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Jan 16, 2010 01:34 PM

Rivera or Serenata di Garibaldi?

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

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  1. La Casita? Babita? Ciudad?

    1. 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

        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

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

        See related recent thread at:

        1 Reply
        1. re: degustateur

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

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

          Go to Rivera.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit

            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

              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

                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.