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Mexican in vicinity of Century City?

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Nicole Mar 20, 2010 11:40 PM

I need to take an out-of-owner friend to dinner near Century City on Mon or Tues. Mexican has been requested, and I'm not sure where to go in that area. Monte Alban in West LA isn't too far, but I'm hesitant because I think my friend would prefer non-Oaxacan and the last couple of times I've gone on a weeknight it has been empty with bad service (so kind of depressing). I would rather find another option that serves non-Oaxacan and, if possible, has either a lively or homey atmosphere. Any suggestions in that area?

  1. wienermobile May 12, 2010 01:41 PM

    Gloria's Cafe on Venice Blvd. I saw them on Diners, drive-in's and dives this week. Looks really good.
    http://www.gloriascafela.com/

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    Gloria's Cafe
    10227 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

    1 Reply
    1. re: wienermobile
      b
      bulavinaka May 12, 2010 03:28 PM

      Gloria's IS really good. :) Their beef and pork dishes are definitely in the really good category, especially their carne adobada and carne encebollado. Their pupusas are worthy as well. If it weren't for their neon signage, I think they'd be practically invisible to most drivers.

    2. i
      Iron_E May 10, 2010 07:39 PM

      I work in Century City also, and live nearby.

      For a modern healthly Mexican influence, "Kay n Dave's" on Pico a little west of Beverly Glenn.

      For authentic I go to the taco truck parked by Pep Boys on pico just East of Overland.
      $1.25 per taco!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Iron_E
        f
        froggyhumi May 12, 2010 01:25 PM

        I think Kay n Dave's is closed!

        1. re: froggyhumi
          Servorg May 12, 2010 01:35 PM

          Right. Now we have Kay n Dave's in Culver City in its place:

          Kay 'n Dave's Cantina
          www.kayndaves.com
          9341 Culver Boulevard
          Culver City, CA 90232-2614
          (310) 558-8100

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          Kay 'n Dave's Cantina
          9341 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

        2. re: Iron_E
          r
          Rosiepigs May 12, 2010 03:28 PM

          that truck is excellent! try the cemita poblanas, and demand papalo if they have it.

          1. re: Rosiepigs
            n
            nachosaurus May 13, 2010 11:52 PM

            i ordered asada tacos there. they gave me chicken -- but b/c it was wrapped in a paper bag, i didn't realize until it was too late. not only that - but there was no salsa on the tacos and they were so dry! it had yummy moments - guac/onion/cilantro. but no salsa? awful. and a dry taco? double trouble.

            i am going to return for a cemita - but that was sad, and i will be specific and check my order.

        3. n
          Nicole Mar 24, 2010 06:51 PM

          We went to Don Antonio's and the food was pretty good. I really liked the chips...they were all thick and greasy and I knew I shouldn't like them but I did. :) Carnitas plate was very good. The chile relleno looked kind of odd, I didn't taste it but my friend seemed to enjoy it, as well as her beef tacos.Restaurant was a little gloomier than I anticipated (as we left, I realized that the other side was a bit cheerier...I was a bit thrown off by the 2 doors), but all in all I was satisfied. Thanks again for the help!

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          Don Antonio's
          11755 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

          3 Replies
          1. re: Nicole
            j
            Jwsel Mar 24, 2010 08:24 PM

            Are you sure you went to Don Antonio's? The doors to Don Antonio's and La Talpa are immediately next to each other. Talpa is the door on the right and is quite dark inside. It has a large mural of a cowboy on one wall.

            1. re: Jwsel
              Servorg Mar 25, 2010 04:36 AM

              It sounds like Nicole was at DA's, if for no other clue than her description of the chips ;-D>

              DA's has 2 doors in front, one goes directly into the bar adjacent area that has booths in a lighter colored naugahide / pleather / leather.

              The other door enters right by the big fish tank that sits along the wall on the south (Pico Blvd) wall. All the other booths are in red material of some sort. If you sit in this room (the fish tank room) the lighting is brighter and if you walk straight back toward the alley that runs behind the restaurant you pass by the entrance to the bar on your left (west) and the waiters station, (you can see the bar on the other side of the waiters station with a little pass through to your left).

              If you keep walking straight ahead (north) you will go by a single booth on your right (where we like to sit) and two little tables on your left, then you pass the bathrooms and go outside to the patio area (which is on your left as you leave through the back door).

              On the other side, when you enter the restaurant by the fish tank, if you walk straight ahead is the "cave" room where the lighting is a little more subdued and the walls are faux rock material (and which is the room that sits against the wall that separates DA from The Talpa next door on the east side).

              1. re: Servorg
                n
                Nicole Mar 25, 2010 08:58 AM

                Great description, Servorg. We were indeed at DA and we sat in the "cave" room...if I go there in the future I think I'd rather sit in the other room which had a mural....which I didn't really notice until we were leaving.

          2. e
            ElissaInPlaya Mar 22, 2010 11:22 AM

            I like Frida in Beverly HIlls, and end up there about once a month, due to the dearth of other convenient Mexican options. Although it is not as authentic as Monte Alban, I'm always pleased with the flavors, quality, decor, drinks and service.

            Nachosaurus nailed the description of Don Antonio's (below) -- if you're looking for that vibe, you'll like taking your friend there.

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            Monte Alban
            11927 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

            Don Antonio's
            11755 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

            1 Reply
            1. re: ElissaInPlaya
              b
              Bria Silbert Mar 22, 2010 02:23 PM

              also keep in mind - this was a deal breaker for me - if you go to Don Antonio's and sit on the patio, smoking is allowed. Blech.

