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Echo Park

“Doin’ It in the Park” Wednesdays at Barragan’s ~ Echo Park

4:00 AM PDT on September 19, 2007

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Barragan's Mexican Restaurant ~ 1538 Sunset Blvd. Echo Park, CA 90026

Doin' It in the Park ~ Every Wednesday from 7PM-on

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I lost my virginity one night in a public park in Salamanca, España, drunk on two 40's y una morena from Angers. So when Los Angeles' DJ Talib kept inviting TACO to 'do it in the park' with him, I kept politely declining, stressing that although he IS kinda cute, I'm a kitty-lover through and through. Finally, I realized that "Doin' It in the Park" was the name of his come-one, come-all party that happens every Wednesday at Echo Park's Barragan's, which features $2.29 margaritas and party people from the neighborhood and beyond.

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Those who know Barragan's solely for their greasy-spoon breakfasts of excellent huevos rancheros might have no clue how big this place actually is, as it goes on and on, and on and on, keeping moving like a rolling stone into a second level and an outdoor rooftop terrace, which are the best seats. TACO legal advisor Gregory Lemmons Esq. and I hit Barragan's (which is even fun-ner when you emphasize the "ARR"...like a bucaneer) and dove into some chips, salsa picante, and numerous small cups of sweet-strong agave elixir.

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The interior is super-70's, with a slight family-style twist and cool masks from some far-off place. I would hate to see it ever change. Remember when ALL restaurants sorta looked like this? The Dodgers were making up for the previous night's rout against the Padres (which another TACO editor and I witnessed in the flesh), over the broad shoulders of Armando Barragan, owner of the joint, and quick-draw slinger of margaritas. This guy is a stud. I bet he's kicked a couple of people's asses in his life, plus he seems to be a good fatherly type, even before you find out Barragan Jr. is at the door, holding papa's place down.

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The crowd slowly drifted in and partly because of the rolling fog in my mind, the joint was suddenly packed with Echo Park everybodys, from rookies to vets, a great assemblage of tucked-in, blue-shirted worker bees with tidy haircuts as well as some dudes who look like they came straight from a roadie gig with Turbonegro. But basically, the crowd was real regular-looking, cute, and young, without stupid ironic clothes stolen from Special Ed or any faux-mullets. Color me impressed. Soon, all were hooting and hollering and exchanging good times.

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As the great Talib said to me, "We basically wanted a place for everyone to feel welcome, no matter who they are, without lines and guest lists and all of that. I started it for the good people of Echo Park. Just a place for people to hang out or party, and get to know each other. We guaranteed that there would be no assholes, and Armando liked the idea. Our motto: Good vibes/Good people."

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What started as a small get-together has become one of Wednesday's and Echo Park's most care-free parties, with no lack of participants, and probably at least one person you know but didn't expect to find. The frivolity starts at 7PM and goes basically until you're sleeping on the couch of a stranger who looks like a Mexican Freddy Mercury who wakes you up at 4AM and forces you to watch porn in his 15th attempt to get you to close your eyes and "pretend it's a woman doing it." Fuck you, Ray. No means no. Ain't ya heard? Even on your birthday.

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Go to Barragan's on Wednesday evenings for $2.29 margaritas and fun, everybody. It rules and Los Angeles TACO will return soon! Thanks Talib and Armando!

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