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Rivera or Serenata di Garibaldi?

blackbookali Jan 16, 2010 01:34 PM

Craving a really good margarita and some good food to match but not trying to break the bank. Any other suggestions welcome.

  1. m
    mc michael Jan 16, 2010 02:25 PM

    La Casita? Babita? Ciudad?

    1. h
      Harry Nile Jan 16, 2010 03:08 PM

      I forget the liquor situation at the two Westside branches of La Serenata de Garibaldi, but the original, best location in Boyle Heights serves only wine margaritas, unless something has changed recently. Babita also lacks a hard-liquor license, and La Casita has no alcohol at all -- just great food. So if your heart is set on a fine, traditional margarita, you'll have to go to places like Rivera, Ciudad, and Border Grill (which I discovered last year is much better than it used to be). If not breaking the bank is also important, La Cabanita is a charming place with decent food (excellent soups and cheese enchiladas, good mole poblano, so-so chile en nogada), a good selection of tequila, and mid-range prices.

      La Cabanita
      3447 N Verdugo Rd, Glendale, CA 91208

      2 Replies
      1. re: Harry Nile
        mc michael Jan 16, 2010 04:05 PM

        You may be right about Babita which makes the decor of a zillion different empty tequila bottles all around the top of the room bizarre.

        1. re: mc michael
          Harry Nile Jan 16, 2010 04:20 PM

          Those bottles ... and don't forget their tequila-cured salmon sope, which is my favorite dish. Yes, being able to order a tequila shot or cocktail would be nice.

      2. d
        degustateur Jan 16, 2010 04:09 PM

        ... easy answer: Rivera given your desire for a really good margarita AND some good food.

        See related recent thread at: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/678767

        1 Reply
        1. re: degustateur
          mc michael Jan 16, 2010 05:12 PM

          Rivera is probably the ticket, but Ciudad does make a good marg on the rocks.

        2. ipsedixit Jan 16, 2010 06:40 PM

          La Serenata de Garibaldi is a joke of a Mexican restaurant.

          Go to Rivera.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit
            Harry Nile Jan 16, 2010 07:10 PM

            I assume you're talking about the Boyle Heights location. Your unhelpful statement sounds like a criticism from the LA Times in the Nineties when the Serenata enterprise was in decline. Have you been to Boyle Heights in the last ten years? What is it that disturbed you so much that you had to make this confrontational, content-free claim?

            1. re: Harry Nile
              ipsedixit Jan 16, 2010 07:20 PM

              Been there within the past year. Boyle Heights location.

              The fish soup was so salty as to be almost a joke. I had a taste of my companion's fish gorditas and thought I had bitten into a Hot Pocket.

              I go there only to humor my godfather, who really enjoys this place. Otherwise, I could do without it in my life.

              1. re: ipsedixit
                Neta Jan 17, 2010 10:43 AM

                I agree with you ipse. I don't know why they had to change from the good ole' neighborhood restaurant that it was before all these changes. They had the best avena ever.

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