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Jul 11, 2007 04:09 PM

Arco Iris or Villa Sombrero in Highland park???

Going to to Highland park Thursday to meet friends for drinks at the little cave then dinner.
Buddy's keep telling me about (Mexican food) Arco Iris and Villa Sombrero and there's seems to be 2 strong factions who think the other is better then the other.
What's the main thing that sets these 2 apart??
I understand they both serve Margs so If I have to try both I could think of more painful things to do.
Do any Chows out there have any thoughts??


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  1. I was just at El Arco Iris for the first time last night. I haven't been to Villa Sombrero, so I can't comment. Had a margarita/rocks/salt and it was REALLY GOOD. Now, I like it sweet, and this one was nicely sweet. It was not very strong, though, so take that into consideration.

    The interior of El Arco Iris is really cool, very comfortable large booths and tables.

    As for the food, I liked the warm chips and cool salsa. I made a mistake and ordered the fish tacos. For $11, I expected more than fish sticks with some sort of pale green "quac" and a tons of cabbage. The menu says "AVOCADO" so the slimy green spread was a disappointment.

    I loved the refried beans though.
    Better values on the menu include the burritos, which are huge and under $7.00.

    Don't know if this will help you, but there you have it.

    1. If you want good food, avoid both and go to La Fuente on Monte Vista & 56.
      If you want nice ambiance go to El Arco is marginal though.
      Cannot really think of any reason to go to Villa Sombrero except the tableside prepared guacamole and their margaritas which are both and ambiance are marginal.

      1. I haven't been to El Arco Iris, but I've been in Villa Sombrero (although a couple of years ago). I thought the food was decent EXCEPT for the refried beans. They were very bland and tasted like they came out of a can. I can recommend Chico's, down on Avenue 50, just west of Figueroa (bright yellow building). Has a nicer ambience than La Fuente and all the food I've had there has been good.

        1. We've been to Villa Sombrero a couple of times and found it perfectly adequate - by no means a Destination, but a pleasant place to be. We thought the ambience was excellent: lots of regulars obviously from the neighborhood, families with kids, gay couples and old farts like us, lots of chat between tables. The decor is the kind of accidental mess I kinda like in places like that: pathetic attempts at classy ostentation and some bad art, but the seating is comfy.

          1. SO we went to Arco Iris last night and we thought the place was great and will for sure come back.
            We sat at the bar had a couple of Margs my wife had the Mango Marg and I have to admit it was damn tasty. We looked over the menu while crunching some chips and salsa which I thought were top notch.
            We decided to keep our choices for dinner simple that way we could get a good feel for the place.
            I had the beef hard taco and taquitos combo and she had the CHicken enchilada and carne asada soft taco. No complaints here at all the beans weren't too salty and the rice had a nice garlic taste to them which reminded me of my mom's mexican rice.
            Over all good times.
            I must admit Highland Park is an untapped area of LA love the area.
            Great mix of a crowd too.
            Thanks everyone.

            1 Reply
            1. re: afs

              Next time try the Jesse Special burrito. Or my all-time fave, the Bean & Cheese!