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Aug 15, 2014 02:13 PM

Who remembers Arriba's in West L.A.? (It was called Arriba's, right?)

The La Barbera's thread reminded of Arriba's.

Does anyone else remember a Mexican restaurant in West L.A. named Arriba's? I'm pretty sure it was called Arriba's, anyway. (I'm bad with names.)

Arriba's was literally under the freeway on Pico near (I guess) Sawtelle. The building isn't even there anymore.

The reason I remember Arriba's is that they had a happy hour that students could love. The food at the UCLA dorms was pretty horrible, so we used to go to Arriba's where they had an all-you-can-eat Happy Hour. And for students, that meant ordering a Coke (assuming they carded us, which they did sometimes, but not every time) and then eating a pile of chips and salsa, and mini-chimichangas/burritos and the like.

We used to do the same thing at Baxter's, too, also long gone from Westwood Village. Baxter's was underground (I think it was where the Whole Foods is now) and they also had an AYCE Happy Hour. They never carded us, which was good for drinking, but also more expensive, though we could eat tons of whatever they served, which I don't remember.

All that said, and in order to make the thread current and not just a nostalgia thread -- are there still AYCE buffet-style Happy Hours around town or have they gone the way of Arriba's and Baxter's.

(Side note: After I graduated, my whole family went to Arriba's to celebrate. Luckily, my dad could actually afford to pay for a meal and my grandparents weren't forced to fill up on chips and spicy carrots.)

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  1. I seem to recall that Arriba's was an Acapulco from another mother.

    1. Almost 30 years ago, mid-late '80s: Place called Cafe Cafe, on Lindbrook a few doors east of where 800 Degrees is today, had a happy hour where we'd meet on Fridays for dollar well drinks and a free buffet that had pasta, caesar salad, meatballs, pizza squares and other goodies. Alternate with Yesterdays, which was replaced by Duets and then by Chili's on Westwood across from Alice's (now Tanino's) and also had a great happy hour buffet and cheap drinks. Loved their second-floor outdoor balcony overlooking Westwood Blvd. Alice's Restaurant had some sort of deal, as did Baxter's (basement level under what is now Whole Foods), as did Startton's (now Barney's Beanery). Not to mention Acapulco with their very cheap frozen margaritas and free mexican buffet (recently closed). Loved those Fridays: eat and drink to a stupor, stagger home, nap for a couple hours, then up for Friday night.

      4 Replies
      1. re: nosh

        I recall Yesterdays, Alice's, Poppy's, and what was the Italian place? Mario's? Hamburger Hamlet was in its heyday. Time marches on.

        1. re: nosh

          Wow, that's a great trip down memory lane! Do you remember the name of the place that was below street level on the east side of Westwood Blvd. approximately across from what is now Tanino's? I know it had a bar; not sure about the restaurant area.

          1. re: Bob Brooks

            I don't know. Dillon's? Baxter's? Hell, there was once a Hungry Tiger in Westwood.

            1. re: mc michael

              And a block over, wasn't there a place called Mom's in the old days?

        2. Hmm. I grew up in that part of WLA and I don't rmember a restaurant of that name. You didn't state the time period of its existence. I do recall a restaurant named Arriba in Pasadena on Fair Oaks south of Colorado which was there in the 1980s or early '90s.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Sam D.

            Can't remember the name but I do recall that place. When it was your birthday they would of course sing to you but they would also put a big sombrero on your head for the performance.

            1. re: Sam D.

              I graduated in the mid-80s -- so I was going to this place from about 80-85 give or take a year.

            2. Brings back nostalgia for memories I never had.

              1. Yup... it was indeed Ariba. I know because I worked for the company. There were locations in WLA, Pasadena, West Covina, Tabasco Charley's in Redondo Beach and more. Acapulco was the co-founder of the restaurants after they separated.