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Mexican recs with Mariachi bands OC/LA please help!

My sister in law and step-son are flying in tonight from England, and I'd like to take them to a really good Mexican restaurant with a live mariachi band. OC preferred but will drive to LA. Please share your recs. Thanks!

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  1. You should take them to Olvera Street. Not only will you be able to get Mexican food, you will have mariachis, shopping, and get a tourist destination all in one place. Just a warning, from personal experience, people from England tend (not everyone) not to like Mexican food or just not in love with it. Maybe their lukewarm reception just shocks someone like me who loves it . . . If you want you can hit up Chinatown and Little Tokyo also which are adjacent, as is downtown . . .

    1 Reply
    1. re: apple7blue

      This sounds like a great idea. I have been meaning to check out Olvera St, so this is another good reason to do so. It may indeed be a challenge getting my in-laws to try Mexican food, but I think it's an essential part of the Southern California experience. Mr Foodiekat absolutely loves Mexican food so maybe his enthusiasm will convince his family to try it. I think it's mainly down to demographics. Tex-Mex food is very popular in England, but authentic Mexican is virtually unheard of.

    2. Mariscos Los Mochis, on State College between Santa Ana St. and Lincoln Ave., in Anaheim. I'm not 100% sure they have mariachi every night but you can call -- and when they do, it's a really good mariachi.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        Excellent. And Mariscos? Works for me.

        1. re: FoodieKat

          I (heart) their tostadas de ceviche. Huge, and cheap.

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            Great. I will try those. Do you know if there 'kid-friendly' options too? My twelve-year old step-son has a pretty sophisticated palate, but since it's his first Mexican meal I don't want to scare him off. :-)

            1. re: FoodieKat

              I suggest Olvera St over this restaurant or the one below in Culver City, because if the food bombs, you can go nearby to Chinatown, Little Tokyo (a twelve year old boy will love the arcade there where the Mitsuwa Marketplace is), or Downtown where there is a wide selection of food. I think there is a Mexican restaurant in Downtown Disney, Anaheim which also has mariachis some nights . . .

      2. Casa Sanchez on Centinela in Mar Vista has an amazing mariachi band.The restaurant has a stage.The food is good.The atmosphere is fun.Worth the drive.Mariachi's only Fri,Sat,Sun.

        1. i got beat to the punch. caza sanches on culver and centinela has a great mariachi. drinks and apps are good...food is way overpirced and lousy. but you get free unlimited chips, salsa and guac! if they are from england...they are use to bad food and just want to drink anyways.

          1. my go to spots for mariachi is
            the mercadito on 1st and lorena... it goes on weekends all day and weekdays in the evenings....

            its like a huge dim sum sized restaurant subdivided into three restaruants and its like a 3dimensional immersive mariachi experience... it is completely latino/chicano, so if thats a little to "authentic" i'd go to la fonda in macarthur park.

            they have great mariachi...

            3 Replies
            1. re: modernist

              Mi Cielito Lindo also has great Mariachi (Sol de Mexico). The food is not the greatest but is passable. They are located north of the 60, Pomona Freeway off the Santa Anita exit just a couple of minutes. They have show times so you should call first.

              1. re: modernist

                You think people who might find something too authentic will find MacArthur Park okay?

              2. Morenos on chapman in Orange. It is mostly all outdoors in a 100 year old church. It thinks it's the best mexican in Orange County and your family from England will enjoy the weather and the Mariachi band.

                5 Replies
                1. re: irishkevbo

                  I went to school with one of the daughters, she had a crush on me. (I only learned later, even after she brought food from the restaurant that her family owned the place hence her last name of Moreno) One of the best days in school was when she treated our class to some food from the restaurant . . . It's pretty affordable too. I never saw Mariachis there though . . .

                  1. re: irishkevbo

                    Yes, they've really been enjoying sitting outside to eat since it's so rare you get a nice enough day to be able to do that in England. :-) The fact that Moreno's is in an old church sounds intriguing too.

                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                        We're going to head to Los Mochis on Thursday, after Disney. I'll call ahead to check re the mariachi band. We've been in LA most of the week, and whale-watching in Dana Point. Great weather compared to England, though a little chillier than usual.

                      2. re: FoodieKat

                        Too bad April showers have begun, well normally they are pleasant and warm, but we've had a cold spell come in also . . .

                    1. Guelaguetza on Olympic often has mariachi bands. My last two visits have been on Sundays for lunch and the band has been playing. Foodwise, I don't think you can get better Oaxacan in OC/LA, and I suspect your guests probably have not had the pleasure of trying great moles in the UK.

                      1. Thanks again everyone for your suggestions. We all had a fantastic two weeks, and some great food. We tried the Carney's on Sunset, Mel's Diner for milkshakes (OMG), Pann's near LAX, Javier's in Irvine (great service and tasty shrimp tacos- good lunch place), Mariscos los Mochis in Anaheim (great red snapper a la Veracruzana but no mariachi sadly- but we saw several mariachi bands on Redondo Beach pier so it was ok), El Callejon in Laguna Beach, and Vincenzo in San Diego's Little Italy (great porcini mushroom pasta), and Mas' Islamic in Anaheim. Nearly all choices were down to the local Chowhounds, so thanks again.