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The L.A. Taco Guide to Cinco de Mayo in Los Angeles (And One Good Mezcal Cocktail Recipe)

5:29 PM PDT on May 3, 2018

[dropcap size=big]L[/dropcap]os Angeles’s Mexican roots run deep, making the City of Angels one of the best places in the world to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Mexico’s Battle of Puebla, in which the outmatched Mexican Army defeated the French, was no small feat, and the day should be celebrated accordingly. But in a city as diverse as Los Angeles, how do you know where to go? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Celebrate with Mezcal

From dishing out some of Mexico’s best cuisine to discovering the best places to drink, L.A. is gearing up for another year of exciting ways to celebrate. In some ways, the perfect way to honor the holiday is with mezcal. Why? Because as Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the United States have transitioned from cheesy “Cinco de Drinko” appropriations of real Mexican culture to actual celebrations of authentic Mexican culture and history, interest in mezcal is skyrocketing. Mezcal’s, Mexico’s other distilled drink, with its distinct smoky taste, has been a Mexican favorite for generations, and is now also winning taste buds across the U.S. So if you plan to celebrate on Cinco de Mayo in an authentic way, mezcal is a great addition to your party. In L.A., it’s easy to find bars with a variety of unique and interesting mezcal cocktails; we’ll highlight some special celebrations with a mezcal twist in this guide, along with a diverse selection of other options.

This year everyone’s going to be especially excited to make the party special because the holiday falls on a Saturday. In other words, there are no excuses to not join in on the fun. Here are L.A. Taco-approved ways to celebrate:

Howl at the Moon

Kick off the night with a live band at Howl At The Moon’s bar and high-energy musical experience. The Hollywood bar will have you singing along to 80s, 90s and party hits with piano, guitars and a range of other instruments for hours with their $5 Cuervo and Coronas. You might just end up on stage with those deals. Link

Cinco de Mayo at La Cita

Located in the heart of Los Angeles, La Cita always has something going on and they aren’t disappointing on May 5. The bar will have endless tacos until they run out starting at 6 p.m. Hip-hop, cumbia and Rock en Español beats will be provided by DJ MT Everest and DJ Paw. Located at 336 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90013.

Arts District Brewing Company

Looking for something chill? Stop by the Arts District Brewing Company for a Cinco Celebration on the patio. There will be plenty of beer, mezcal, and games to choose from: skee ball, darts, ping-pong and more. The Special of the day includes any beer on tap with a shot of Silencio mezcal or you can you can switch it up with a michelada. Link.

TACO MADNESS 2018!

La Plaza de Cultura y Artes will be the place to be if you’re looking to get down with tacos. Some of L.A.’s best and award-winning chefs will be serving tacos of all kinds and styles at Taco Madness 2018. This year, the L.A. Taco team has been working hard to bring you more food, more beer — including micheladas from I Love — and more fun. Live art by Mykerios and The Love Crew. Live music by DJ Team Metralleta de oro, legendary J. Rocc, Que madre and Sleepwalk of Chulita Vinyl Club and Ganas of Mas Exitos, Dublab. Plus giveaways by Xbox. Link.

Cinco de Monica in Santa Monica

For the first time, The Wilshire restaurant and the Gramercy Bar are joining forces to bring you Cinco de Monica, a block party festival by the beach. Both establishments are turning themselves and their parking lot into a fest featuring taco, beer trucks, music, and games. This party will be going all out — mariachi included. Cover bands and DJs will play until 8pm. Link.

Gracias Madre

Gracias Madre has the vegan-friendly Cinco de Mayo celebration you’re looking for. Head over to West Hollywood for a pop-up Margarita Garden featuring El Silencio mezcal from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. If that is not enticing enough, go for the jackfruit tacos and mushroom mole tacos that will be on the menu. Best part? Admission is free. Link.

Cumbia y Tequila Fest in Long Beach

Is there a better combination than cumbia and tequila? Roxanne’s Cocktail Lounge & Latin Grill in Long Beach is bringing you a day fest with fine tequila, mezcales, and one of Mexico’s most beloved dance music styles: cumbia. The restaurant’s outdoor patio will be turned into a cumbia dance floor and space for you to lounge around with a drink or two, so come ready to dance and drink. Link.

Manic Hispanic Alex’s bar

Open up the pit, at Alex’s bar if punk rock is more your style. The bar in Long Beach is hosting a night full of music from Chicano punk group Manic Hispanic, accordion fronted Texas punk band Pinata Protest, Shiners Club and Penetratoz for their Cinco de Mayo extravaganza. Link.

Mezcalero

If you haven’t been to Mezcalero’s, Saturday is your excuse to check out this cozy bar in DTLA. One of the bar’s specialties is mezcal and on Cinco de Mayo there will be Mezcal El Silencio cocktail specials all day. At night DJ Glenn Red of La Junta and Degruvme, known for spinning Afro-Latin beats, cumbia, and classic salsa, will take over the turntables until 11 p.m. Link.

Short Stop

This Echo Park gem will be ready to serve you as many mezcal drinks as you want. Silencio mezcal drink specials are guaranteed, so come play pool, lounge in the back patio or show off some moves on the dance floor. Located at 1455 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026.

NOMERICA

Our friends at DUBLAB presents NOMERICA, a Cinco de Mayo party celebrating the music and culture of Mexico, Latin America, and beyond! The party includes live musical performances from a diverse collection of entertainers, including Aurelio Reyes "El Gallo de Chiapas" y su Mariachi Palenque, Niña Dioz, and El Intocable Fantasma Sr. Tony. Mezcal cocktails will be available, and proceeds will help benefit Las Fotos Project. RSVP and more info here.

Tablerock

Tablerock is an immersive food and beverage experience that welcomes guests into an eerie desert landscape. Once inside they realize ... they are not alone. Inspired by the extraterrestrial tales spun by locals in West Texas and New Mexico, Tablerock invites its guests to ask, “What if aliens are real... and what would we drink to celebrate the arrival of our new Overloads?” May 5th, 4pm-12am at Platform, Culver City.

And you can make one of the cocktails served at Tablerock, the Fire in the Sky, created by Irene Martinez, provided to L.A. Taco readers exclusively here:

Specs:

2 oz. chipotle infused Mezcal El Silencio Espadin

1 oz. lime juice

1 oz. lemon juice

1 oz. agave

4 hard dashes angostura bitters

2 muddled cucumbers

1 muddled orange wedge

Chili salt foam

Enjoy!

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