El Mariachi Coming to Ventura Blvd.

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Photo: Tatiana Arbogast

Armando and Fernando Lopez (not the same of Pal Cabron fame), the father and son team from the family behind Leonardo's Nightclub and adjacent Candela on LaBrea, have a new Mexican restaurant and sports bar set to open in for Encino in the next two or three weeks. If anyone else was naming their place El Mariachi, we'd predict something with all the authenticity of a cantina on Universal Studios CityWalk, but think this duo knows how to properly tone down the queso for a more vital experience.

The food will strive for faithful grill cooking, with most of its inspiration coming from western north-central Mexico, says a manager, with meat preps from Durango and Michoacan. Live mariachis will rock the place on weekends, events will be hosted during the week, and a big screen is planned on stage when the horn section clear out, along with the multiple 32" screens currently on-hand to show the game.

El Mariachi, 15627 Ventura Blvd. Encino. 818-380-0160.