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Mexican Restaurants in LA

I'm looking for a Mexican restaurant in LA,preferably in the Valley or Westside, that has good food and has atmosphere. Lots of mediocre to passable places in LA, but I'd like to find some place really special. Any ideas?

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  1. What kind of Mexican food? Are you looking for a taqueria? A sit-down marisqueria? Your standard combo-plate-and-margs type place? Oaxacan?

    1. My favorite neighborhood restaurant is Las Fuentes in Reseda. Great combo plates and a la carte, and while the restaurant is big, its popularity on the weekends sometimes finds the wait list going out the door.

      1. At some point, someone is going to boot me from this board for repeatedly making the same recommendation, but I am going to take that risk... go to Monte Alban. Your request is a bit vague, but I am quite confident that whatever Monte Alban lacks in your eyes, it will not be the quality of the food.

        1 Reply
        1. re: glutton

          i'd boot you but i wholeheartedly agree with your rec of monte alban. definitely the place to go to satiate an oaxacan craving.

        2. I'm looking for upscale but not something to break the bank. I'd like to find a place that's pleasant, where you can linger for a while if you want, and not feel rushed. I would especially like to find a "destination" Mexican restaurant, one that you want to return to, to bring a date to. There's lots of upscale steak houses, grills, etc. in LA. But as for Mexican?

          Once upon a time there was Lawry's California Center. Amazing food. Strolling mariachis. Great margaritas. And a beautiful location. Lawry's California Center is long gone. Anyone know of something nice like that?

          3 Replies
          1. re: Golem

            I have no idea what Lawry's California Center is now, but why don't you take them to La Serenata de Garibaldi, on First Street in Boyle Heights? Nice, fairly upscale for a Mexican place (in one of those "rustic hacienda" type rooms), great Mexican mariscos.

            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              I was there a few years ago and it wasn't good, but I've heard since then that it has improved quite a bit. I'll consider it next time we're in the downtown/J-town area.

              1. re: Golem

                I was there a little while ago. The "liquor" is depressing -- no full liquor license so you get soju margs -- so stick to beer. The food, however, is excellent.

          2. You could try Frida in Beverly Hills:

            fridarestaurant.com