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              Don Antonio's
              11755 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

            2. cant talk...eating Mar 21, 2010 05:48 PM

              Does your friend want a hole-in-the-wall or a 'nice' experience? I've walked in and right out of one of the Pico spots mentioned near La Serenata (so. side of the street, memory fades). Seriously shabby/grubby. Serenata has to be some of the lamest, most mediocre Mexican food in L.A. - completely bland. Mi Ranchito is completely subpar in every imaginable way.

              (I'm sorry - I'm not really down on all westside Mexican, but having grown up in the SGV I'm probably pickier than most?)

              You're pretty much squarely in a Mexican food desert in Century City proper, so I'd just go for a fun touristy (but upscale) experience with pretty decent (if a bit pricey) food - Frida (Beverly Hills). Never had a bad meal there.

              Or, much more low-key and the other direction - Lares, on Pico toward Sta. Monica.

              I'd say Frida for "lively" and Lares for "homey". I'm just thinking of out-of-town guests here, not, say, where I'd go for take-out, on a lunch break, etc.

              1 Reply
              1. re: cant talk...eating
                j
                Jwsel Mar 21, 2010 06:38 PM

                Both Talpa and Don Antonio's are on the north side of Pico and are on the other side of the 405 from La Serenata (which is right next to Westside Pavilion). From your description of the location, I doubt you meant Talpa or Don Antonio's.

                Now, I would say that Talpa's atmosphere is somewhat shabby -- dark, formica tables, an a wall mural that may not have been repainted since the 1970s. I personally find that part of its charm, but it's not for someone who wants upscale. However, given that the OP mentioned Monte Alban as a potential destination, I got the impression that food was more of a priority over decor.

                ETA: Frida is more than a bit pricey. The cheapest appetizer (guacamole) is $9, ceviches are $17-19, tacos are $12+, and most of the entrees are $20+, with some costing more than $30. Compared to Monte Alban, where the entrees are mainly under $10, that is a very pricey option.

              2. n
                Nicole Mar 21, 2010 11:35 AM

                Thanks for all the help! I'm leaning toward Don Antonio's, with La Talpa next door as a backup.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Nicole
                  n
                  nachosaurus Mar 21, 2010 01:10 PM

                  Good choice - especially for out-of-towners. Don Antonio's is super fun, has a really nice patio, has liquor, and the best chips / nachos in town!

                  Also - i used to really like La Talpa - but feel like it has declined significantly in taste / quality in the recent year. Sometimes we end up there if Don Antonio's is too full or is closed.

                  1. re: Nicole
                    Servorg Mar 21, 2010 02:54 PM

                    If you do end up at Don Antonio's try a cup of their albondigas soup to start, it is really quite tasty.

                  2. n
                    NAspy Mar 21, 2010 09:24 AM

                    Don Antonio and La Talpa are next door to each other on Pico so you can definitely compare menus, decor and atmosphere, though I think the former has the better food, it has less of a "fun" atmosphere.

                    Mi Ranchito on Washington Boulevard is the epitome of a fun, kitschy Mexican place with decent food and reasonable prices. By "kitschy" I mean every inch of the walls and ceilings are decorated with a variety of things ranging from old photographs, to inflatable beer bottles, to Mexican masks. It also is usually pretty crowded, so you'll see lots of people and families there.

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                    Don Antonio's
                    11755 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: NAspy
                      Servorg Mar 21, 2010 02:53 PM

                      "...though I think the former has the better food, it has less of a "fun" atmosphere."

                      I think you meant this the other way around...Don Antonio's definitely has a better (more fun) atmosphere than the Talpa (and we think it has better food as well).

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                      The Talpa
                      11751 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                      1. re: Servorg
                        n
                        NAspy Mar 21, 2010 03:19 PM

                        Right ... La Talpa better more authentic food, Don Antonio's more atmosphere

                    2. b
                      bulavinaka Mar 21, 2010 08:49 AM

                      Sounds like Pico Blvd will be your destination. I don't know what kind of Mexican food your friend is up for, but another option would be Don Antonio's on Pico near Barrington (as well). The have all the conventional Mexican standard dishes and combos, they do margaritas, it's a pretty nice space with a casa feel and a patio, and the chips and salsa are really good.

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                      Don Antonio's
                      11755 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                      Pico Cafe
                      8944 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

                      1. foodseeker Mar 21, 2010 08:05 AM

                        I work in Century City and live close by, and our favorite place hands down is La Serenata Gourmet on Pico (10924 W. Pico). The food is excellent and it has a nice atmosphere as well. They have wonderful seafood, tacos, enchiladas, etc. And, try the poblano pepper quesadilla -- you will not be disappointed!

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                        La Serenata
                        10924 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                        Pico Cafe
                        8944 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

                        1. n
                          New Trial Mar 21, 2010 12:24 AM

                          I have not been so cannot vouch for it but the closest would be in the Century City mall: Pink Taco. http://www.pinktaco.com/

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                          Pink Taco
                          10250 Santa Monica Blvd #220, Los Angeles, CA

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: New Trial
                            c
                            coffeebrownies Mar 21, 2010 02:25 PM

                            Pink Taco is a margaritas and chips and appetizers place for the after work crowd--expensive and inauthentic --however, it is a great place to go after work in Century City for margaritas and chips and appetizers--especially when the check gets picked up by someone else!

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                            Pink Taco
                            10250 Santa Monica Blvd #220, Los Angeles, CA

                          2. j
                            Jwsel Mar 21, 2010 12:14 AM

                            I work in Century City and our go-to place for Mexican is La Talpa on Pico near Barrington. It's about the same distance from Century City as Monte Alban. It's not a particularly lively place, but I'm not sure Monte Alban really is either. Service is excellent, because the place is small and you are almost always in view of the waitresses and the kitchen. And the food is very good, especially the chile rellenos, enchiladas, and carne asada taco.

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                            The Talpa
                            11751 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

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