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Tequila tasting?

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My wife hates wine. So when we go wine-tasting, she always ends up driving and having an awful time. She would like to know if there is anywhere within three hours of Angel Stadium to have a good tequila tasting (and not standing at the counter in a liquor store in TJ, either). I'm going to cross-post this to the California board to catch "outer" areas.

Thanks, 'hounds!

  1. Perhaps El Carmen on 3rd Street in LA.

    1 Reply
    1. re: countdeville

      El Carmen is where I learned about tequila and mezcal. The hardest part of the lesson was the recovery.

      I would recommend getting there before the evening rush. My best experience was simply going to the bar with a friend, handing the bartender a credit card, and asking him to teach us about tequila. We lucked out in getting their tequila buyer, who was very knowledgeable and was able to give us a variety of different tastes and really showed off the complexity of tequila.

      You might call them and see if they would do a small tasting seminar.

    2. Rudy's on the corner of Colorado and Myrtle, in Monrovia, has an extensive selection of Tequilas. He tried a tequila tasting once but it was poorly attended so now you'd just have to try the shots which range anywhere from around $3.00 to over $30 for some of his really primo stuff. Felipe's in either Upland or RC is another that I can think of that has a very extensive selection. I like Rudy's, though, because Rudy himself would be happy to sit with you and guide you through the tasting. He's quite an afficianado of the agave.

      1. Border Grill, Santa Monica frequently holds tequila tasting events. Call them to find out when the next one is. Whether they are having an organized tasting or not, it's worth checking out as there are something like 80+ kinds of tequila behind the bar.

        1. El Carmen is great, and I believe has the largest selection around LA.

          Also, Amaranta in Canoga Park.
          http://www.amarantarestaurant.com/myl...

          Malo, in Silver Lake.
          http://www.malorestaurant.com/

          In San Diego, El Agave.Don't know if they do formal tastings, but they have the 2nd largest tequila collection in the world.
          http://www.elagave.com/

          Amaranta or El Carmen would suit you just fine.I believe Malo will also do mezcal tatsings.

          1. The Scorpion Bar in Hollywood has 300 types of tequila/mezcal. They don't do a formal tasting (i.e., you have to buy each shot), but they certainly have the variety.

            1. http://www.latimes.com/features/food/...

              "Tequila bars take flight

              Hundreds of choices, tastings geared to the connoiseur -- in L.A., vino is making room for añejo."

              1 Reply
              1. re: QualityMart

                Gabbi's in orange has a large selection of tequila and you could ask them to set up a tasting for you. http://www.gabbimex.com/images/upload...

              2. Amaranta Cocina! As already mentioned.

                1. I was, there for a while, receiving monthly emails from Lula Cocina in Santa Monica about tequila tastings served with multi-course menus. Website says Lula has approx 175 tequilas.

                  Lula Cocina Mexicana
                  2720 Main Street, Santa Monica 90405
                  (310) 392-5711

                  http://www.gerrigilliland.com/lula/in...
                  http://www.gerrigilliland.com/lula/me...

                  1. Thanks for checking back in!! Do they do "flights"? Or can we order small samples? Since the advent of the Uberbaby, one-half of us have been kind of, um, a cheap date.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                      The majority of the places mentioned are by the shot only - though most of them often quality drinks that don't burn a huge hole in the wallet (always helps when you talk to the bartend and tip well). Rivera does offer a flight of 3 of their infused tequilas for $12 (worth every penny IMO.)

                      And I think all the above bars have happy hours too, though I think the discount is on cocktails rather than straight-up tequila. Still a nice, cheaper way to ease into the good stuff.

                      ~H.C.
                      http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com