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El Carmen's??

I know this place is mainly a bar does anyone know if their food any good? I'm looking for a bar with no frills no fuss with good cheap eats. Any honorable mentions?

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  1. It's pretty standard gloppy Mexican stuff, won't kill you but you won't end up with a yearning for their tacos either. But the tequila selection is good. I think some of us Hounds on the Eastside have devised a formula, in which the deliciousness of the margaritas is inversely proportional to the quality of the Mexican food.
    But if anyone feels this is wrong, please chime in with places that have very good Mexican food as well as good margaritas in any neighborhood.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Chowpatty

      Malo must have the BEST MARGARITAS on the face of the earth!

      1. re: Burger Boy

        Yeah, but nearly everyone except me thinks they have bad food and service. For me, it's pretty much the only place that wins the food/margarita/location trifecta. Had to cross Barragan's off the list after some disgusting tacos the other night, and the margaritas weren't that great either.

        1. re: Chowpatty

          I like Malo's food, too -- especially their guacamole, salsas and chips, and the hard shell tacos. Personally, I think any place that aspires to be "trendy" is going to have their detractors on this board -- good food or not.

      2. re: Chowpatty

        El Carmen actually isn't standard gloppy mexican, unless they've done something to the menu. They basically have soft tacos, either a la carte or with rice & beans and guacamole, salsa and chips. Their soft tacos are actually pretty good, as are their guac and chips. They do make a good margarita; plus, I like their pineapple infused tequila that they make at the bar.

        1. re: DanaB

          Well, I guess I didn't mean Acapulco style plates of gooey enchiladas, I just meant large plates of rice, beans and just ok tacos. But still, pretty forgettable.

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. I enjoy the margaritas here and the pineapple infused tequila too... Food wise, I think its pretty decent. A friend and I go and get a plate of enchiladas, taquitos, and the carne asada quesadilla. I'm not a huge red meat eater, but I just love the carne asada quesadilla, its a must try! Great flavor. The plates are small and ala carte but they are nice nibbles if you are looking for something to snack on when you are enjoying the tequila.

            1. Are you looking for a good margarita place or any kind of bar? Marix has great margaritas and their food is more on the Tex-Mex side, but not super cheap. El Carmen is ok, but it's always super crowded (at least when I have gone, which makes it more difficult to eat).

              4 Replies
              1. re: chris1621

                Too be honest, I was looking for more of a hipster or dive bar that serves some sort of food whether it be full entrees or bar plates. It should be fairly reasobale in price since my friends can drink a lot. I was thinking no more than $60 a person for an all night experience. I'm trying to stay mid-town or eastside. A good jukebox is always a plus as is non-parking issues.

                1. re: missmodular818

                  You could try Malo - it's on Sunset in Silverlake - tasty food, good drinks, more of a restaurant than a bar but there is a bar area.

                  1. re: missmodular818

                    Also, as far as honorable mentions that aren't El Carmen, there is always Red Lion (on Glendale Blvd. in Silverlake) - German food, beer garden and across from the Cha Cha Lounge.

                    1. re: missmodular818

                      If you want both, I'd suggest going to El Conquistador for food and drinks and then stumbling over to the 4100 which probably has my favorite jukebox in town right now (especially since they changed the one at Daily Pint from the old school style to a computerized version. sad). Conquistador has much more of a divey feel than Malo and Malo can add up quickly since everything's a la carte. On the other hand, Malo has a pretty kick ass jukebox.