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Mexican Food/Margaritas in the Valley?

jotoll Apr 21, 2008 05:50 PM

Looking for a rec for a Saturday night Mexican dinner with good Margaritas somewhere in the valley for a fun group.



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  1. s
    slacker RE: jotoll Apr 21, 2008 05:55 PM

    Amaranta Cocina, good margaritas, great food, and LOTS of tequilas.

    1 Reply
    1. re: slacker
      Diana RE: slacker Apr 22, 2008 07:07 AM

      This is odd to say, but there really aren't many good sit down Mexican palces in the valley. The best food is from stands or little hole in the wall places. These places don't have margaritas.

      I'm glad we finallly have Amaranta, and it is getting goodish reviews. The food, however, just doesn't match that great stuff you can get in the tiny places.

    2. w
      WHills RE: jotoll Apr 21, 2008 08:30 PM

      I second Amaranta in Topanga Mall. They have the most awesome drinks (margaritas, sangria, etc.). However, the food is not authentic Mexican food. It's good, but you need to know what to order. I've had the chili relleno (not traditional, more fusion) and fish tacos (too sweet with pineapple salsa, again fusion). If you go in expecting that, you will be okay. I really liked their skirt steak fajitas, soups, and shrimp. Also, it is pretty pricey for Mexican food ($15 to $20 for entrees, $7-8 for soup)

      Another rec would be Sol y Luna although the food is spotty. It's more traditional, but sometimes the food is too salty and other times bland, but some nights they are very good.

      1 Reply
      1. re: WHills
        ReelMike84 RE: WHills Apr 23, 2008 08:38 PM

        I agree that "Sol y Luna" is good but I didn't really think it was worth my 45 minute wait. Plus you might have a hard time hearing each other given the nights crowd.

      2. j
        jencounter RE: jotoll Apr 21, 2008 08:38 PM

        Los Toros in Chatsworth has lethal margaritas and killer bean dip. The rest of the food is just okay.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jencounter
          OkieDoQui RE: jencounter Apr 22, 2008 12:56 AM

          Yeah the bean dip was better then my meal when I went, it is a lively atmosphere though, the bar is always full on fridays/saturdays.

          1. re: OkieDoQui
            jencounter RE: OkieDoQui Apr 22, 2008 07:27 AM

            My husband just loves the fact that you can get almost anything on the menu with a fried egg on top.

            I make better mexican at home, but I don't put an egg on top.

        2. CarlieInLA RE: jotoll Apr 22, 2008 01:30 PM

          I don't know where in the valley you are looking, but I would also suggest Don Cuco's in Toluca Lake or Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks. Not the best mexican food but fun atmosphere and pretty good food. I don't think either take reservations so be prepared to wait a bit for your table, both have bars with good margaritas.

          5 Replies
          1. re: CarlieInLA
            ReelMike84 RE: CarlieInLA Apr 23, 2008 08:41 PM

            I like Casa Vega for their strange ambience and potential celeb spotting .I saw Jessica Simpson with Tony Romo last time I was there. But the food was not worth the price tag IMO. I do like the nachos though.

            1. re: ReelMike84
              rednyellow RE: ReelMike84 Apr 23, 2008 09:10 PM

              I especially like Casa Vega for lunch in the summer.....so dark and so cool. Like stepping into a cinema with drinks.

              1. re: rednyellow
                Mikale RE: rednyellow Jun 21, 2008 03:06 PM

                I agree... a hot summer afternoon/evening at Casa Vega makes me happy. Their margaritas [on the rocks] are the way to go. I keep my order simple, guacamole to start, fresh flour tortilla chips and chili con queso if i am in a sinful mood. The salsa is a red spicy sauce. Excellent. The main course is a burrito with mole sauce on top. [The burritos are massive and can be shared by 2] It never disappoints.

                You cannot make reservations and it's usually busy in the evening [any day of the week]. Get a beeper from the hostess and enjoy a margarita (or 2) at the bar. NOTE: the hostess usually gives a wait time about 3 times longer than you will actually wait for a seat.

                If I want AMAZING Mexican I trek out to Silverlake for Allegria on Sunset.

            2. re: CarlieInLA
              carriedushey RE: CarlieInLA Apr 23, 2008 11:39 PM

              Casa Vega is not good Mexican food...it is not any kind of good food. The place is overpriced and the only saving grace is that the place is so dark that you can't see the bland and disgusting food you are being served. I would eat at Del Taco before I would go to Casa Vega.

              1. re: carriedushey
                Diana RE: carriedushey Apr 24, 2008 07:07 AM

                I actually like it when I want sloppy, fake, mexican food!

            3. c
              ChowinDown RE: jotoll Apr 22, 2008 04:00 PM

              Hey everybody, I'm new here and love this forum already. What a great resource. I have to completely disagree with Diana. Though it is nothing fancy, my favorite Mexican restaurant resides in Reseda. Its called Las Fuentes. Roughly 1 block east of Reseda Blvd. on Vanowen St.. The food is very authentic, not to mention delicious, offers a great atmosphere and alcoholic drinks are available. I believe they offer margaritas but never noticed because we always grab beers instead. The place can get crowded and parking is not so great. However, you will not be disappointed.

              5 Replies
              1. re: ChowinDown
                Debbie W RE: ChowinDown Apr 22, 2008 04:10 PM

                The food at Las Fuentes is very good (and you're new so you don't know that Las Fuentes generally gets good notices on this board) but it's not a sit down restaurant with table service. I'm under the impression that the O.P. wants a table service type of place. I don't think Las Fuentes has margaritas either. It can be hard to find a table if it's crowded which it usually seems to be. But I still like it. And I tend to agree with Diana. Lately we've been going to Mucho Mas in Burbank and the drinks and food are decent enough, but I would kill for a Lindo Michoacan (a Vegas restaurant)-type place here in the SFV, with drinks and a wide-ranging menu and homemade corn and flour tortillas.

