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fun mexican on the westside for a group

i know there are tons of mexican places on the westside that are fun, we are looking for one that is good for a group of about 15 that enjoys drinking. We are considering La Serenata on Pico but are open to suggestions for somewhere that might have better food and a touch more atmosphere...

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    1. How about Border Grill in Santa Monica?

      1. lares on pico is good food and fun. sit upstairs though...downstairs is too hot and upstairs has live music.

        there is a place on centinella near culver that is a lot of fun. great 10 piece mariachi band, free guac, and chips. only problem is the food is bad and expensive. drinks are great and service is friendly though.

        1 Reply
        1. don antonio's has big and strong margaritas = fun!

            1. re: yogachik

              Try the new Casa Sanchez on Centinela - it's big, noisy with good food, drink and mariachis.

              1. re: Jeryy

                don antonios is fun..except the stupid hill filmed there and now all the hollywood rejects go there and the line is out the door.

                casa sanchez is fun...but eat before you get there. food is weak big time.

            2. I'm all about Don Antonio's or Lares. Really solid food at both, fun times, good drinks. Don Antonio's is pretty crowded especially for the $1 Taco Wednesdays, but late summer/fall was insanely crowded because they filmed there for The Hills. Try and sit in the cave room--it's a trip.

              1. La Talpa is also on the north side of Pico around Barrington and can serve a group that size. I think the food may be a touch better than Don Antonio's -- mostly the usual combo plates, though they do serve birria. I'm not sure whether the margaritas are genuine with tequila or the wine version.

                By far the best food near that stretch is Monte Alban, in the minimall on the N/E corner of Santa Monica Blvd. at Brockton. Very authentic and interesting Oaxacan, with a variety of moles and a number of other specialties. But a group of 15? I'm not at all sure -- it could easily overwhelm them and lead to a very long and uneven experience. And I don't know about drinking there.

                1 Reply
                1. re: nosh

                  Our last meal at the Talpa was pretty disappointing. Albondigas was without flavor and the main courses were both pretty meh. Also, it's not a very inviting space if one is looking for a "festive" place, especially in comparison to Don Antonio. With the weather we are having the back patio at Don A's would be the perfect place for a group that wants to have some fun drinking and chowing down.

                2. El Texate is always fun.

                  I'll second Border Grill if you're there for happy hour. Otherwise it can get pricey quick if you're there all night getting $15 mojitos.