We hardly need an excuse to stuff our faces with tacos and guzzle tequila in this town, but Cinco de Mayo does provide one if you need it. The bars will be bursting next Thursday, so we thought it appropriate to round up a guide to who's doing what on the 5th of May and in the days leading up to it. From an Espolón cocktail crafted by Eric Alperin at The Varnish to special menus at Border Grill to Italian margaritas at Culina, you'll be a superhero if you're still on two feet by the time Thursday is through. Take a look at our user's guide to what's going on before and during Cinco de Mayo.
Border Grill: This year Mary Sue and Susan's restaurants are going big with promises to have the "best Cinco de Mayo party in town." The Border Grill Truck will be pulling up to LA Plaza de Cultura de Artes at 4:00 P.M. on Thursday for a three-hour stop with live music and workshops from LA ArtLab, plus a menu that includes quinoa fritters, quesadillas, tacos, ceviche, and more. Downtown's Border Grill Stop is featuring $5 quesadillas from 11:30 to 1:00 P.M. on Thursday, while both restaurant locations are offering $3 tacos, with Downtown's including five-dollar Karma Tequila margaritas at their 4:00-10:00 P.M. party and Santa Monica offering $4 margaritas from 3:30 to 10:00 P.M.
Culina: For a different spin, the upscale Italian restaurant features an Italian margarita, with Patron silver, fig puree, Cointreau, ginger agave syrup, and lime. It is, however, eighteen dollars to indulge, putting it roughly ten dollars less than an entire bottle of Gran Centenario Anejo.
Gloria's: Culver City Patch tells us that this Palms' papusa restaurant is busting out a new agave margarita for Cinco de Mayo, in addition to a special menu of birria, chicken mole, and a Salvadoran sampler for two, in addition to drink specials.
Las Perlas: The bar will open at noon and Jose Galvan will start spinning Latin beats at 2:00 P.M. Pal Carbon will provide the food, with chicken tamales in black mole and no doubt in salute to Puebla, Mexico, where the whole holiday started, tacos arabes, from 3:00 to 6:00 P.M. Drink specials include five-dollar margaritas palomas, five-dollar shots of Herradura, and three buck Tecates.
Malo: These clever wordsmiths are throwing "Cinco de Malo" Celebraciones at their Silver Lake and Downtown locales. Silver Lake's will be sponsored by that Justin Timberlake-owned 901 Tequila that we're not very fond of, with DJs, giveaways, and specials on food and drink. 5:00 P.M. to closing.
Mas Malo: The Downtown arm of Malo will get the party started at 11:00 A.M., with support from Partida Tequila and Casa Noble on its main floor, Corralejo in the cantina, and 4 Copas in the mezzanine. Expect more giveaways and specials.
Pink Taco: Our guilty secret? We actually went to this fratty number last year for lunch on Cinco de Mayo and enjoyed every minute of it. !No mames! No, really dudes, it's true, this might actually be the kind of place you want to go on Cinco de Mayo if you're looking to get loco. This year, the place will be beschnozzled in jello shots and margaritas, as well as less family-friendly fare like bikini and dance contests and photo opps with a poor pink donkey during their Pinko de Mayo party. The restaurant will also give away over five grand in cash and prices. $20 tickets, and at least 21 years on this earth, are required and can be reserved at 310-360-1003 ext. 106.
Shutter's: From May 2nd to 5th, the property's Coast is offering its own tribute to Mexican coastal cantinas and family recipes from the kitchen, offering dishes like cochinita pibil ($16), tostadas de tinga, banana leaf-wrapped huachinango ($19), and Veracruz-style shrimp ($18). Mexican coffee, aguas frescas, tequila, and sodas will also be highlighted.
The Varnish: Eric Alperin and his crew have concocted a Cinco de Mayo special using Espolón Tequila's Highlands reposado, called the Bebida de Pueblo, with Espolon mixed with Benedictine, coffee liquer, Lustau dry Amontillado os Arcos, and lemon peel. The drink is being served currently at The Varnish, and is recommended to go with a ground beef taco, but isn't certain to stay around after Thursday.
Yxta Cocina Mexicana: Downtown's Yxta promises to be the authentic Cinco de Mayo experience, whatever that means (no Italian margaritas, most likely). Six dollar margaritas use Real de Mexico blanco tequila and eight dollar Jamaica margaritas employ fresh sour with jamaica and shots of the aforementioned tequila blanco are seven dollars. Expect Latin jazz, Mexican beer, and two-dollar al pastor tacos all day.
Earlier: Playboy Shoots Straight on L.A.'s Top Tequila [Grub Street]