                1. re: Debbie W
                  Das Ubergeek RE: Debbie W Apr 25, 2008 07:23 AM

                  I don't know at all if it's related but the place two doors down from my regular coffee shop in Anaheim is called Lindo Michoacan #3. It looks tasty, but I've never actually set foot.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek
                    Debbie W RE: Das Ubergeek Apr 25, 2008 07:27 PM

                    I don't think it's related but I suppose you could ask if so inclined. There's a chain of "Michoacan" restaurants in Vegas - Lindo, Bonita, Viva, maybe one more that I'm forgetting. Sit down places with bars and decent food though I've only been to Lindo and Bonita. My husband and I often comment that we'd eat there once a week if it was near our house as opposed to 300 miles away. Sadly, what's near our house is Casa Vega.

                2. re: ChowinDown
                  Diana RE: ChowinDown Apr 23, 2008 07:34 AM

                  Las Fuentes does not offer table service. Nice place, though. Light years ahead of others

                  1. re: ChowinDown
                    CarlieInLA RE: ChowinDown Apr 24, 2008 12:37 PM

                    I love Las Fuentes! Their carnitas burrito is really good. They do serve beer, but no margaritas.

                  2. o
                    omakase RE: jotoll Apr 22, 2008 11:36 PM

                    I agree with all the Amaranta Cocina supporters. I love the Margaritas. And don't forget to ask for the chips. They're complementary, but you have to ask for them. My other choice in the Valley is Sol Y Luna - fun and lively atmosphere, solid Margaritas, good chips/salsa, and wonderful guacamole made tableside. I'm hooked on the Carnitas.

                    SOL Y LUNA
                    19601 Ventura Blvd.
                    Tarzana, CA 91356

                    1. b
                      BBQ101 RE: jotoll Apr 23, 2008 07:49 AM

                      Sol Y Luna and Las Fuentes are owned by the same family. For that matter so is Melodys. Any of these options are great for Mex food/food and they provide a 3 tiered scale for your mood, Melodys for dirve thru, Las Fuentes for walk up ordering but with a place to sit down and get a beer or SolY Luna for a sit down guacamole made at the side of the table kinda dinner.

                      1. j
                        jotoll RE: jotoll Apr 23, 2008 08:46 AM

                        Thank you all so much for all the feedback!!

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: jotoll
                          carter RE: jotoll Apr 23, 2008 01:03 PM

                          Senor Fred in Sherman Oaks, and Mexicali Cantina in Studio City if those areas of the valley are of interest - both better than Casa Vega.

                          1. re: carter
                            rednyellow RE: carter Apr 23, 2008 09:12 PM

                            I prefer Senior Fred. I've given Mexicali several tries, they never seem to get it right - poor service and spotty food.

                            1. re: carter
                              Das Ubergeek RE: carter Apr 25, 2008 07:25 AM

                              Hm. Mexicali, better than Casa Vega, that's not something I can agree with. Certainly the drinks are better, and certainly the eye candy at Mexicali is several steps ahead of Casa Vega... but the food is absolutely disgusting at Mexicali (it was not good at Casa Vega, but it wasn't send-it-back disgusting either, and Mexicali was), and the service is better at Casa Vega.

                              Mexicali's where you go when you want to spend a lot of money on drinks and aren't going to eat anyway because it spoils your figure. It's an S&M bar (that's Stand and Model, folks, calm down) that also has tables for food.

                              1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                Diana RE: Das Ubergeek Apr 25, 2008 07:36 AM

                                Actually, I was savoring the various connotations of an S&M margarita bar and Mexican restaurant.

                                1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                  carter RE: Das Ubergeek Apr 26, 2008 08:56 AM

                                  Mexicali, while no exemplar of high quality bean food, is definitely better than Vega, which to me is no better than El Coyote, yet you can find dishes that you will survive at either. I surely enjoy the fun at Mexicali more than vega, which to me is just dark and dreary.
                                  Obviously, though, both places have their fans as both do MAJOR business every day of the year and make their respective owners plenty of money.

                            2. d
                              Diana RE: jotoll Apr 26, 2008 08:34 AM

                              If instead you go Honduran, this little hole int the wall place on Burbank in Van Nuys I love, El Katracho has great food and yummy mango margaritas (others I think, I only get mango). Also, you get a great deal on a big bucket o bottles o beer. Not amazing beer, but OK beer, in a bucket. Get a few balleadas, some shrimp or Honduran fried chicken, fired platanos, you're good to go. Great breakfast, too.

                              Closed Tuesdays

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Diana
                                Fresser RE: Diana Jun 8, 2008 06:44 PM

                                Tried El Katracho due to all the posts. The Hounds steered me wrong! We're spanish speaking and the service was at best poor. The food very bland, cold and totally uninspired. Oh and for those of you who keep mentioning the margaritas, they do NOT have a liquor license and their "Margaritas" are NOT made with tequila, therefore they are NOT Margaritas. I'll take Casa Vega any damn day!

                              2. Kate is always hungry RE: jotoll Jun 22, 2008 12:04 AM

                                Has anyone been to Ernie's on Lankershim lately? I seem to remember enjoying what I had. I am not much of a Mexican food fan but a huge fan of Margarita's. Last week we had an good bye party from work at Sierra's on Canoga. I was not impressed with the Margarita and the buffet was zzzzzz.

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