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Mexican Food Birthday Dinner

KkLove Oct 31, 2008 06:25 AM

Hi! My family and I will be traveling to L.A. next week for business. It also happens to be my fathers birthday. I am looking for ideas on really good mexican food. We will be staying at the Hyatt Century Plaza in Century City so preferably something not too far from that. We don't mind driving but we don't want to try to get somewhere that is a hour drive either.

Just a fun, good place that perhaps even takes reservations. Great atmosphere a must! Thanks!

  1. n
    nosh Oct 31, 2008 10:06 PM

    I would recommend either Border Grill or La Serenata de Garibaldi in Santa Monica. Both are just a block or so east of the 3rd Street Promenade. Border Grill is owned by the "Two Hot Tamales" of TV and radio fame, is a major bar and happy hour destination, and has good upscale Mexican food. La Serenata de Garibaldi is the Santa Monica branch of a longstanding East Los Angeles seafood restaurant, that specializes in unique Mexican sauces that accompany the seafood. Either of these would honor reservations and be worthy of a celebratory dinner.

    If it was my BD, I'd choose to eat at either Tacos Por Favor in Santa Monica on Olympic at 14th ('hounds love their chorizo and cheese tacos, and recently their torta milanese, as well as their salsa roja) or head southwest on Centinela between Washington and Culver to Taqueria Sanchez (fantastic shrimp tacos) but these are ultracasual order at the counter sort of places. Casa Sanchez is near the latter and would be good for a sitdown full service Mexican dinner. Finally, many praise Monte Alban, a small Oaxacan place on Santa Monica Blvd. at Brockton (not too far west of Century City) for their excellent regional authentic dishes and moles at very inexpensive prices.

    3 Replies
    1. re: nosh
      westsidegal Oct 31, 2008 11:18 PM

      more upscale than tacos por favor or taqueria sanchez, my oaxacan favorite is tlapazola grill on gateway near barrington.
      still, it isn't truly an upscale restaurant, it is located in a storefront in a strip mall.

      1. re: nosh
        ipsedixit Oct 31, 2008 11:44 PM

        Border Grill is a fun place for drink and happy hour, and is only decent (at best) for Mexican food.

        I wouldn't go there if one is looking for "really good mexican food" as the OP is asking for.

        1. re: nosh
          Eat_Nopal Nov 1, 2008 10:25 PM

          "I would recommend either Border Grill or La Serenata de Garibaldi in Santa Monica."

          IMHO... Frida is substantially superior to Border Grill... its no Babita but its about as good Mexican with Atmosphere as you are going to get in that part of the City.

          Monte Alban, would of course, be a great recommendation if they can live without an upscale dining room.

        2. Servorg Oct 31, 2008 06:56 AM

          Reservations, great atmosphere, fun place and close to Century City. How about Frida in Beverly Hills?

          236 South Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90212

          3 Replies
          1. re: Servorg
            brandygirl Nov 1, 2008 04:49 PM

            I second the FRIDA recommendation. I've been there three or four times and have never had a bad meal. Also, the service was always good.

            1. re: brandygirl
              Servorg Nov 1, 2008 04:59 PM

              One other thought that came to mind. How would a birthday celebration be like at:

              http://www.pinktaco.com/ ? It is in the heart of Century City (in the Century City Mall).

              1. re: brandygirl
                Emme Nov 1, 2008 10:22 PM

                i agree Frida is probably the best bet close to Century City. Babita would be my rec if you were willing to drive, but i understand not wanting to trek.

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