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Cinco de Mayo celebration on the West Side

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Once again you fellow chowhounds have not failed me, therefore I am coming to you with another question.

There will be approximately 5-10 local friends getting together for Cinco de Mayo and one friend is new to our group and is coming in from England. We would like to show them what it's like to celebrate Cinco de Mayo here in LA. Any suggestions on where to take someone from the other side of the pond to experience their first Cinco de Mayo celebration? He'll be staying over on the West Side, but most of us live from Harbor City, Silver Lake and the Pasadena area.
Any suggestions?

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  1. Are you looking for party atmosphere, good food, or a balance of both? The best party places aren't usually the best, authentic food places, y'know?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Professor Salt

      Another thing to keep in mind is that the wait at most Mexican places is absolutely horrendous on Cinco de Mayo, to the point where it's not even enjoyable. I think the last time I did it we waited two plus hours for a table and I swore never again. Mexican bars on St. Patty's and Irish bars on Cinco de Mayo is the old rule of thumb.

      1. re: mollyomormon

        I would like a balance of both, but if not possible, I'd rather have the good food...
        Hmmmm, Irish bar for Cinco de Mayo -he's probably been to some great ones, since he's traveled extensively through Ireland!

        Oh well...whatever you have to offer is better than what I can come up with. I don't know the West Side very well for food....

        1. re: truetraveler

          Honestly, if I were taking a out of towner out for Mexican food on the westside, I'd go to Tacos Por Favor. It's a slice of L.A. life type of taqueria, and they do have beer. And since it's not a bar per se, it might lack the "amateur night" aspects of a place like, say, El Compadre.

          -----
          Tacos Por Favor
          1406 Olympic Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404

          1. re: truetraveler

            I really enjoy Gilbert's at 26th and Pico in SaMo for sort of a balance of both, but I should mention that it's a smallish place so the crowd factor might be compounded there. It's more on the Americanized side of things, FWIW. I have no idea what the more authentic westside places (Monte Alban, Mariscos Chente) will be like that day.

      2. There is always the Mariachi show at Casa Sanchez...

        --Dommy!

        1. I second the recommendation for Casa Sanchez. I also think La Huesteca, or Monte Alban could be fun.

          1. 4 years ago i did Cinco de Mayo at "El Guapo Cantina" @ Melrose in hollywood and it was fun, but Cinco de Mayo has exploded ever since, so I dont know how crowded it gets now...