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Aug 15, 2013 12:20 PM

Best Mexican Banquet Dinner around La Jolla

Fellow hounds,

Anyone have a good recommendation of a nicer mexican resturant (no paper napkins) within a 15min drive of La Jolla. Looking for ~80 people for $3,000 budget.

I looked at old-town [coyote] and the parking & food is bad. I looked at local mexican LaJolla places [al fonso/su casa] and none seem very good or accomodating.

Any suggestions?

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  1. You might give the Estancia Hotel a call, pretty sure their restaurant "Mustangs and Burros" can set up for that size of a party outside on the hotel grounds. Not sure about the price point though.

    Not in La Jolla, but El Agave in Old Town is pretty upscale and solid. Miguel's in Old Town has their own parking lot.

    1. I don't know if Cozymel (clever name) can handle that many people, but that's another place you might want to check. It's less than 15 minutes from LJ and would definitely fit into your budget.

      I agree with foodiechick about El Agave, but once again don't know if they have the capacity for a private party of that size. El Agave would just barely fit into your budget.

      It's a short walk, but there's plenty of parking for Old Town in the large lot adjacent to the trolley stop.

      8 Replies
      1. re: DoctorChow

        Not talking about authentic or not but Cozymel is simply serving horrible food

        1. re: honkman

          I mentioned Cozymel mainly because it's really big, it's very close to LJ, it would easily fit their budget, and it has lots of parking. And I think they have cloth napkins. I'd say it was average-type Mexican fare, though, not horrible. When I worked in that area, a group of us used to go there from time to time for lunch. I thought it was ok. Haven't been in the last three or four years, though. Seems like it'd be good for a big group, if they're not too fussy.

          1. re: honkman

            When was the last time you were there? IIRC, you dismissed it fairly quickly after it opened and have been repeating the mantra ever since, but maybe you have updated info.

            Just another Tio Leo's / El Torito / On The Border, but with the 80 person party size the OP may have little choice.

            1. re: RB Hound

              I'm pretty sure the side patio off the bar at Casa Guadalajara in Old Town can handle a party of 80 in the OPs price range.

              1. re: RB Hound

                A few months ago, unfortunately my company for some reason has from time to time some kind of event there which forces me to eat something there. Based on these experiences On the Border and El Torito are clear approvements

                1. re: honkman

                  Maybe we can get On the Border to move into the abandoned El Torito building next to Rock Bottom. I don't think you could use that space for anything but a Mexican restaurant.

                  1. re: RB Hound

                    On the Border is horrid. It has no redeeming value. Don't encoutage the growth of someting so henious

          2. Just a little bit beyond Old Town and probably no more than 15 minutes if traffic isn't awful

            Candelas -

            Blind Burro -

            Or go East to Escondido.

            Hacienda de Vega - (click on the link to the Special Events Kit)

            3 Replies
            1. re: DiningDiva

              You know I have really tried to like Hacienda de Vega. The ambience is great and they do lots of banquets out in the back. However, it seems like every time we go, they screw up one of our orders, or the dish is terrible, or the food takes forever to come out. I know the kitchen is tiny, but there seems to be something else going on.

              1. re: littlestevie

                Yeah, I know. I debated about whether to offer it up as a choice or not and finally figured why not. The OP can review and decide what they want to do, plus it ticks all their requirement boxes.

              2. re: DiningDiva

                I agree with Hacienda De Vega. Beautiful patio and great food!

              3. Fidel's Del Mar..take over the whole downstairs patio..lots of parking across the street in the Industrial parks
                Las Olas in Cardiff..check on group size
                Hacienda de Vega in this place..
                Casa de Pico in La Mesa..lots of parking at Grossmont Center

                Like foodiechica's suggestion on Estancia LJ..this is a great hotel, off the beaten path

                2 Replies
                1. re: Beach Chick

                  Tony's and Fidel's both have decent patios but you really don't want to go during race season. went last saturday and had a long wait but really didn't care because it was fun.
                  Bandini has a real nice patio and I have seen that closed off for banquets. Have not been to Diane's new place down in Carmel Valley. I think the patio isn't as nice but it is lots closer.

                  1. re: littlestevie

                    Went to the track and hit up Fidels afterwards, no line but last post was 30 minutes away..usually there is a wait.
                    Tony Jacal's is a good call.

                2. Thanks for all the great advice, am going to check them all out next weekend and let you know what I decided to go.