilla on Cesar Chavez (which in my opinion really outshines the other branches of this mini-chain) has homemade tortillas and other outstanding food, PLUS strolling mariachis every night of the week. Beer and wine only though.